Hello, Ella! We miss you and love you! (Yes…I got in trouble on the last post for not mentioning her until the end of the post. Oops! Apparently someone is feeling left out.)
On Saturday morning, we met up with Matthew and two other families with our agency. They are both from Colorado. We enjoyed their company and will see them again in a week in Guangzhou.
Like I mentioned yesterday, Hong Kong is very different from the rest of China. Because it was under British control for so long (until 1997), the ways of the city are very different from the rest of China. Everything from transportation to the people to the shops/restaurants have a different feel. As overpopulated as Hong Kong is, you wouldn’t expect much green space, but there’s an amazing amount. There is a hill/mountain right beside our hotel. Matthew said the policy here is 40% green. The sights and smells are not as “Chinese” as everywhere else in China we have been. I so expected Sophia to be in culture shock, but she has not been at all. As a matter of fact, she has been highly confident here. We have to remind her to stay with us. She spent most of her time yesterday with Matthew leading the group and sat in the front seat of the bus. She is taking it all in.
We started the day yesterday by going to Victoria Peak (as in Queen Victoria). It’s the highest point in Hong Kong, and we had a great view of the city. We’ve been under a typhoon warning, so it’s hazy.
Next, we went to Aberdeen Harbour and took a boat ride. It was really fun.
The harbour was so interesting. We saw lots and lots of small fishing boats with people who have nothing, and they were working hard. Then we saw lots and lots of very expensive yachts with workers polishing them. It was a stark difference.
This is the Jumbo Floating Restaurant in the harbour. It looked really cool, but Matthew didn’t recommend we eat there. He said the food is “so, so”, but if you see the kitchen you say, “no, no”. Enough said. Tim swears there is a picture of this restaurant in one of the Chinese restaurants in Bardstown.
Our next stop was a jewelry factory. This was a high quality factory/store. Matthew told us that it’s where he purchased his wife’s engagement ring. We enjoyed watching them make jewelry, but the last spot to stop was the showroom. Let’s just say that the sales ladies quickly realized that Sophia has a love for jewelry. I guess that they thought that Tim and I would be suckers and buy her something. They started putting piece after piece on her saying, “Show your mother. Doesn’t this look beautiful?” At times, more than one person at a time was putting jewelry on her. All the while, she’s grinning from ear to ear. Every time I would take the jewelry off and walk away, they would follow us and put more on her. Let’s just say I was thrilled to leave!
Our last stop on the tour was the Stanley Market Place. It’s in Stanley Harbour on the South China Sea. We had lunch at a nice little French cafe and then walked down to the shore. Tim and Sophia climbed some rocks for a chance to touch the South China Sea. After that, we walked the market place. Matthew suggested we not buy anything because it’s just one more thing to haul all over China and most of those items would be for sale in Guangzhou. Made sense to me. Sophia on the other hand, had difficulty with the idea of not purchasing anything. She wanted one of everything she saw and could not keep from touching everything. She will wear us out in Guangzhou, I’m sure! I’ll refrain from posting pictures of her shopping adventures as she wants to do a post on this. 🙂
After our Hong Kong tour, we rested in the hotel. It was so hard to wake up from the nap, but necessary. Sophia did some swimming and then we went out geocaching and looking around. We went through a really neat art park full of sculptures and then checked out a mall. Unbelievably large and extremely crowded. On the way back to the hotel, we saw a game of pick up soccer. On concrete, no shin guards, very interesting. All in all, a great day!