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Published: June 19th 2019
A bit of a delay in writing this blog as we were busy sorting out a few challenges - which I'll outline later - but let me first try to catch up on Hong Kong.
In Hong Kong on day two we decided to just take it easy to get used to the heat and the time zone difference, so we set ourselves an easy goal of trying to find the place we used to eat our lunch at 10 years ago.
The thing I love about Hong Kong is that the public transportation system is so easy to follow. The tram ran straight in front of our hotel and were really frequent. Hop on at the back and beep your octopus card at the front when you are stepping off. We sat upstairs where Senan enjoyed looking out the window, with a cool breeze in his face.
We didn't quite find the old lunch spot but we did stumble upon a local playground. Nothing makes a two year old happier than finding a playground. It was a great reminder of the importance of enjoying the simpler things in life! Despite the heat, he merrily ran about, up
and down the slide, until we had to drag him away to go get lunch in a nearby mall.
After lunch and a pitstop for naptime (for everyone after a very broken night's sleep!) we wandered over to Victoria Park to look at the small speed boats in the pool and to find yet another playground for Senan. Once Senan had had his fill of the slides and interacting with the local kids (so cute!) we walked towards the river and enjoyed watching the sun set over the boats, enjoying its reflection on the skyscrapers. Continuing our walk on foot, we took some random streets before finally getting our bearings and making our way to Times Square, eating in a nice restaurant in the Food Forum there.
Upon arrival back at the hotel we realised that our safe was no longer working - with all our travel documents inside! Doing a quick risk/reward assessment that the duty manager was unlikely to be able to do much about it at 10pm, we favoured getting Senan to sleep and decided it was a problem for the morning! Senan indeed went to sleep. As did Philippe, briefly, however at 2 in the
morning Senan decided it was 'Wake Up Time'!! Jetlag really is a b***h, but after again reminding myself that this was to be expected and wolfing down an impromptu family picnic on our bed at 3am, we all eventually got a little shuteye before the alarm went for breakfast on our last full day in Hong Kong.
No Father's Day breakfast-in-bed for Philippe I'm afraid but the hotel did give him a much better gift in the form of his passport back! In fact we were positively surprised with how quickly the hotel management were able to break into our safe (and even replace it with a new one within 30minutes). It does make you wonder about how often this must happen for them to have such rapid response capabilities!
After deciding to go for a leisurely Sunday morning stroll to do some food shopping ahead the flight tomorrow, we soon realised that it was not an average Sunday morning in Hong Kong. The first hint was the very high police presence. The second was that the streets were rapidly filling with (young) people wearing black tshirts and carrying white flowers. We completed our shopping, grabbed some lunch
and joined the melee of people headed towards the park (and thus our hotel), quickly deciding to retreat to the hotel room to avoid getting caught up in any potential unpleasantness.
Our hotel room turned out to have an amazing view of the streets and the park as it swelled with people. Senan happily dozed to the dull repetition of the protest chants. It was a strange feeling to be here for what will likely turn out to be an important moment in Hong Kong history. Reports later claimed there were 1-1.5million people on the streets. That's the whole population of Dublin out on the streets!!
Sunday evening brought a brief walkabout to get some dinner before returning to do a repack of all the bags, as we were off to Japan the next day. After another woeful night of little sleep, the alarm at 730 was ignored. And again at 745. But by 800 we had run out of 'we just won't have breakfast' negotiation space, and so hauled ourselves out of bed to make our way to the airport. We poured a still sleeping(!) Senan into his clothes and into the buggy and pulled on all
the various bags/cases as we rapidly checked out and made our way on foot to the A11 bus stop around the corner.
An hour or so later we were checking in with Cathay Pacific again for the next leg of our trip. Although we still have fond memories of Hong Kong, it was primarily a pitstop before Japan to get our jet lag in order. I'm not sure if we've fully managed that, but it certainly turned out to be an interesting few days here.
Onwards to Kyoto!
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