Location: London, UK
This is going to be the site of my blog while I travel Europe and work in the UK. I have found myself a nice pub (not a hard task in London) ordered a pint and a shepherds pie and will spend some time writing up what has happened so far.
Its been a couple of weeks since I finished up in Canberra and started travelling, so I'll be adding entries for Hong Kong, Macau and the first week in London in a moment, after I have finished lunch.
I'll try and add entries for relevant dates, so you'll need to check below to see what has been happening.
Location: London, UK
We'll we got into London at 5 in the morning after almost 13 hours in the air. Customs was a breeze and we were through so quickly that we had to wait 20 minutes for our luggage to appear on the carousel.
We got on the underground and made our way to St Christopher's, home for the next week. Meet a fellow Aussie\Kiwi on the walk down Borough High Street and joined up for the walking tour to pass the time before we could check in.
I was quite impressed with the number of people who appeared for the walking tour of London, and to make as feel at home the tour guide ended up being an Aussie (Greg). How authenticate is that! Mind you this made for some good Aussie humour along the walk, what cam e out if his mouth and shocked the yank tourists was what we laughed at the loudest.
It was a long day, after hours of walking (11 till 4) we got back to the backpackers, showered for the first time in 38 hours after a 32 and humidity in Hong Kong, flight and walking around London, then down to the bar for Happy Hour. I think we did well to make it to 11:30.
And in the tradition of nothing is free the free tour did involve a monetary tip, mind you the recommended tip for the length of the tour, sights and commentary is great value compared to some of the admission fees, and listening to an Aussie accent allows you to take in the sites without concentrating.
One thing we got out of the walking tour was that Australia House has free wine tasting for holders of Australian passports, something we have to check out.
Other sites we have visited so far include the Tower of London, walking the Tower Bridge, inside the Tate museum of Modern Art, inside St Paul's Cathedral and theatre at Shakespeare's Globe to stand for Love's Labour's Lost.
To contrast the tour guides inside the Tower of London to our Aussie guy, the guys projected their voices well, but listening to Anne Boleyn was a strain, and dry. No wonder she lost her head.
The Tower was cool in history and displays, especially the Crown Jewels (which Kyle thinks a couple of dudes in black ninja suites could penetrate) , if a little short compared to some of the surrounding buildings, not that London knows what a sky scraper is. Perhaps they can go back to Hong Kong and learn what tall is.
Location: Macau (China), Hong Kong
When it is only an hour away by Hydrofoil, why not got for the day. After an hour in immigration we headed to the 10th tallest tower in the world, Macau Tower. Its cool, has an awesome 360 view of the two islands where you can see where the hills have been quarried, look down on all the casinos and across at the construction of the Grand Lisboa. This is huge, a building that looks like a giant Lotus flower and still under construction, and of course its a casino.
It feels quite different to Hong Kong (given that it was under Portuguese control), we checked the ruins of St Paul's Church, now just a facacde with some of the underground sections excavated for tourists.
With sore calves, we relaxed for a bit in the park at the bottom of the Keep near St Paul's, deciding if we would make the treak up the stairs. The lure of cannons was strong enough that we headed up for more scenic views.
Location: Kowloon, Hong Kong
Wow... Hong Kong knows how to build sky scrapers, they're tall, they're everywhere and it doesn't matter where you walk you'll still be in sunlight. It is an impressive city, people everywhere, fast rail where the mobile phones still work underground, clean. Its crazy to see that bamboo scaffolding is still the choice and there is a decent amount of construction going on so no matter what direction you look you'll see bamboo. Oh, and it is hot and humid, a climate change that has quickly brought about an annoying cold. At least its not the bird flu.
Kyle and I have a week here before we move on to London. We will be in Kowloon, this is in the south of mainland Hong Kong with Hong Kong Island on the other side of Victoria Harbour. Hong Kong consists of territories and we are in Tsim Sha Tsui which is on the water. Our accommodation is on the tourist strip, Nathan Rd, which is above the MTR so getting around Hong Kong is fairly easy and given the room is the size of a B&G room with 4 beds we'll be spending a lot of time outdoors.