Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Hong Kong Nights 13th August 2010

13th August 2010, sometime during the night, Hong Kong.

Me in Kowloon Park
Great Food
Angry Terrapins!!

Booth Lodge is a Hotel run by the Salvation Army, it is situated in the middle of Kow Loon and it is our new home for the next few nights. We arrived in the wee small hours of yesterday and caught a bus into the city, number A21, very efficient and well air-conditioned, which, by the way is a God send, because it is 33c outside! We left our luggage in the lobby as we weren’t able to get into our room before 2pm and decided to buy a drink and find somewhere to drink it. That somewhere turned out to be Kow Loon Park where we spent the next few hours feeling grotty due to the Jet Lag and the 2 days solid travelling we had just concluded. We sat by this amazing pond in the centre of the park. The water was almost completely clear; accept for one very scared looking goldfish that was being chased around by rather aggressive looking terrapins! We took refuge under a pagoda, or rather I took refuge under a pagoda and Mel sat in the sun, her poor ankles had swollen up to the size of prize marrows after the long flight. She seems a bit better this evening; she is sitting writing letters to some friends and family on our bed. I am sat at our rooms desk, looking out on the aw inspiring skyline that is so characteristic of Hong Kong. I’m also feeling rather full as we ate at the nearby night market tonight, large portions of seafood curry, broccoli with garlic, deep fried tofu and rice!

Me and Mel in the Cable Car
We spent the best art of today travelling up to the Po Lin Monastery, which is situated at the summit of one of the mountains near Hong Kong city, on the island of Lantau. The best way to reach there is by the Ngong Ping Cable Car which spans 5.7kms and gives you amazing views of the city, airport, bays and islands, as well as keeping you cool as it is well ventilated. Mel and I chose to ride in one of the traditional cars; there was a more expensive crystal floored car for those with a rather more fearless approach to sight seeing.

We walked round the monastery, had a very nice vegetarian lunch there and also walked up to the Tian Tan Buddha, a triumph of contemporary bronze sculpture which looks over the entire area. The views were some of the most memorable I have ever seen.

At eight o’clock this evening, after popping home to shower and change, we went down to the harbor, stopping at Starbucks for a quick frapacino right outside the famous concert hall which I performed in as a chorister with St Johns College back in the early nineties. We took in Hong Kong’s famous ‘Symphony of Lights’ show. The sound of an electronic symphony is played out over the city and giant sky scrapers rhythmically expel lights and lasers in all different directions for the amusement of people like us.

So, the 14hr coach and ferry ride from Amsterdam to London, followed by the 11 hour plane journey to Hong Kong are stating to feel so worth the effort, especially as my sister has just texted me to say that it is raining on her birthday at home – sorry George!!

We took Millhouse to Holland after the reception at the weekend, I drove us to Dover, we caught the ferry to Calais, then Johanna drove me, Mel, Millhouse and all of our baggage to Woudenberg, near Utrecht in Holland to her home where we spent 36 hours or so before embarking on another crazy journey! It was very sad to say goodbye to our dog, I hope he is happy in Holland. We have every intention of getting him back someday; I guess I should say watch this space as far he is concerned. Johanna loves him and he has two cats to chase there; Jack and Sophie. And when drunkard Henry arrives back from a week long music festival in Hungary, then he will have someone to run around with too.

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