Day 55 Feb 28 (Hong Kong day 1)

Got up at 6:30 AM Really! Barbara said the sail in would be worth it. I'm not as sure but it was a nice view and I did get some pics of the sunrise over a building (I think it actually beat me up but it first became visible over a short-for Hong Kong- building). I then had lots of time for breakfast on Lido before the 9:15 departure of my excursion.

The excursion was pretty good. We went to the Bird Market. This is a street where people not only sell birds and cages but many people also bring their birds in covered cages and hang them up near other birds for socializing. The singing is pretty impressive and perhaps the birds really do enjoy being taken for a walk. Or maybe it is just an excuse for their owners to get out of the house and share time with each other. Perhaps both....

Next, and right around the corner, is the Flower Market. Amazing array of flowers. Shop after shop of flowers of many kinds. At least two good sized city blocks of stores selling flowers. Just walking here is a beautiful experience. Color and fragrance to the max!

Next to a tea shop. We were shown how the Chinese make tea and share it in tiny cups. They preheat the cups and the pot before actually brewing and pouring the tea. It does make a difference. I had read about this but it was more meaningful to see the care with which they go through the steps.

We travelled to Hong Kong Island via the tunnel and went to the Finicula at the base of Victoria Peak. (You have seen this in at least one James Bond movie I'm sure.) At the top we went up several floors to the Deco Cafe, a restaurant, for lunch. I don't know what I ate. I did not eat everything but it was a cosmopolitan menu. We started with a quesadilla. That was good. I skipped the salmon thing. After that I tried the rest of the stuff but can't remember what it was. Mostly things I can't pronounce. This trip has really broadened my range of foods tasted. Most of the time I like the new ones.

After lunch we went to the Stanley Market. This is an amazing labyrinth of stalls in buildings in a neighborhood. I walked for over an hour and didn't cover all of it. It does remind one of the market in Juarez in many ways. Cleaner but just as colorful and with an amazing variety of things to buy. Hong Kong is the cleanest city I have seen in many years. The feeling here is just the opposite of that I had in Manilla. Our guide confirmed this later in the day when she encouraged us to feel safe going out in the evening to shop etc. She said it is a safe city. She did say there might be a pickpocket here or there but if we paid attention for that there was nothing to worry about. A very nice change. Sorry Manilla.

Back to the ship in time for dinner.

We watched the Hong Kong light show at 8 PM. There are lasers and colored lights as well as spotlights on many buildings and they turn on and off and dance around for about 10 or 15 minutes. Many of the lights were on Hong Kong Island and could be seen from our ship. We were told we would be able to hear the music too but couldn't. Too bad. The "show" was interesting but not as spectacular as many seen in Disney World and other places. The music was supposed to make it better so perhaps another time we'll get the full effect.

After changing some money for tomorrow and checking email I called it a night.

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