Well, after returning from our quick “around England” trip, where we had the most wonderful time catching up with friends, we had just a day to turn things round at home (that means wash, iron and repack suitcases!) before traveling to London on Sunday (very briefly catching up with a few more friends) and staying overnight at Heathrow. Monday morning we boarded a Cathay Pacific plane for a splendid 12 hour flight to Hong Kong.
Rather weirdly on our arrival in Hong Kong we got off the plane extra quick, our suitcases came off the carousel almost first and then we were met by airport staff and whisked outside to an awaiting coach. Our cases were loaded and we were taken to our hotel. A whole luxury bus to ourselves!
We only had two days in Hong Kong so, time being of the essence, we met up as soon as we could with Selsey friends Nancy ……..
……. and Zoe who, very conveniently for us, now live there and were able to show us around.
On our first evening (Tuesday) we had a very good Himalayan meal together. By the way, the yellow wall behind Zoe and James is the building across the street not the wall of the restaurant!
On Wednesday we took the ferry across to Kowloon from Hong Kong Island where we were staying. There’s a huge amount of construction wherever you look but none more so than at the waters edge, where large amounts of land are being reclaimed from the sea.
Sightseeing was curbed ever so slightly by the low cloud cover while we were there. Most skyscrapers had there heads in the clouds.
There are many of the old green and white ferries plying between the various islands and the mainland and the fares are a very reasonable 25pence!
The “Star” ferries have been around quite a long time as stated by the builder’s plates.
The atmosphere of Kowloon is different from Hong Kong Island and …….
……… things seem to be shinier and more up market with shops such as Cartier gracing some of the streets.
Not all of Kowloon is ‘top end’ – the “Ladies Market” is a hubbub of narrow lanes filled with stalls.
We took the MTR back to Hong Kong Island from Kowloon. Very clean, very simple to use and very crowded.
Back on the island Nancy took us to the Central Plaza building where we met up with Zoe after she’d finished work. It was Nancy’s great idea to use the building as a convenient place to see the sights. The viewing gallery was high enough to get some dramatic views of Hong Kong but low enough to be below the cloud base.
Still only half way up we were able to look down on most of the buildings around. One hotel complex has it’s swimming pool and tennis courts about 100 feet above street level.
We didn’t waste time during our brief stay to go up to the peaks to see the city as it really wouldn’t have been worth it due to lack of visibility.
Nancy, Doug and Zoe in the very grand surroundings of the Central Plaza gallery
and, at the base of the building looking up!
As dusk fell on Wednesday evening we took the high speed ferry to Discovery Bay where Zoe and Nancy live. The lights of Hong Kong were very pretty as we sped along the water front.
After seeing their lovely home, and meeting up with their two dogs again, we went to a great Spanish restaurant nearby for a meal. The restaurant boasts their own distillery, on view to the customers, where they brew the most amazing ale, lager and cider.
Here we are half way through our superb Tapas meal ……
….. and this pic is the result of the kind restaurant owner being artistic!
Our short time in Hong Kong came to an end too soon but we must say a really big “thank you” to Nancy and Zoe for taking time from their busy schedules to show us some of the sights.
Thursday will see us boarding P&O’s “Arcadia” (our favourite ship) to continue this, our first, global circumnavigation. We’re looking forward to the next 50 nights aboard for the second half of “Arcadia’s” world cruise. How very lucky are we?!