First some trivia about Hong Kong — Kowloon means “nine Dragons” – after the 8 mountains that separate mainland China from the Hong Kong peninsula, and the ninth for the Emperor. Hong Kong means “fragrant harbor” – for the incense that fishermen used to burn here as an offering to the gods.
Victoria Peak Funicular
We started this bright sunny beautiful day with a bus ride to get to the funicular tram to the top of Victoria Peak. (Our bus in HKG was an actual small bus – not the typical vans we’ve been in, but a real small bus.) The tram (built in 1888) was very steep in places and not so much in others – it averages a 27 % incline. I had pictured it as being the same incline all the way up. Here it is coming into the lower station. Continue reading
We slept in a little this morning before leaving for the Shanghai airport to fly to Hong Kong. Pam and Sandra went shopping – man, they are energetic! We used to the time to repack and get a little organized. We all met Rocky at 11:30 for the ride to the airport. Got there in jig time, but took forever at the ticket counter, as line was miles long. Going through security, Pam was stopped with fingernail polish in her carry-on. Even though less than 2 oz I guess this is a no-no. She elected to have them retrieve her checked bag, rather than throw it out. Our flight ended up being delayed and so she had no problem getting there in time. We didn’t land in Hong Kong until 4:30.
William was our Hong Kong guide. The van (more like a small bus) ride ended up being another traffic jam nightmare. Apparently, a neon sign was going up on a high-rise building in downtown Hong Kong when the workmen dropped one end. The police then cordoned off the street, which just happens to be the main thoroughfare into town and where we have to go. We arrived at the Kowloon Shangri-La around 7:00. Two and a half hours!
After an uninspiring long drive from Guilin, we just barely made it to the ship, literally minutes before it left. The ship is fairly rough, but we got good seats on the top deck, and they were right next to a small forward open deck where the views were good. This small deck was far less crowded than the “sun deck” up above. Of course, still very, very smoggy, or “misty” depending on your perspective, and we could only see the close-in mountains, but still very pretty.
Limestone karsts are beautiful one-of-a-kind formations.
Each bend around the river was prettier than the last. My pics of the scenery don’t do it justice – all are pretty disappointing because of the “mist”. Continue reading
My cold is getting a little better. Still incredibly stuffed up in my sinuses and my throat occasionally hurts, but at least I don’t have that warm and sicky feeling.
Another smoggy day.
After a long drive to get to the Terra Cotta Warriors, we were almost there when we got stopped several car lengths back from the entrance toll booth because of a visit by the female Australian Prime Minister. We had to wait about 20 minutes. Big black SUVs and limos rolled right on by. Continue reading
I’m still pretty sick with my cold and sore throat. Glad I brought some Sudafed and Mucinex with me! I hope I have enough. I only brought a couple of nights of NyQuil, so I know I’m going to run out of that. I’m also going to run out of throat lozenges. Trying to communicate in a pharmacy here is going to be tough if I have to get more cold meds.
There’s lots of smog today and very overcast. At least there’s no rain. Continue reading