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Published: October 1st 2017
Geo: 22.2027, 113.541
Up at 4:20am; in line for check-in 10 minutes later. Had coffee but decided no time to go to lounge. Paul was upgraded but I wasn't, so we decided to stick together. Had empty seat next to me, so a bit more space. Pilot was very funny … "As in any society, because that's what we'll be for next three-and-a-half hours, a small society…".
Landed a little early in Hong Kong; took about 20 minutes to get through Immigration line – very long but fairly efficient. Bags were circling so quickly out to transportation. Decided it was just a little more to take cab, so we did that, rather than train, then cab. Arrived at Pas' hotel … As I waited at front desk, host came over to offer help. I said I was meeting my father who is staying at hotel … “Mr. Hartry?” he asked. Of course I was surprised and pleased. He rang Pas' room but no answer. Said he had just seem my dad 10-15 minutes ago, going out for a walk. Just then Pas reappeared, coming up the escalator. Host wanted to bring him to me, which was sweet. Host was incredibly helpful and friendly, just as he should be.
We left our bags in Pas' room, then went out to lunch at nearby pasta restaurant. Walked a bit first because it didn't open until noon, although they sat us a bit earlier, which was very nice of them. Good talk, good food.
Then walk along elevated walkways, and some streetside, eventually to IFC, where we found a very comfortable public space (which really looked like it must have belonged to an upscale eatery) and had an iced coffee.
Took the MRT back to hotel – lots of walking through tunnels but still very efficient. Got bags and cab to ferry terminal. Tickets were for 30 minutes after we arrived … had time to go through immigration, then downstairs to get stickers with our seat numbers on them. Were given 3 window seats in the front. A bit confusing about where to stand but some friendly Australian ex-pats helped us out.
Ferry crossing calm; took about an hour. Upon arrival, went through Immigration without much difficulty (2 minute wait, tops). Exiting, found shuttle to hotel – every hotel seems to offer a shuttle.
Checked in; very nice rooms; lovely appointments; Hermes toiletries (didn't know Hermes made soap).
Decided to walk to Senado Square. Loved the architecture along the main streets: black and white mosaics with fish and boat motifs; old Portuguese buildings; garish signs advertising in neon. Walked up to the ruins (they were not lit at night; disappointing); walking street was charming. Then had dinner at Macau-style café. Food was fine; atmosphere was nothing.
Walked to Gran Lisboa – really garish decorating (crystal linked chains hanging from massive marble Corinthian columns), but impressive art work – carvings out of ivory, jade, and gold. It was over the top but still amazing.
Next, to Wynn – lots of shops like Cartier, Chanel, a Ferrari store (where you could buy a Ferrari-shaped pram). Interior not really a lot to look at.
Then to MGM Grand. Walked through casino: all tables were very busy, even the high-roller tables. Lots of what we think is probably pai gow. Found atrium area, with fake Mediterranean-style square. Loved the white lights in the trees; not so sure about the gazebo with hydrangeas.
Ended with Wynn Encore. Saw giant fish tank with floating jellies (too bright). Also watched “Dragon of Fortune” display. Everyone throwing coins. Need to return another time to see “Tree of Prosperity.”
Walked back to our hotel through streets that were a little more tame, and lovely in a different light. Almost midnight when we arrive; to bed.
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