Sunday, 1 March 2009

Day Fifty: Tired and Excited but Happy

Our entry into Hong Kong harbour was not in the brilliant sunshine that we had hoped for but rather into murky drizzle that did little for good picture taking however we did our best and while Hilary shot stills I concentrated on the movie. Our main concern of course was to see Jessica and Nathan and we waited impatiently at the exit of the ship between 9.30am and 10.00am which was the time we agreed to meet. We had made sure that we had a good breakfast first knowing that these were two fit young people and as it turned out that was a good move. They arrived on the dot of 10.00am having walked down from their very basic hotel room but with the great advantage that it is bang in the middle of Kowloon and only about 15 minutes away from Ocean Terminal where we are berthed. It was so lovely to see them again and they both looked very happy and we got great hugs that set us up for the day.

First stop had to be breakfast as they had not eaten and a local Starbucks provided the necessary fortification to start the day then it was off to the shops where we wasted a lot of time looking for a tailor that had been recommended by Peter one of our dining companions. In the event we couldn’t find it but as we were hasseled every five minutes by other tailors we later on in the day tried the one in Jess and Nathan’s hotel. Waste of time for me, all I wanted was a simple white dinner jacket and the only price I got was £160 so we gave up on that. Over the course of the day I did manage to acquire yet another baseball cap, this one has a Chinese dragon on it, two bow ties – one red and one light purplely blue – and an external card reader for the laptop as I have been having difficulty getting the card in the video camera to read my pictures. Hilary and Jessica have looked at dozens of dresses, tops, skirts, pants and scarves but so far have resisted any major purchases. To see a bit more of the area we needed to get from the mainland Kowloon to Hong Kong Island so we took the Star Ferry across for more shopping, more food and in between we took a tram and finally a taxi to Stanley Market, a drive which takes you through the posh residential part of the island. Stanley Market is a shoppers paradise and even Nathan got into the buying swing of things with purchase of Calvin Klein underwear and a couple of Rugby Shirts. When we were shopped out we caught the bus back to the Star Ferry (upper class this time $2.20HK instead of $1.70HK), and then back in Kowloon we walked up Nathan Road (yes it really is called that) to their hotel and dropped off their shopping. Then it was time for Street Food.

It is no secret that I am a bit wary about what goes into my belly so the thought of Street Food brought back Road Kill to my mind but I really didn’t have to worry and Nathan ordered 4 dishes only one of which had meat in it and we enjoyed a feast (I even had a beer!). I tried and failed with chopsticks and Nathan kindly asked the waitress to bring me a plastic fork. He and Jess seem quite good with chopsticks but I would still be eating cold food now had we continued. We needed to get back close to Ocean Terminal to see the nightly laser and light show so once again we grabbed a taxi which got us back by 7.45pm for the show which starts at 8.00pm and we were lucky to get a good position where we could see the lights across the harbour. The show has music and a commentary and today that was in Cantonese so I have no idea what was going on but the lights were fantastic as they not only shoot beams from the top of the buildings but multi-coloured lights also shoot up and down the buildings themselves. It last a good 20 minutes and the largish crowd clapped loud and long when it finished. We said our goodnights to the kids and agreed to meet at the Peninsular Hotel (the most famous in Hong Kong) at 10.00am tomorrow, we were hoping to have afternoon tea there but we were too late and tomorrow they have to leave us at 2.00pm to catch their train (14 hours – they are so good to travel all that way just to see us). Jess has to work on Tuesday so she is going to be exhausted. That’s it, here’s Hilary…..

Tiz I. Sam is right we have been very fortunate to have Nathan’s knowledge of Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon area, we would never have seen so much or travelled so far. We both have aching feet and are very stiff in our legs but we would not have missed a minute of it today. We went up mountainous amounts of stairs and hills, up and down, we saw two or three street markets and very nice shopping malls. We saw beaches, masses of boats and an extremely clean city teeming with people. We travelled in boats, taxis, buses and many miles on foot. It has been a wonderful day. Seeing Jess again was super, she is glowing and so very happy with her life in China. She is looking forward to going to summer school for 6 weeks during summer recess and being immersed in concentrated Mandarin for that period. She says that she has survival level Mandarin at the moment and would like to be able to converse more readily. Jess and I are bad for each other as far as shopping is concerned, somehow I end up with far more shopping when I am with her, but what day we have had! Blooming marvellous. The way the ship is ‘parked’ we have a wonderful view of the harbour and the Hong Kong Island all lit up, we can watch the water traffic going about their daily lives from the comfort of our cabin. Now it is night time and the picture from our window is very pretty with the buildings being lit with coloured lights. This place is like nothing else that we have seen during this trip. I would like to stay a week! Sam will post a picture of Jess and Nathan that we took today and as he is so very tired I am going to get off the computer not so he can get up to the Cyber study as soon as possible. Take care, God bless.

Ok this is an interesting experience, the internet on the ship is out but I have let Oriana and I am currently downstairs in Ocean Terminal where I can pick it up for free! Some of the commands are in Cantonese but I have managed to log in somehow and I will post this now.


Pat said...

It sounds like you have had a brillient day and by the time you read this have had another fab day. The picture of Jess and Nathan is very good and Jess as you say looks gorgeous and very happy. I also like the one of you on the ferry, you also look very happy and you can see that you are really enjoying yourself. Wish I had been there with you. So what did you buy?

samw7 said...

Hi There
So glad you had a good day. Whenever you are with Nathan, you will walk miles, and at quite a rapid pace. Whenever you are with Jess you will find more shopping bargains than you ever imagined. Your description makes me want to see Hong Kong. Will have to be another trip to add to the list. Love to you both, Sam

Julian said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic day with Jess and Nathan. I agree with my sister that visiting Hong Kong will have to be added to my list of must do's. Mother you cannot wind me up saying where we 'parked' because I know you know it is where we are moored. Next time you are aronund the forepeak ask to se the Suez canal light. Not long now before the deckies will have to fix it up for the trip through the canal. Everyone at home is fit and well and I look forward to seeing you when you get home. Love to you both,
Love Julian , Moira Carl & Kelly

Hayley said...

So glad you had a wonderufl day! HK looks fab, and its great to see Jess and Nathan looking so well and happy.

What did you buy when you went shopping?? I am intrigued!

Mum will send you a message tomorrow telling you about how she is getting on.

Sending you rejuvinaing thoughts and i hope your muscles recover soon!

Much love, Hayley xxxxx