Sunday, May 22, 2016

MENU goes East - Cape Town, Dubai, Hong Kong, Kowloon

After all the last minute checks, an Uber took us to the MyCiti bus station
The Airport bus is always a very comfortable and cheap 25 minute ride which took us
to Cape Town airport to catch Emirates 773 to Dubai
(Business leaders fly LearJets; Pop groups have 747s)
a Boeing 777. Economy seats more cramped than on Turkish and Lynne's TV didn't work
Dubai airport. Huge and bustling at 1am local time and laughably expensive on an SA budget
with a 2 hour wait to board Emirates 382 Airbus A380 for Hong Kong
Immense. 10 seats wide with better space and more comfortable seats than the Boeing and really good, large TV screens. But we were so tired by then that we tried to sleep
The queue to get off. We were right at the back
and the bags take a while to unload in Hong Kong
Hong Kong airport has an underground train to take you from plane to immigration
Mr Chung. A friendly and very helpful introduction to a very friendly city
took a photo of John
Another, very comfortable, train took us to the Hong Kong central station. Expensive but fast
crossing the harbour from Kowloon to Hong Kong en route
The Hong Kong Underground is very like London's, but the lines are separated from the platform by a glass wall with automatic doors which match the doors on the train
and then another wait
for the free shuttle bus to our hotel
The Metro Park in Causeway Bay, which we reached 24 hours after we left home. Hong Kong time is 12 hours ahead of SA
The room is very comfortable and well-appointed and the service is very good
A visit to a local supermarket
which has excellent sushi, reduced in price late in the day but still fresh
and then a walk in light rain to look for supper
There was loads of street food but we couldn't get the ATMs to give us Hong Kong dollars from any of our cards, UK or SA and they don't take cards in the food stalls and smaller restaurants. Eventually we found a Western Union, changed some of our US dollars and queued for a take away dinner
too tired to sit down in the restaurant
Breakfast in the hotel
A huge choice of eggs - boiled, scrambled and fried, bacon, fried tomatoes
of Western and Eastern: sesame buns with sweet soybean paste, hash browns, waffles, maple syrup, even tomato ketchup
toast, bread, muffins,fresh fruit and yoghurt
Dim Sum, croissants and Pain au Chocolat, 
fruit, smoked salmon and ham
Kellogg's cereals, yoghurt, sliced roasted almonds, raisins, jack fruit, grape fruit, strawberries
pork and chicken sausages
noodles, different every day
Congee rice porridge, with and without pork. And good coffee freshly brewed, juices and hot chocolate
and a good view of Victoria Park through the large windows in the front of the hotel
Breakfast with Tiffany, our waitress

and a travesty: in a display, a bottle of Chateau Pichon-Longueville Comtesse Delalande 1997, standing up under lights and slowly dying. A sad end to one of the world's greatest wines. Apparently it's been there 10 years
The swimming pool on the 32nd floor with a view across the bay to Kowloon
and a long drop to the street (Lynne screaming in High anxiety)
We are next to Victoria Park which has great sporting facilities
Tennis is obviously very popular. We can see 32 courts from our room
Just past the Excelsior Hotel, the Conference Centre, where we will attend Vinexpo
the view across the harbour to Kowloon
Hong Kong is skyscraper city. Some of the buildings are very tall and very narrow and the flats are often tiny
Our 32 storey hotel gets lost behind the taller buildings
A very clean modern tube with no doors between carriages en route to the markets in Kowloon
This patisserie shop has a branch in every tube station
Kowloon is a mix of older apartment buildings and very modern offices. This is the old part of town
The ladies' market came first
where Lynne looked at a silk kimono, but decided that it was too heavy. You are expected to bargain. Start at half the offered price and end up in the middle
Beautiful silks and not that expensive. But are they real?
Lots of street food
and young people looking for lunch
Some of the dishes will be loved by fans of offal
and ducks and chickens everywhere - and not expensive
In the fish (pet  fish) market, many small shops, selling a wide variety of fish and aquariums like this. $HK2280 is R4560 . Might be worth copying?
Tiny exotic fish swimming in little bags
very pretty and, apparently, very good feng shui
crowded streets
A flower seller in what was a restaurant
Anyone for a quickie?
in the flower market
flowers and plants from all over the world
Beautiful orchids
and a walk to the bird market
Caged birds distress us
William Blake wrote 'A Robin Redbreast in a Cage Puts all Heaven in a Rage'
And Lynne wanted to set them all free
So we left quickly
Poor beautiful Macaws squawking up a racket
These white eyes are all over our garden at home
Back to our hotel view and more late afternoon drizzle
Sunset over Hong Kong. It is a beautiful city, growing so fast
Lynne was here 20 years ago and it is almost unrecognisable. Here it is by night, with the light shows in progress
Like a fairyland on stilts
Guests late night swimming as the air is warm and steamy. 25°C but 75% humidity
Next episode: 
MENU Goes East - Hong Kong, Victoria Peak, Dim Sum
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016
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