Hong Kong Whirl

Despite not having packed my case,
I spent the morning at Esther’s place,
Where, guided by our experienced mentor,
We budding writers, who number four,
Ate, drank, talked and laughed,
Our misunderstandings often quite daft.

Our driver, Ilan, carted luggage and all,
And talked all the way to the terminal,
Where we boarded our El Al 747,
Stomachs full of sushi heaven,
And sat in seats our boarding cards did show
Only to be told we’d got the wrong row!

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Eleven hours later we travellers three
Arrived in a thoroughly modern city.
Soon clutching train cards, money and SIMs,
On the Metro we dragged our weary limbs
To our hotel suite with a view that was lacking,
Though we found the inside to be quite cracking.

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Son promptly lay down and soon was out,
But the two of us needed to get out and about.
Along one long street we exercised our paws,
Amazed to  see so many jewellery stores.
At the end we reached the view we did seek:
Over water to the island and Victoria Peak.

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Next day we walked on an island called Lamma
In temperatures that felt almost like summer.
Lamma for us means why, oh why
Do we climb up and up and up so high,
Only to get to the top and descend
Once again to reach the end?

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Every day, without fail,
We walked along another trail
Dragon’s Back and Maclehose
And Hong Kong are some of those.
The amazing views from Victoria Peak
And Lantau Island are unique.

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Each evening we ate with a new ambience:
From Italy, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and France.
The hotel breakfasts, laid out as buffet,
Gave us plenty of choice every day.
The food on the plane, on the other hand,
Was aeroplane food, okay but bland.

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On the last day, we visited Kowloon Park
Before we really had to embark
On a journey that took us all the way back
To the place where our cases we could unpack.
Not London, Paris, Madrid or Rome,
But Jerusalem — home sweet home.

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Welcome Back! (From our plum tree)

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I should have known. When D and I go away together, we go walking. Hiking. Along undulating country paths, and boy do they undulate in Hong Kong.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy walking. I enjoy the views and the country air and the exercise. Much better than the crowds and the pollution of the city. It’s just that sometimes, when D has sprinted to the top of a steep hill and I’m still struggling at the bottom, I feel a bit deflated. But when I finally reach the top, my high spirits return.

Sai Wan Shan

Sai Wan Shan

And some of the time we worried about the threatened thunderstorms. We experienced one of those on our first evening – from inside an underground train station. It certainly wouldn’t be pleasant to be caught in one of those with no protection around, but fortunately we weren’t.

We saw some magnificent views, but the one that interested me the most shows the countryside and the city on a misty day.

Shek O National Park

Shek O National Park

Shek O National Park

Shek O National Park

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We walked through a fishing village with ramshackle houses and TV aerials and air conditioning.

Tao O fishing village

Tao O fishing village

We were fascinated by the myriad of fish shops, but didn’t feel tempted to buy any. We passed restaurants full of people eating tasty-looking meals, but were put off by Chinese-only menus and waiters who didn’t speak English. We felt more comfortable eating in the city, where English is spoken and written.

Back in the city, we marvelled at Kowloon Park with its birds, waterfalls, heritage museum, totem pole,

Flamingos in Kowloon Park

Flamingos in Kowloon Park

Totem Pole in Kowloon Park

Totem Pole in Kowloon Park

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and much more. We enjoyed watching groups of little children in their colourful raincoats.

Kowloon Park

Kowloon Park

And there was more climbing in the form of steps leading to the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, which deserves a post of its own.

Chinese White Dolphins

Chinese White Dolphins