Hong Kong (1 year later) and Wrap Up

And then before we knew it, we were back in Hong Kong. One year less a couple of days later, it didn’t seem much different (you may recognize the market photo similar to last years shot!). But this time we had a much more refreshed view of the city and spent 2 nights there also.

We had arrived mid day and spent the first day getting settled, doing a bit of shopping and met up with Simon. We had booked in at the Eaton Hotel in an executive package which gave us free access to the executive lounge – with cocktails, free internet (wireless or their computers), snacks, gourmet breakfast buffet and more. And to top it off, our room was upgraded too!

So after a bit of luxury and shopping, we met Simon for dinner and had a much more congnizant visit this time around. It was great to catch up on how his life had changed in the past year and to recap our experiences.

The next day was reserved for Hong Kong site seeing. We took the MTR (the rail system in Hong Kong is flawless) to catch the gondola cable car to Lantau Island to see the Po Lin Monastery and Tian Tan Buddha. While we knew the cable ride was going to be interesting, it was much more impressive than we had anticipated. It was a half hour ride over water and secluded mountainside for over 5 1/2 km.

At the top is the Po Lin Monastery and the giant Buddha. We had a wonderful vegetarian lunch at the monestary (thanks again to Simon for his suggestions!), and spent lots of time exploring the Buddha.

The bus ride back down was quite time consuming and a little hairy given the single lane journey over twisting mountainside for much of it (they are widening the road) – we would recommend taking the gondola back down also!!

And still wanting to collect a few more items, we headed back and I did a bit of last minute shopping while Mike & Kyle hit the computers. We had one last dinner out (again one of Simon’s recommendations) – at a restaurant where one of the Iron Chef’s resided! As expected, it was another great meal.

In the morning we had a relaxing breakfast at the Eaton Hotel enjoying the smoked salmon, French pastries, fresh fruit and more on the buffet. And after a final leisurely shower and final packing, we were off home.

And that’s what a year on teaching exchange to Australia was like for us. We hope you’ve enjoyed sharing our journey – we’ve certainly enjoyed sharing it with you. Thanks to everyone who signed our journal and sent us emails – it was great to hear from you. And it’s great to be back seeing so many of you now. Although we do miss all the friends we have left behind. Stay in touch!

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

Well as should have been expected, I have had no opportunity to update prior posts with text, and the missing days are just that at this point. Mike has not yet worked on his Hong Kong photos, but we had a wonderful reunion dinner with Simon (one year later!). And we spent yesterday touring the city – the tram ride up to the Giant Buddha was incredibly long and quite an experience. And the Buddha and other sites atop were equally impressive. And of course a bit more last minute shopping.

But, we are on our way up to our room for our final pack here at the Eaton Hotel in Hong Kong. My current intentions are to fill in the gaps upon our return home (although our ‘to do’ list once we get back continues to grow).

Our flight leaves this afternoon – and that is our year away from Canada on it’s last leg. We’ll be back in our own beds tonight (taking into account that we cross the international date line and repeat today – so it’s one VERY long day!). And at some point during our trip, our plane will cross paths with Theresa who returns home to Australia from Canada simultaneously. Unfortunately we won’t get to meet again at the end of the year, but we are glad that we met at the start at least.

To everyone on the Canadian end of this blog – it will be great to see you all soon! And to everyone on our travels, thanks once again for your more overwhelming hospitality.

If we have learnt anything over this year, it is that despite all our differences, people everywhere are all ‘good souls’ and we have much more in common than could ever be imagined.

Day in HK – Jan 2007

Its 11:20pm HK time and we have just spent a wonderful day with our host Simon. We have been up for 48 hours straight now so we are a little like walking zombies. Should be boarding our plane for Perth soon.