Monday, November 2, 2009

2009-11-1 Hong Kong to home

We tried looking for the geocache we were unable to find but still couldn’t find the one by the ferry building. We got breakfast at the Starbucks in the cultural center and sat on the steps watching a Tai Chi class.

Then we walked along the Tsim Sha Tsui water front promenade which included a parade of Hong Kong movie star hand prints in the paving stones. We also walked through the 1881 shopping area which was an old marine police headquarter transformed into high end shops and restaurants.

We finished our packing and checked out of the hotel but stored our bags.

We tried to go gift shopping but were overwhelmed by too expensive stuff and men asking Phil if he wanted a tailor made suit. We gave up and took a taxi to the train station and were able to check into the airline at the train station before going to the airport. We didn’t have to lug our bags to the airport.

We spent the rest of our Hong Kong money at the airport and had lunch in the first class lounge. It was very nce.

The Cathay Pacific plane was wonderful. Out first class pods were decorated with fresh flowers. The food was unbelievable. The service was over the top. Phil and I were able to sit side by side in his seat with plenty of room. For dinner I sat in the chair in the front of his pod and they expanded the tray to make a rather large table which they covered with a linen cloth. First course caviar, then Caesar salad. I had veal and Phil had port. He had a cheese course and then dessert.

I let them make up my pod into a bed. Phil stayed in his pod and tried to watch a movie, but kept dozing. When I woke up it was 30 minutes before landing in San Francisco. We had to walk with our luggage a very long way before re-checking it. We had almost 4 hours to sit in the admiral’s club before taking off for LA. I got off the plane but Phil stayed on before it took off for Austin.

Another meal on the plane to Austin and when we landed our luggage was the first off. We got to the Fast Park bus and quickly to our ar. When we got home we discovered that the bus driver ahd given us the wrong bag. We called Fast Park and he said we could get ours right away or in the morning. There was nothing we needed and we were tired so we elected to wait.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hong Kong

We awoke rather early and asked at the desk for an ATM. There was one just across the street near where we had entered the hotel from the bus. Next to it was another Starbucks where we got coffee and an egg white sandwich for breakfast which we ate in our room.

We went out to find a geocache and figure out the ferries to Hong Kong. After finding the cache, we took the GPS back to our room and set off for Victoria Peak. We could ride the Star Ferry for free because we are senior citizens. On the Hong Kong side we walked around forever trying to find where to buy an “Octopus card” which allowed us to ride all the mass transit in Hong Kong once we loaded it with money. It was hot and we couldn’t understand the people very well, but eventually went to a mall where the train station was, and got our cards. Then back to near the ferry landing to get a bus to the Peak Tram which took us to the top of the mountain where there were tons of shops and a viewing place. I had read about a trail at the top. Our biggest problem was locating the i. It wasn’t marked, and we felt like idiots when we realized it was a tram car sitting in the middle of the plaza.

The nice people in the information tram told us how to find the trail and gave us a map. The paved path took us all around the mountain for fabulous views and interesting signs about the flora, fauna and history. Since it was a Sunday where were lots of people out for a stroll. It was quite hot when we got back to the cable car plaza. We ate lunch at MacDonalds with a fabulous view. Then we found some gourmet groceries at the shopping on the top of the mountain and got our favorite picnic food of bread, cheese and wine to go with the fruit that had been supplied in our hotel room.

After taking the Tram back down to the bus and then the ferry, we dropped our purchases in the room and headed up to yet another park and walked along the shopping street and into the Temple Street night market which was for the locals. We were amazed by all the stores selling expensive watches, purses and electronics.