Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hong Kong

Good morning from Hong Kong. It's around 4am here and we are both up again in the early hours for the second night since arriving here. Our body clocks are still on Europe time and we've been wide awake since around 3am.....the joys of travelling!
We are staying at the Salisbury YMCA (stop singing!, and yes it is called the YMCA) which is right near Hong Kong harbour. When we arrived we were told that the hotel had been overbooked so they'd given us an upgrade. Thanks - look at that view!!! The quality of this photo isn't so great as it's through the window of our suite but you get the to speak!!!
Last night we sat with glasses of wine in hand and watched the nightly light show - pure decadence, and yep it was pretty spectacular.  
 During our early morning risings we've been watching the goings on across the road. It's a luxury shopping mall called 1881 Heritage (which is the old Marine Police headquarters - lovely old buildings) and they are going all out with their Xmas decorations. The decorating has been happening under cover of night and covered up during the day in purple wrappings. Hope they don't read this 'cause I've just spoiled the surprise...! There are millions of fairy lights across hedges and up trees and two huge bells complete with cherubs, and a big Xmas tree. There have been dozens of men with trucks and cranes working away like busy little ants for the big reveal.
 Good morning Hong Kong - James in his finest!
 Yesterday we walked around Kowloon and popped into shops, camera stores (uh oh! so much camera gear here!) and markets. There are some interesting sights. Hong Kong is such a full on city - it never stops. So many people, so many neon signs, so much traffic - fun!
 We hopped on the MTR to get through town.
 Night markets. I love those places - the sights, the noise, the sounds, the smell....
 Nathan Road - so much neon in one place.
 Washing drying from buildings everywhere, and so many air conditioners. Half of the world's air conditioners are in Hong Kong - the other half are in Dubai!! If you're an air conditioner mechanic you'd never be out of work in these cities!
 More shopping...

 Scaffolding asian style. We've seen this before but it always amazes me that bamboo is the material used for scaffolding in asian countries - and not just for small buildings. They build skyscrapers with this stuff!
So tonight is our final night here in Hong Kong and the last night of our trip before we hop on another plane and head for home. Paris and Ireland seem such a long time ago, but it's also gone so quickly. 
As always, we know that we are truly lucky to be able to travel the world and see such wonderful places and meet so many friendly and generous people along the way. 
We also know how lucky we are to have everything and everyone at home, and at this time in our travels we are always getting quite homesick and eager to see those we love and be back in familiar surroundings.
Thanks so much for following us on our journey here, as well as on Instagram and Facebook. We love getting your comments and hearing from you when we are so far away from home. Makes the homesickness a little less!
Looking forward to seeing everyone very soon.
Until our next journey, love to all.
Kerrie and James xx

Sunday, November 3, 2013

In Dublin Fair City.....

Hello from Dublin. We've been here for three days now and have been exploring this very cosmopolitan city. Yesterday we did a walking tour with a history graduate from Trinity College which was a great way to see the sights and gain some knowledge of Irish history. And very entertaining as well - highly recommend if you are coming to Dublin.
 We started in Trinity College where it was raining....really?! It's been wet the last few days - they tell me this isn't normal! 
 We meandered around the streets and saw Old Parliament House, Temple Bar area, Dublin Castle, Town Hall and lots in between - all smattered with Irish history and interesting tidbits along the way. As it was Saturday morning there were small markets in various spots - James bought a kebab with horse meat at one of them....yep that's right, horse meat. Tasty too!
And did you know they like potatoes here in Ireland? Seventeen different varieties in every shop - true! 
 The previous day we went to see the Book of Kells - amazing. And this place - Wow! It's called The Long Room. Shelves and shelves of precious old books and manuscripts. Classical music playing, lovely smell, I could have stayed there all day and just looked. It's a working library, although you do have to make an appointment to use it - who wouldn't?!
 Our guide yesterday told us that George Lucas modelled the Jedi library in Star Wars on the Long Room - look it up, it's true.
 Yesterday afternoon the weather turned very cold and nasty so we walked back through St. Stephen's Green to out hotel. These lovely swans were being fed by a little asian girl and her family. There were both parents and eight young swans almost fully grown - they're called Mute Swans (they weren't...mute that is). Plus lots of other water birds with them.

Our time in Ireland has almost come to an end - it's our last day today. This really is a gorgeous country with very friendly and welcoming people. We had the most lovely talk with our taxi driver coming to the hotel - who couldn't understand why we would leave our lovely weather to come here!
Tomorrow we begin our journey home via an overnight stop in Paris and a few nights in Hong Kong. Thanks for keeping up with us here and on Facebook and Instagram. It's lovely to hear from you all - technology really does make the world a smaller place.
Love to all - see you soon. xx