Sunday, 5 June 2016

Humid Hong Kong day of touristy stuff

One of the things I love about Hong Kong is the juxtaposition of the architecture, today we saw Ming and Qing dynasty buildings surrounded by motorway and skyscrapers, colonial brick buildings alongside towers of glass. This is a city of height, retail and service companies aren't just at ground floor so those older buildings seem lucky to survive to be honest. 

Today we were also very touristy. Waking really early we headed out after 7am breakfast which is good and bad. The good is uncrowned trains and streets - security guards and street maintenance workers were all we encountered. The bad was everything closed. 
Oh and it rained again. First up we headed to Hong Kong Park - again Imogen we walked right by this last year, how did we miss it. I was determined to see some turtles so we did! And large goldfish and in the cracks of the pavement tiny tiny frogs - like 1cm long. 
We found a Gucci store for Rach (sent her pics already) in a beautiful mall that had these cool elephants and other artwork - really taking refuge from the rain and given it was 8:30am there was nobody there of course. 

Then we finally got to PMQ, was on my to do list last time but we ran out of time. Awesome place but all closed sadly. Is the former Police Married Quarters and now all artists and food stores. 
PMQ is located in Soho with eclectic architecture and vastly different stores like a Vera Wang shop beside an incense stall and a prison. We also got to see the rubbish sorting people digging recycling from black bags at the curb side. No shortage of workers in this city. 
Today (I must research why) there were women everywhere, in parks, on wide pavements, in overhead walkways, in tunnels. All sitting eating and some doing pedicures. When I say everywhere I mean it, hundreds if not thousands of women. Many Muslim but not all. We saw them when we took the escalators first then all day. 
The escalators are a 1-2 stories up means for walking in the steep parts of the city. 
It was still raining so we grabbed a tram East to North Point. The glass skyscrapers were quickly replaced with older concrete towers.
Here are some pics from the tram - without smells. Fascinating both how cars and people block the tracks all the time without caring, and the lack of refrigeration! 

Next we headed via train to the north east of the city where we visited Chi Lin Nunnery and the adjacent Nan Lian Gardens. Surrounded by a mall, motorways, apartment buildings this oasis in the city is lush, quiet and rich with ancient architecture. Glad we visited. It did get hot while there and the sun came out too. 

We headed back to the pool midafternoon before many hours of sport - Roland Garros and Catalunya MotoGP. 
Sad day with the death of Luis Salom in MotoGP practice yesterday. Happy however with Vale winning - yes we should have been there. 
Writing this as we watch Djokovic v Murray instead of doing work and preparing to leave for London tomorrow! 
I love how literal all of the signs are here. 

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