After the crazy taxi ride at breakneck speed from the airport! The crowds at Harrison Plaza, Mall of Asia, and the hawkers insisting we could have a FREE home security system. There was the constant honking of horns, the revving of motorbikes and the wakeup call of the city’s Roosters. We discovered Intramuros……… Intramuros is just one area of Manila!
An area with a completely different atmosphere, our hotel is in Malate, close to the airport and relatively quiet, there is also Makati where lots of visitors stay as it is more of a business and tourist area. They are all Manila but what a difference between them!
We got the obligatory cab to St Augustan’s church after the customary haggle over price (Note; check beforehand what you should be paying! Helps, with the bargaining!) We were not very successful negotiating with Joseph but he was worth every Peso as he gave us a constant stream of info… there the Embassy, the Zoo, the Manila Hotel owned by Ferdinand Marcos…… all with a steady stream of smiles. He dropped us off in Intramuros and we went back in time!
It is an old walled city with some impressive Spanish Architecture the Churches are the oldest in Manila and have been burnt, bombed, ravaged by earthquakes and rebuilt several times. We found our own way to the Manila Cathedral, beautiful as all Cathedrals should be…emanating a sense of peace and tranquility….. not something we had found so far in the Manila madness.
Here Teddy found us………. Teddy gives guided tours of the walled city, along with his horse Rambo! For $10 we had an hour’s tour in a Rambo drawn buggy, with a constant stream of info from Teddy.
It was the best $10 we ever spent, a perfect delight………………..Beautiful, tranquil Gardens tucked away, statues of the Virgin Mary, Canons, Dungeons used during Spanish times and during Japanese occupation, bullet holes in walls…………..
All with the utmost, patience, friendliness and huge smiles, from not only Teddy but all the students spilling out of schools in there immaculate, distinctive uniforms.
Rambo was definitely the star! He was at home on a quiet tranquil cobbled street, as in the middle of 2 Taxi’s with a Jeepney in front and back……. Throw in the odd motorcycle all trying to converge into one lane and you get the picture.
Intramuros is definitely worth a visit, wonder if we can find a hotel there?