10:00am Monday, April 14/14: M/V Celebrity Millennium
Position: 23deg 23’ 06” N; 117deg29’E
I love waking to a sea day with a bit of pitch and roll under my feet and the creak of a ship’s “rigging” groaning in the wind. We are aboard the Millennium just entering the Taiwan Strait from the South China Sea, cruising at 15kts on a bearing of 43deg. The seas are moderate, 3m, and the winds are 30kts (56kmh). We are due to dock in the first port on this cruise portion of our Asian Adventure, Keelung,Taiwan, the port city for Taipei, at 7am Tuesday. It is great to be at sea again!
Now you know where we are and where we are going, but just where have we been? Hong Kong – a city that truly needed much more time than the scant 24 hours we had. A little blitzed from a 15 hour flight from Toronto, we checked into the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Saturday afternoon, and what a lovely treat it was to stay here.
Within an hour of arriving, we were brought a “Welcoming Tea” which Schwartz eagerly embraced. The soothing Jasmine brew revived us all.
We headed out into the streets of Kowloon and Tsim Sha Tsui. Jewellery stores and medicine shops galore populate Nathan Road, along with just about anything else your heart might desire, and then some. Coming around the 1881 Heritage park we made our way to the waterfront for the Symphony of Lights. Spectacular is not the word for this laser light show, but given the admission fee – free – well it was entertaining in its own way. A word to the wise: if 24 hours is all you have, don’t go out of your way to include this show.
We ambled back to Nathan Road and on up to the Temple Street Night Market. For a moment I thought we’d been transported to the set of ‘Blade Runner’ except it wasn’t raining; just a very warm humid night. We were really looking for somewhere to eat, preferably a place that looked like it would pass a health inspection. The Night Market is truly a fascinating stroll and we did finally come upon the Shamrock Seafood & dim sum restaurant that looked passable. We noshed on deep fried squid, shrimp and cashews and mixed vegies which included a few unfamiliar, unknown morsels. All very tasty with no unhappy consequences. We crawled into bed just after 11pm.
Sunday dawned very warm and misty and after a sumptuous breakfast buffet at the hotel (an amazing array of Asian and Western cuisine), we made our way to the Star Ferry for the ride to Central. Once on the island we spent hours it seemed trying to find our way around. Nothing was quite where it was supposed to be and when we asked for directions, we were given great arm waves and some words which more often than not led us even further astray.
We did find the central escalator, which had some interesting instructions.
And we even managed to make it to the Peak Tram but by the time we got there the wait was an hour long. Time along with patience ran out. Back to the hotel, taxi to the ship, and onboard just after 3pm. Phew!
According to my FitBit pedometer, Schwartz’s two sherpas logged some 16 miles on foot in Hong Kong.
Not bad, eh? And the little bear? Well, he’s already up in the Cosmos Lounge on Deck 11 waiting for cocktail hour.