Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Two Days in Hong Kong

We broke up the 20 (two zero) hours back to Amsterdam in a shoebox (I mean airplane) with a visit to our friend Danny, halfway up the famous Central-Mid-Levels escalator (whaaat) in Hong Kong.  We ate many noodles.  And giggle, as foreigners everywhere do, about translational faux pas.  Pas's.  Pass.  Passe. You know:

And were amazed, as foreigners everywhere are, to see familiar faces so far from home:

This is the scariest thing I've ever seen in a public restroom:

And we walked through the Edward Youde Aviary in Hong Kong Park.  About 70 species of bird there, and I didn't take photos of the bird ID chart.  Oops.

No bird!  Just plant!

Danny even took us on the ferry over to Lantau Island and we hiked from Mui Wo to the Po Lin Monestary (interchangeably known as "Big Buddha").  Lantau Peak is as high as the highest peak we climbed in the Lake District this past weekend (spoiler alert), 934 meters.  Only in Hong Kong we began at sea level, instead of at 120 meters.  So.  

There were only about two thousand steep stone stairs to climb and descend.  I don't know truly how many, but my right IT band is finally recovering, two months later.

Danny on the visibility: "You guys are lucky.  This is actually a good day." 

Looking at what we've covered so far.
The top!

Now we go down.  That's the monastery, down there.

That was fast.  Here we are, already.

There's Lantau Peak, where we just were ten seconds ago.

"World's largest gondola exhibition."

Garmisch-Partenkirchen gondola! Ja!

Gondola ride down... HK airport in the distance.
You can see the pylons for the massive bridge they are building from HK to Macau. 

After the clean, fresh coastal air of Jervis Bay, it was depressing to breath the noxious stickiness that floats down from China.  Really, really sad.  Gave us new perspective on environmentalism and how fortunate we are to have grown up in Washington State.

We were discussing China with another friend of ours who has traveled in mainland China for work.  While there, his Mandarin interpreter was a nineteen year-old Chinese girl... who had never seen stars before.

We walked around the city a bit more the second day, while Danny was at work.  The city is not terribly pedestrian-friendly, and I felt like I would be dead within five minutes on a bike.  Still cool to walk around and see the colors, though.

Man Mo Temple.
Man Mo Temple Detail.

After lunch (ramen!), Ed and I took the ferry and a train over to the Chi Lin nunnery and Nan Lian Garden in Kowloon.  We've been to China.  There were some lovely rocks there.

Beautiful rocks in the rock garden.
We met Danny after work for one last hill walk up to "The Peak." Which was impressive, and bizarre.  Gorgeous views of the garbage-misted skyline, from this weird kind of shopping center/food court thing on top of an otherwise restful and natural island mountaintop setting.  I have no photos.

Our flight left at midnight or so, and that was Hong Kong.


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