The Banks - Half a World Away travel blog


For such a long journey it all went remarkably smoothly.

OK, so I set the alarms off at Heathrow, and had a fun time being screened before we concluded it was probably my necklace (where did it say take your necklace off?). The nice lady even cleaned my shoes with a swab thing, but it came back Cherry Blossom not nitroglycerine so we were good to go.

12 hours is a VERY long time to be sat in one seat pretending to be asleep, that's all I am going to say. Serving breakfast does very little to convince the shattered tail-bones that night is over.

Having got reunited with our luggage successfully, we then had to leave it behind in the airport for the transfer people; it was quite disconcerting to find they were bringing the people to the hotel in one coach, and sending a "cart" later for the cases. However it was in fact all very efficient, and after a reviving cup of tea, and the arrival of all our worldly goods, we set out into HK to explore and find some food.

We walked about a mile down one of the main shopping streets - then accidentally walked about half a mile too far on the way back and managed to get lost, missed our turning completely. Even at 10.30pm the shops were all open and busy; we were accosted about 50 times by vendors anxious to interest us in watches, handbags (J), tailors (me?!), jewellery.....but we found a lovely local cafe which kept us going.

PS Breakfast at the hotel on Weds was hilarious and we hope not a portent of things to come on the cruise proper. The Great British Over-A-Certain-Age Abroad - wherever you are in the world, what you want for breakfast is obviously bacon and a fried egg between two slices of toast, and you are prepared to pretty much elbow everyone else out of the way in 2 separate queues to get one....despite a substantial but perhaps more local spread on offer - steamed broccoli for breakfast anyone? or a chicken doughnut?

Saddest were the 2 or 3 couples sat in the hotel bar/lounge after breakfast with a jug of coffee: "No, we're not going out, we've been to HK before".

I don't think you could say you had "done" HK if you lived here for a year......



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