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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Melaka Weekender - Can't get enough trip!

Assalamualaikum.

Dear brothers & sisters,

I have yet to satisfy myself with exploring Melaka, one of the older World Heritage Cities here in Malaysia. The other being my hometown of Georgetown City, Penang Island.

So, after our early dinner last Thursday, when my darling suggested that we go for a cruise, yours truly cruised all the way back to Melaka!

Hehehehe...yes sirree!

I don't know why but Melaka seems to draw myself to it like a very powerful magnet! Must be due to the historical streak in me where I absolutely love to explore and discover the many hidden aspects of our nation's past centred there in the Land of Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat and their fellow Malay warriors of the past!

So, even though it was already late in the evening, I still drove our trusted Wira to the Historical City. We reached Melaka about 9pm and I promptly booked us a room at one of the newly completed hotels there.

Our first mission was to seek out one of the Malay dishes that I craved for? Asam Pedas Melaka.

The last time we were there I didn't get to enjoy that spicy sweet sourish dish. So this time around, I just followed my instincts and voila! I discovered a hot 'Asam Pedas' spot just minutes from our hotel area.













































Hajjah Mona Asam Pedas. Taman Kota Laksamana.

































I guess that I might have been bitten by the 'Melaka bug'. There are still so many places to be explored by me and my ever sporting spouse who is always so supportive when I get the adventurous bulb flashing! :)

So after the satisfying hot delicious Asam Pedas Melaka meal, I took my darling wife on a night cruise around Melaka City.















We saw this brilliantly lit up area besides the Melaka River and we chanced upon two river cruises carrying loads of passengers making their way along the river. Pretty interesting I might say.















The next day @ Friday, we checked out of the hotel and made our way exploring looking for Melaka specialties. Funny thing was that there were not that many Malay food outlets open in the day time and we had to drive around for quite some time before coming across a row of dilapidated stalls chock full of people.

This was the area along Jalan Tengkera. The site of the famous historical 2 centuries old Masjid Jamek Tengkera.

















































Catching up on the early morning gossip and latest news amongst friends.






















This man came around selling freshly picked petai. He was selling them for RM3 for a bunch of 5 strips and RM5 for 10. Being a petai lover myself, I bought 10 strips and have just had them for my dinner.
















We also came across this Malay fish stall selling what looked like very fresh fish. Since we did not bring any of our cooler boxes, buying such fresh fish was sadly out of the question for they would not last long during our long drive back. Can't afford to stink up our car. :) Next time, Insya Allah!

I then stopped over at Masjid Jamek Tengkera, Melaka's oldest mosque to perform my Friday prayers. As I forgot to bring along my camera's battery charger, I had to miss taking shots of this beautiful masjid with my digital camera. I had shot a few short videos using my mobile handset but have yet to extract them. Insya Allah, I will do so later.
















On our drive from the city earlier I had managed to snap this shot of the Eye on Malaysia Ferris wheel located at the seafront reclaimed area. The view from the top must surely be spectacular!















Another great view of the huge Ferris wheel.

We then proceeded to explore the historical remains of the St Paul Portuguese church atop the hill behind A Famosa.

Climbing up the stairs, I came across many of these trees. This is the type of tree under which the founder of the Melaka Sultanate Parameswara was said to have rested and in front of which a mousedeer was said to have kicked one of his hunting dogs into the river.

When he asked the name of the tree upon whose trunk he was resting, his entourage said that it was the 'Buah Melaka' tree.

All those who have yet to know, here is what we call 'Buah Melaka'.















It's fruits taste bitter and are quite hard. Yet when preserved and pickled, they become quite a delicacy.















These are the remaining walls and interior of what is left of the church that the Portuguese had built during their occupation of Melaka back in 1511. The walls are built using the same metallic rock that are found used in the remnants of the Portuguese fort all around the area.

They are a reddish iron ore type of stone or rock that are still quite sturdy and withstand the test of time all these 4 hundred over years since they were first erected. I found the same rocky outcrop when we visited the beach areas of Pantai Kelebang and the seafront areas of Melaka. I even found the same metallic rocky outcrop when I stopped by Makam Hang Tuah at Tanjong Keling.

Back to the church relics, there are several large granite slabs which are the gravestones of people who had lived and died during the Portuguese occupation of Melaka back in the 1511 to 1641, a period lasting more than a hundred thirty years.

I found one unique granite slab with a skull and crossbones carved onto it and promptly posed next to the intriguing gravestone.
















































































I will be following up with more photos of our trip to the Melaka Sultanate Museum after this.

Insya Allah.
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