29 March 2018
Difficult sleeping overnight due to the time zone changes. Edward was up and reading at 02h00 and eventually I turned the light on at 2h30 she was being impossible. I made a cup of tea and chatted with him, eventually turning the TV on for a while. At last we both settled down again round about 04h00 and I was able to turn off the lights and we both dozed for a while. Finally, it was morning and we got up and showered and I made breakfast of coffee, oats and yoghurt. The we left the hotel and walked down the hill to the KENNEDY TRAM STATION which is of course in Kennedy town.
Sir Arthur Edward Kennedy (1809 – 1883) was born in County Down in Ireland and must have been from a wealthy family as he attended Trinity College in Dublin before joining the British Army where he was commissioned. Later in life he entered the Civil Service and was appointed Governor first of Sierra Leone, then Western Australia, the Vancouver Island, then Western Africa, Hong Kong and finally Queensland. He was on his way back to Ireland aboard the ORIENT for his retirement. The ship was just off Aden near the Red Sea when he died onboard and was buried at sea. Quite an exciting life he had, and I think I should read a little more about him sometime.
Anyway, back to the tram station that is named after him in Hong Kong. We were the first people there and bought tickets for a return journey to the top of VICTORIA PEAK as it is known. We board the first tram and there was only 1 other couple on board and they sat behind us, so we had an unobstructed view up the very steep track. There are 3 stops on the way up to the top and we didn’t stop at any. Of course, this meant that when we made it to the top of the VICTORIA PEAK we almost the only people there, so it felt like we were alone and the whole experience was magical.
Although the sun was up it was very hazy, and the buildings were not in stark relief which doesn’t make for good photographs, but it was lovely anyway. We met a really nice Australian lady who was walking by and took our photograph. She had lived in HK for more than 30 yrs. Her husband was in the banking industry and when her kids where at school they lived in Australia and her husband stayed in HK…. What a sacrifice hey? Anyway, she told us of a really nice walk/hiking trail that goes around the whole of Victoria Peak. So, we went in search of Lugard Road which is the start of The Peak Loop Hiking Trail. Turns out that it is a 2.8km walk and it took us 2 fabulous hours! Cool, shady, green and quiet. A veritable mountain oasis.
By 9h30 we had finished a coffee and decided that the haze was not going to burn off. Loads of people were on the way up so we decided to leave and the took the tram back down the hill. From there we walked all the way to Admiralty. It was hot but pleasant. Very difficult to cross roads in this city though. Everything is a walk way and you can get quite disorientated trying to work out which direction you are going in. We had to keep peeking out from the cover to check we were still going in the right direction for the LIPPO building which was out landmark. Finally, we made it into the air-conditioning and we were very pleased of it too!!
Edward chose a Vietnamese restaurant for lunch. He had a large bowl of PHO – rice vermicelli in a broth and I had UDN needles which I have come to like out of necessity. We took a bus – 12A – back to the hotel for an afternoon nap as the jetlag was truly lagging us.
We were both up again by 16h00 and strolled down the hill all the way to the Ferry Station and hopped on a ferry for the crossing to KOWLOON. The ferry station on the mainland is also a big bus terminus and it is adjacent to the OCEAN TERMINUS MALL. This is where we would dock when I stopped in HK whilst working on Crystal Cruises. Strong sense of De Je Vu for both of us as Edward remembers this large Mall as well. WE had a wander about, then took a bus up Nathan St to the Dundas St stop. We alighted there as I wanted to go to the Ladies Market. As ever we decided to first have a coffee and catch up on some social media. I clearly remember visits to the Ladies Market and was quite excited to go there again.
Although the market is still busy and bustling and full of stalls, the atmosphere has changed, I think this might be due to all the stalls now being permanent, so the shop keepers are really jaded and tired. Edward was taken with a small drone that a camera, so he could take aerial videos. In the end he decided against it though. I was on the look out for a new handbag but just couldn’t see one that I couldn’t live without!! Disappointed, but these things happen. I did find some very pretty hair clips instead so retail therapy was sort of satisfied. After lots of looking and just a little haggling we hopped on the bus back down to the Victoria Harbour waterfront. The Avenue of the Stars was closed for refurbishment, but we found a nice spot to sit and wait for the 20h00 lightshow.
Whilst waiting we stuck up and interesting conversation with an English guy who lives in Amsterdam and works for Bookings.com – wonder what will happen to his job after Brexit?? – Had a lovely chat with him and then finally it was the light show! Couldn’t find the radio station to tune into to hear the music though so not quite as wonderful as it should have been. Of course, by this time Edward was starving so we left after 20 min so we could go and find somewhere to eat. Thing close early in HK. Our best bet and one in our price range was the sit-down section of the CITY SUPER SUPERMARKET in the Harbour View Mall. Edward had rice vermicelli again and I went for a couple of chicken wings. I also got some great Pear and Mange juice and large bottle of sparkly water – just love the bubbles.
Once finished we wondered about getting lost in the mall then headed back to the ferry station and the ferry back to HK island. Both of us had sore legs so we took the bus back to the Garden View and a hot shower.
What a lovely day J
In the evening I contact Bart who was already in HK and had lots to tell of his action vacation adventured. We made an arrangement to meet up the following evening and catch up before we all joined the ship on Saturday.