Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Our 115 day world Cruise, day 67, Hong Kong!

Today was a great day!  We had a wonderful lunch and the world got a new Pope!  The Pope is the same age as Irwin and they both look pretty darned good!

Today we reversed the order of our morning.  First we went to Curves and then to Starbucks.  We had a nice visit and everyone was waiting for the white smoke to announce the election of the new Pope.

Meanwhile all the people on the Amsterdam were enjoying another wonderful day in Hong Kong!  Jeff was able to take more beautiful photos even though he spent quite a bit of time at the Apple Store. lol!  It sounds like Jeff knows his way around this spectacular city.

After coffee we stopped by the mall and then went to Scottsdale to meet Tessa for lunch.  Tessa is Vicki's niece.

On the way to the restaurant we passed children playing in the fountains!  The temperature hit 90 so the kids were going crazy!

     Here we are at True Food Kitchen!  This is without a doubt my most favorite place to eat...even if it is healthy! lol!                                                

                                                           Let's toast the new Pope, FrancisI                              
       They elected a new Pope!  He is Italian and is from Argentina !                           
                               I think I am going to enjoy living here!  This weather is wonderful!               

Where we did not go today....but the Amsterdam did!

ong, Day 2 March 12, 2013 Tuesday

Day two found us on another hike to see the local Kowloon sites. Walking up Nathan Road is a feat in itself, dodging scores of Chinese folks on their way to work, school, or shopping like us. Whatever direction we seem to be going, it is like salmon going upstream in a river of rapids. Deliveries to stores come by trucks, bikes, or carts. The fellows pushing these loaded carts simply put their heads down and go full speed ahead regardless of who is coming. They know everyone will clear out of their way in time.

It was a long haul to reach our destination of the Flower and Bird Markets. We took our time, because we had plenty of it. The ship was overnight once again, and we would not be leaving until tomorrow afternoon. Window shopping is interesting along Nathan Road. That is where the high-end jewelry stores are on every block. The displays glow with the 24 karat gold jewelry and knick-knacks galore. We often wonder who buys all this finery,since there are seldom many people in those stores that we have seen. Diamonds and jade are the big items here, also considered very lucky.

We easily found the Flower Market, which is one full block of small shops that sell everything one might need in a home garden as well as houseplants. With all the apartments, small plants are all that can fit in these accommodations. Few people have balconies for anything larger like trees. They also have to leave room for the laundry, because you see that hanging from every floor of all the highrises.

It did not take long for us to find a couple of small air orchid plants that we could hang in our window space, even though only one shop was selling them. Cut flowers were sold at every store. Roses are at a premium, each one costing several dollars. We did get a good buy with a bouquet of long-stemmed pinks, small carnations. Bundled tightly, we did not realize that we had bought over 100 of them. Most of the flowers had tight buds that would open in time, so maybe they will last for a few weeks or more.

Across the street from the Flower Market is the Bird Market. Specifically, the name is Yuen Po Street Bird Garden, and was created by a local urban renewal authority back in 1997. This area had a bird market previously, but it was scheduled for demolition. They realized that it was an attraction for locals and tourists, so saved it. So now there is leisure facilities as well as 70 bird stalls where bird traders continue their business. They also sell everything for these parrots, myahs, songbirds, and canaries such as seed and live crickets. The cages are unique too. We have bought a couple of them, but have put fake birds in them at home. It is not unusual to see the local retirees bring their caged songbirds to this market for their birds to sing to each other, or learn new songs. It's also a nice place to relax, if you don't mind getting a little bird seed sprinkled on your head. On our way out, we found some small ceramic birds on wires and decided they would add some color to our windowsill garden. The price was right.......the equivalent of 50 cents each.

Going back downhill, we located the Ladies Market, another outdoor stall-infused street with vendors selling clothing, jewelry, shoes, kids clothes, and stuff. We were looking for stuff, such as a good umbrella. We could not find one yesterday at the Night Market, since they sell more electronics instead of useful things. At the first stall, we found that umbrella and added one more fabric grocery bag to the four we have. It was a good way to get rid of the few coins we had accumulated.

We figured it was too late to go out to lunch as we had planned, because we did not get back to the ship until 4pm. It was easier to pick up a few slices of pizza from the Lido Grill, and better yet, because it is being served from behind the counter. When we get new guests, all the food is served by the staff to limit our chances of getting the dreaded virus. As far as we know, it has been successful in keeping us healthy. 

At dinner, there were only three of us. Martha had come back to the table, and since her husband has not joined us yet, she is on her own for a few more days until we reach Singapore. All of us had the perfect seats to watch the laser light show on the buildings on Hong Kong Island, directly across the harbor from Kowloon. This happens every evening at 8pm, and is co-ordinated with music from the Avenue of the Stars. Of course, we could not hear that music, but enjoyed the lights anyway.

There was one show for everyone at 9:30pm in the Queens Lounge......Hong Kong Cultural Arts Show. It featured two lady musicians playing Chinese string instruments, lion dragon dancers, ribbon dancers, and a mask-changing artist. He was the best, because we could not detect when or how he switched masks in seconds while dancing in circles. We have to admit, we did not attend this performance, but did watch it on TV, which was more convenient for us.

Staying one more day, a short one tomorrow, since all aboard time is 3pm.

Bill & Mary Ann

 Hong Kong

I had a pretty low key day…..   I was just going to take the ferry over to Hong Kong and go to the Apple Store for some updates and visit the markets.  It all went as planned, spent quite a bit of time in the Apple Store doing updates to my iPad, iPod and my iPhone.  Then I headed over to the markets, always a fun time….  I came back to Kowloon in the afternoon and walked up Nathan Road checking out the people and the shops until later in the afternoon when I went back to Admand Optical and got my new sunglasses from Thomas….  Very nice.  It was a great visit to Hong Kong, can’t wait until I return.

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