Thursday, May 28, 2009

Would you believe it? We were up very early Wednesday morning in Hong Kong in order to leave the hotel for the airport by 7:00 AM.....and found that the skies were opening in bits and pieces, allowing some sun to shine through!

I decided to capture some photos, sans rain and dark clouds, just before we left the hotel room. Isn't the above photo pretty? The sun's rays shone onto the waters of Victoria Harbour, and then "bounced" upward and onto the sides of the buildings to the west of our hotel.

The glass on the tall building that's in the final stages of construction in the southwestern section of Kowloon is reflecting early morning light that's also "bouncing" off the water.

Quick shot taken just before I stepped onto the escalator that would take Phil and me from the lobby of the Renaissance Harbour View to the first floor exit.
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On our drive to the Hong Kong Airport: glass building with aqua- and gold-colored mirrored glass..........

.....bridge span....intriguing.........

.....just a sample of the innumerable (huge!) public housing buildings.....

.....and a small mountain on the island next to the island occupied by the airport.
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Once we were finished with check-in, etc., at the Hong Kong Airport, Phil and I made our way to the United Red Carpet Club where we would get some breakfast and wait until time to go to our gate for boarding. It's a large, roomy club with lots of different rooms with seating in each. Phil is getting ready to tackle his Soduko! :-)

Concentrate, Phil! ha

Myrna/Mom/Aunt Myrna/Grandma :-)

The beautiful 747 "bird" that would fly us safely back to San Francisco, getting filled with the food items and additional cartage that would accompany all the luggage.
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Once we were in the sky after leaving Hong Kong, I just had to capture this photo of those huge GE engines and the wide span of wing on "my" side of the aircraft.....engines that would run consistently and one of two wings (I *think* there was one on the other side of the plane!) that would remain flexible (turbulence!) yet stretched outward (smooth sailing) for twelve hours straight, taking us back to our beloved country, the United States of America!

Engines, wing, clouds,'s all beautiful to me!

On a 3-class aircraft, a map is viewable at all times on individual video screens, showing the progress of the flight. Above photo: we were still near China.


After waking up Wednesday morning on *this* side the globe (after flying ten hours with about two hours left before landing at SFO), one final photo of a muted, opaque view of the atmosphere that extended eight miles beneath us.
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Phil and I arrived at SFO yesterday (Wednesday) morning, May 27th, and are once again happily resettled at the downtown San Jose Marriott. Above: the view from our room, facing directly north.
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Monday, May 25, 2009

Lovely park, Hong Kong

Phil and I will be leaving Hong Kong tomorrow (Wednesday), May 27th. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the photos I took in 2004 of places and sights we saw when we were here then, as most of them were taken when (Lo! and behold!) the sun was shining. We have not seen the sun whatsoever while here on this trip.....but we've still enjoyed our time here immensely.

I'm especially thankful for the relaxation Phil has enjoyed this trip...especially the chance to play Sudoku as much as he wants (he loves that puzzle!). He also feels that he's been very productive with some work projects....he's been able to work without ANY interruptions, which is not the case when he's at his work place on engagements. :-)

(World renowned) Jumbo Floating Restaurant by day...and before we had dinner there. I ordered fried shrimp there...but much to my dismay, the shrimp on my plate had *eyes* and I felt they were looking at me! Phil "saved the day," and had my dinner while letting me eat his!

Leaving Jumbo at night after dinner

Street sign, Kowloon
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Apartment building, Kowloon

Building with bamboo scaffolding

Dramatic contrasts

Street of Kowloon
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Double-decker buses, Hong Kong

More double-decker buses

Marriott where we stayed in 2004

Tailor where Phil had a custom suit, sports jacket with two pairs of pants, as well as a shirt made...all done in two days' time.
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Sunday, May 24, 2009

First floor, Central Plaza, Hong Kong
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You will recall that in my previous blog post yesterday, I indicated that it is raining here in Hong a matter of fact (and according to all the weather reports), the skies will have been filled with brooding, moisture-laden clouds our entire stay. (BTW....we leave this coming Wednesday at 11:45 AM, fly 13.5 hours, and land in San Francisco the same day @ 8:50 AM!!)

In contrast, it was sunny most of the time during our September 2004 visit. We really don't mind the fact that it's cloudy because we've thoroughly enjoyed relaxing in our hotel room; also, as long as the sun isn't shining and is hidden by clouds as it has been since we arrived, it's not nearly as hot outside. It's still humid........but not nearly as hot. :-)

Yesterday, I mentioned the covered, above-ground walkways (they're all about at the 2nd floor level) that link buildings together and provide protection from the rain. You can see Phil in the photo above on one just such walkway. We decided to get out yesterday and snoop about in some stores and, as always, I took my small Olympus camera with me.

So many of the buildings are magnificent marble structures, and the walkways are also marble. We were standing on one walkway, and I took a picture of another walkway which can be seen in the center above.

I thought the flamingo-colored building above was so pretty...but if you enlarge the photo (by clicking on it), you'll see behind it and in the very center of the photo a typical apartment building. It's amazing to see the mixture of buildings here...a glorious marble office building right next to a sad-of-state apartment building. To quote our taxi driver, everybody in Hong Kong "but the rich people" lives in an apartment. As a matter of fact, he volunteered that he and his wife and two children live in 200 square feet.

Many of the huge buildings in Hong Kong are beautifully lit at night; as a matter of fact, the structure with a green top in the above photo is a very large building on which the colors change and migrate all night long. Another example of Myrna playing with her camera!
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View from our hotel window -- some very British reminders to look before walking (for those of us who live in a country where we drive on the "right" side of the road). :-)

Streets of Hong Kong (taken from a covered walkway over the street).

Another Hong Kong street scene, taken from another covered walkway.
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When we were here in 2004, we were amazed at the way bamboo is used for all the scaffolding around buildings instead of steel structures. You can see that the building in the photo above is surrounded by bamboo scaffolding. In the photo below, there is a supply of bamboo lying in huge bundles on the concrete, ready to be used.

Bamboo scaffolding...apartment building

Our hotel this visit: Marriott's Renaissance Harbor View
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