Our last day in Hong Kong started with another local bakery run for breakfast, then we packed up our gear and stored it at the hostel. We then met up with a free Hong Kong walking tour with 30 other tourists.
The guide, Michael, is starting this business by not accepting any money but in return asks for a Tripadvisor review so that he has a great Tripadvisor rating when he starts charging. An interesting business model. It was an excellent tour focussing on the central area and talking about the return of Hong Kong to China. I learned a lot more about the history of the UK’s involvement in this part of the world and the chalenges now being faced Hong Kong under the One Country, Two Systems regime. Holly thought th Guardian Lions outside HSBC were great and loved hearing about how they got their scars in the war and were from the Japanese.
After a ham and cheese sandwich lunch we caught a bus over to Stanley, quite an experience with the narrow, winding roads over to the southern side of the island.
We decided to take the bus to the airport instead of the train. It takes longer but gives a chance to see more of the greater Hong Kong area. And so it was farewell to our first stopover. The girls enjoyed using the trains, trams and buses and were pros using their Octopus cards. However they were asking where the grass was and found some of the street smells interesting. I’ve been impressed with their openness to try new foods and coping with less sleep than usual.
On Thursday night we flew to London via Frankfurt. By the time we cleared immigration at Heathrow and found the bus, it was late afternoon when we arrived at our Airbnb house. We decided to stay out of the city to save on cost and have more of a “live like a local” experience.
On Saturday we walked to the local shopping centre for a look around and to get groceries. It’s still quite cold here so we are glad to have our beanies and jackets!
The sun came out on Sunday so we spent the day in the city. We joined a hop on hop off bus which gave us a good overview of the city. It included a cruise along the river from the Tower of London to Westminster which gives another perspective. We stopped at Buckingham Palace (the girls have been itching to see where the Queen lives) for the changing of the guard. I was surprised at just how many people were there. I’m sure it is a lot busier than last time I saw it (which was nearly 20 years ago!). As it was Easter Sunday there were long queues of people attending church services, and although most shops were closed there were still loads of people out and about.
I’ll have to post Sunday’s photos in a new post as I keep getting error messages when I try to load them here.