Once in a zillion year while surrendering myself into a very deep slumber, I woke up and had this feeling of deja vu. It was not a similar feeling of helplessness having missed one of the very important exams because I had overslept the previous night over-indulging myself with heavy discussion mainly on rubbish, but a sense of confusion over time and space. This memory keep flashing and coming back lingering in my mind, if not in a clear 35mm picture but broken jigsaw puzzles when putting together will cause me to momentarily believe that life itself is a paradox to its existence.
Recently I had this dream of climbing a hill. In fact many dreams of similar experience but hill was the main backdrop in the storyline. Thus invokes back my memory of my hill experience in Penang last year – Bkt Bendera to be precise.
In my 42 years of existence in this beautiful planet, I am shamelessly admitting that was the first time I put my foot on that historical hill. Even though Penang has always been a stopover whenever I traveled up North, but never it crossed my mind to put this popular tourist spot into my travel itinerary. That was until a compulsory knowledge enrichment programme I enlisted in ‘forcing’ me to join with other foreign visitors, Oh-I-Seeing around in that Island as part of the agenda.
My first impression – Bkt Bendera is still a pristine natural ecosystem surrounded with lush greenery soothing to the eyes. The cooler temperature combined with the serene surrounding was really a rejuvenating experience. There are lots of awesome adventures for the visitors to embark into. Any effort to preserve this hill from any greedy bureaucrats molesting its natural modesty is most applauded.
From what I saw, Penangites still treasured their past and putting a lot of effort in preserving their history. This is really a shame to my fellow Ganukite, who think the opposite way and seemingly working very hard erasing the past from this earth (a demolition of a row of shop houses close to Pasar Kedai Payang recently is a strong evident). Now Ganukite can only dream to see their past.
I however, still could not figure out why hill was the main subject in my sleeping domain of late. Had I been thinking too much about climbing a higher pinnacle in life recently? Or my mind has subconsciously trying to remind me of something I kept brushing off whenever it appear? I supposed flashes of beautiful beaches with heavenly white sand in a secluded island with the loved one is most welcome. I am still having the dream though. Can we dictate and choreograph what we want for a dream each night? I think the answer will be found only in my dream – that is if my slumber is snoring free!
I spotted this beautiful artificial grasshopper or some sort of insect made from coconut leaves on sale along the road on the hill.
There were many stalls that sells local produces and other exotic item along the way to the top of the hill.
From the last train station on the top of the hill, one can see George Town. Surprisingly there are many private residents on the hills, owned by some local tycoons.
This awesome red funicular Swiss train was a trademark to Penang Hill. Climbing the hill on this snail-powered train will take you into a slow 30 minutes journey on a double track. I was told, this attraction will be closed for one year starting February 2010 for a rail upgrading. Probably the local government is thinking of fitting a rocket engine to this train so that it can conquer the moon.
This small mosque on top of the hill sitting in between a Hindu temple and a church. A symbol of harmony and compromise I guess.
Actually the canopy walk was closed for maintenance. In fact the walk was not open for almost a year to the public. A bit of persuasive haggling with the guide though, he finally surrendered and let us explore half part of the hanging walkway as other part was considered not safe.
This gigantic canon poise an ominous threat to any invading ships to the island. The building with a blue roof in the background was a police station.