|Meleka is Malaysia's oldest city. It was founded in 1400 by a Sumatran price Paremaswara and was named after a tree! It is a very historical city and has been ruled by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. Again we only really had one full day here so it was going to be an action packed day full of museums and sights! O Joy! We first visited the Proclamation of Independence (we walked passed it actually!) and then went to see the Porta De Santiago, the last remaining gate from the Portuguese Fort A Fomosa. The British were responsible for demolishing the fort, the British demolished it in the early 1800's to ensure that Meleka could not compete with Penang for controlling trade in the Straits of Meleka, they were going to blow up the fort and move all it's people to Penang but they were stopped by Stamford Raffles (who was a British something - maybe governor!) who decided that blowing up the fort and moving the people was not such a good idea after all. I think the Dutch were then responsible for destroying the rest of the fort but only the Porta De Santiago remains today.
After the fort we went up the Butik St Paul (St Pauls Hill) which has the remains of St Pauls Church at the top. The hill was originally named after Mary and called 'Our Lady of the hill' but the Portuguese changed it! The building was used as a light house by the British.
We also visited the Maritime Museum and Stadthuys Museum which basically told us the history of Meleka and Penang but both museums seemed to be repeating themselves quite a lot so we got bored and left!! We took a picnic out with us that day and sat in the little square eating our butties getting some very strange looks from passers bye, we must of looked very British!!
There were loads of Trishaws in the square trying to get tourists to take a guided tour with them, they were all very elaborately decorated and had loud music blaring out, what music would you think they played, a bit of traditional Malay music, some sitar guitar music - NO Boney M seemed to be the favorite with Brown Girl in the Ring! Very fitting we thought!!
After lunch we had a quick meander around China Town looking in the antique shops and at the old temples then headed back to base to get organised to go and watch the Manchester United v Arsenal match with a few other people from the hostel. The match was excellent as most of you probably know United won 2 - 0, Catherine was very disappointed! The people we went to watch the match with people from South Africa, Canada and Australia none of whom followed football but we educated them when to shout out the relevant "offside", "referee" and "get up you big Jessie!"!
The next day we headed to Singapore.