Yesterday we played tourists, with Frank and his family as terrific guides. We grabbed a bite at a gigantic mall before meeting them. Hot lemon tea is a favorite here and Heidi loves it. There was an ice skating rink in the middle of the mall and David noted that the lighting selections were one of the few brands of stage lighting NOT made in Asia, but rather manufactured State side.
Our first tour stop was a Taoist temple - lots of richly decorated roofs, and people wafting incense. Beautiful gardens, too. I'm blown away by the gorgeous green space in this city. Trees and flowers are tucked in all over the place. Hong Kong is also amazingly clean and it is probably the easiest place to find a clean bathroom of any large city we've visited. Also, the subway is simple to navigate and when it stops, it doesn't sling you around the car. There are “quiet cars” too. We wished we had used the subway from the airport instead of the hotel service - it would have been much faster and immensely cheaper.
Next stop was a lot of fun - riding a double decker electric tram. The trams are quite skinny and the system is 100 years old. We sat in the top level and had a great mini tour of Hong Kong shopping districts. Side streets were walking street markets, and the avenues where we traveled were full of pedestrians, double decker buses, the trams, taxis and nice cars. Cost for a tram ride was about 25 cents.
Our next stop was another tram, this one counter balanced on steel cable with another tram, pulling each other up and back from The Peak at about a 45 degree angle. Steep and very neat. The view from The Peak was intense to say the least.
And, the building you go through to get to the observatory is quite an architectural treat as well, and like much of what we have seen of Hong Kong, FULL of escalators. One high point for us South Carolinians was the Bubba Gump shrimp restaurant, where we paused with many other tourists for photos.
After the tram, we headed to the university where Frank is a professor and dined in their club house. Very yummy food and desserts, including sushi with strongly flavored wasabi. We talked about adoption, and teaching and kids. Frank informed us that our son will likely not have had ANY English. This was not terribly encouraging, so we are glad to have friends at home that will help him once we get back.
Sarah decided to spend the night with her new friends Sarah and Esther, so David and I hopped back on the subway to our hotel, where we then Skyped with Zion and Mom, then crashed for the night, which both of our knees really needed by then.