Our cruise around the world

Trip Start Jan 04, 2013
Trip End May 01, 2013

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

We arrived in Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region People's Republic of China on the 65th day of our world cruise. Hong Kong was nothing but a barren island when the British took over 156 years ago, now standing here among all the skyscrapers it is difficult to imagine those humble beginnings with its headlong dash towards ever greater prosperity. This relatively small area only 422 square miles comprises Hong Kong Island, Kawloon and the New Territories and another island called Lantau which is the largest in size.

The glue that holds all these places together is the Star Ferry System where you can jump on the ferry and go from the closest to the furthest point any time any hour of the day for 32 cents and it is free for senior citizens but you first have to get an octopus card which we didn’t bother to do. Once on any island the public transportation is excellent and affordable. The last time I was here I did what most people do, buy a custom made suit, and this trip was no exception. Then we went to Stanley Market for a quick shopping spree. Our table mates the Wesps left the ship today to head home, they signed up for half the voyage and will do the rest next year. They will be missed for John’s antics and Kathy’s flexibility. We all wish them a safe trip home.

Today after putting out the blog we took a self guided bus tour of Hong Kong Island on a double-decker bus. Your prospective of this city is so different and a little scary to see how the driver maneuvers this very larger vehicle through the streets and byways of this crowed city. We took a few pictures and hope they do justice to the skyscrapers and skywalks all over the city.

At dinner we met our new table mates a single woman named Margaret who lived most of her life in Montana, but now lives outside Denver. The other couple is from Capetown, South Africa and they live on the slope to table mountain. Neither has ever gone around the world and they feel it would be too long for them, but we all told them they would get used to it. There was the light and sound show again this evening and unfortunately there was a misty night, causing the laser lights to not project as far or as straight as usual, but still beautiful to see with all the skyscrapers lit up and the flashing lasers slicing through the sky. In conjunction with the lights there is a musical interlude and the ever crossing of the Star ferries all at the same time making Victoria harbor look like interstate 95.

Our last day we went to the Art Museum where they were having an Andy Warhol exposition and we got to see some of the contemporary Chinese artists. On the street going there we met an elderly couple and gave them directions to the Peninsular Hotel a landmark Honk Kong hotel where they were going for lunch. We didn’t see them for dinner tonight and I hope everything is alright with them.

Tomorrow is a sea day and another formal dinner, we can also start going to the gym again, because since Hong Kong we have missed our daily gym date. Won’t take long to gain weight eating the ships fare without a lot of exercise, we never take the elevators and walk everywhere we can besides going to the gym almost daily.

Today our toilet didn’t flush again, we have been having an almost daily problem which they came and fix it, only for the problem to develop all over again. They had offered us another room, but we declined because of all the packing and unpacking that we would have to do. Today we had enough of no flush, delayed flush, overflows and backups so we decided to bite the bullet and move; now we are sorry we didn’t do it earlier because this time the ship is almost totally full and we had to go to a lower deck and close to the bow of the ship. Any way it’s done and hopefully we’ll be happy here for the rest of the voyage.

We have another sea day and then we dock at NHA TRANG, Vietnam along the South east coast. As we were docking I looked out our window and saw what I thought were electrical wires going across our bow and very low. When we left the ship to go on our tour I discovered that the wires carried a cable car across from the mainland to an island about 2 miles away. There are a number of resorts on the island that the locals visit. Our bus was a fairly roomy Hyundai, never saw one before. We traveled through very crowded streets and it helped to close your eyes rather than jump every time we had a near miss. The highlight of the tour was a visit to a school where the children couldn’t get enough of hi fiving everyone, and pulling the hair on my arms since most Vietnam man are hairless. Then they sang for us and wanted us to toss them up time and time again before we could go on our way. They took us to where they grew rice and explained about the up coming harvest, close by was a Catholic church. Vietnamese are mainly Buddhist with a strong Hindu background; there are also a number of Christians but no Muslins. Their embroidery was stunning with pieces looking like paintings rather than hand done needle work. They took us to a country home and were given some tea and fruit. And were told about the Vietnamese family and how many generations live in the same home in this very much male oriented society. Arriving back at the dock there was a sea of kiosk selling just about anything you could want. A number of Vietnamese Vets would not leave the ship because of what the Vietcong did to their friends during the war.

Our speaker series continues with a gentleman who is comparing the economy of China and India, a very interesting subject in today’s world. We have to change the time again but not till 2PM when it magically becomes 3PM.
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Marlene on

You do take great pictures.............love them

George & Opal on

Beautiful pictures! Sounds like a great time even with the toilet difficulties!!

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