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Archive for March 2018

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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The start of our World Cruise Voyage Segment.

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A Red-Sailed Junk Boat Is Signature Hong Kong 

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I mist! Early morning fog gives a bit of punctuation to the Aerial Feng Shui grammar. Although I am not fluent in metric, the 2.5 kilometer walk somatically felt like a good mile. It was brilliant. Here are a few select shots of one of the most fascinating cities on the planet:
The Vertical Club

1500 feet above sea level

Excuse me while I kiss the sky

I mist

Next time we will use a flash to illuminate our faces

30 MAY, 2018

HONG KONG - DAY 1


29 March 2018

Arrived in Hong Kong at 07h30.  Made it through immigration and customs without a hitch.  On our way out of the terminal we exchanged US$200 for HK$ so we each had just over 700 to play with.  Then a quick stop at the tourist information desk.  A really well-spoken Chinese tourist agent gave us a nice map and metro map and advised us that it would be best to take a cab to our hotel.  





 We had to take a RED CAB as these are the only ones allowed to drive in the city!!  There are also BLUE and GREEN cabs which go to different places and we never actually found out where they go.  (Just looked it up and RED cabs are Urban, GREEN are for New Territories and BLUE are for LANTAU)   We briefly thought that we might take the Metro but decided against it.  We hadn’t slept well and although early in the morning it was HOT.  As it turned out taking a cab was a very good idea.  The drive from the new airport that is built on reclaimed land took us about 45 minutes.  It is quite interesting as most of the motorways are built above ground or just briefly touch ground and then go into tunnels.  Well, it seemed like that anyway!  Drove past all the signs for Disney Hong Kong which brought back ship memories.  The hotel that Edward booked is on Hong Kong island.  You forget when you are talking about HK that it is a very steep island.  The GRAND VIEW HOTEL is at No 1 McDonnell Street and shares an address with the YWCA.  It is a nice little boutique hotel.  We couldn’t sign in until after 12h00 but they were kind enough to take out luggage whilst we went out.  The hotel is literally across the street from the Botanical and Zoological gardens.  We went for a nice walk around through green trees and shrubs and red birds and fountains – very calming after being cooped up in a plane or airport for so long.  

 


We went back at the hotel and found out about the busses.  Turns out that we couldn’t have planned it better.  The bus stop is literally 20m from the front door and if you take 12A to Admiralty you find a really nice shopping Centre with lots of eateries and coffee shops.  Edward was by this time very tired and testy and it took a lot of my self-control not to get very angry with him.  In the end we found somewhere to have something to eat – Ramen noodles and broth which was fabulous.  Then a little walk about the mall just to see what was there and they we paid the HK$4.30 for both of us to take the bus back up the hill to the hotel.  By the tie we got back the room was ready!!  A quick shower and we drew the curtains on the sunshine for a 4 hour nap.  Time changes take their toll!! 
  

Once we awoke we went around the corner to a supermarket called FUSION which is spread over 3 floors, but we managed to find milk, lots of water, coffee for me and fruit for Edward.  This was a real find for us as I also bought instant oats and some Greek yoghurt, so we had breakfast sorted for all 4 days.  Later we took the bus down the hill and had a little wander around the water’s edge but the time change caught up with us and we were in bed by 10pm again. I sat up and watched a little TV but Edward was straight off to sleep!!   

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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 @ the most densely populated piece of real estate on the planet.Hong Kong is built vertically to accommodate. We'll be exploring this aerial Feng Shuii tomorrow, taking a ride on the Peak Tram. A 7 minute climb to the top of the hill.Tens of millions of people from every corner of the globe have taken the ride. It gives a great panorama of the city.
Excuse us while we scrape the sky

Point And Shoot: With the largest number of skyscrapers in the world. A good photographer focuses on one image, and let the rest be a backdrop.





30 MAY, 2018


WORLD CRUISE 2018 - Getting to Hong Kong 27.3.18


27 March 2018

Really, really early start today.  Up at 03h00 for a 03h30 taxi to Heathrow.  Woke Mum up as well so that I could hug her before we left.  I know that we will miss her but adventure awaits.  David is on vacation so Sean collected us bang on 03h30.  It was raining when we left and cold but Sean's car was nice and warm and cosy.  Surprising amount of traffic on the road as well for that time of the morning.  Edward nodded off in the passenger seat and I watched the traffic go by.  Once we got onto the M25 the east bound side of the road was just endless numbers of very large trucks all whizzing down the highway.  I read somewhere once that the M25 is the busiest highway in the world with something ridiculous like 10 000 cars on it at any one time.  Seeing all the trucks I can believe it.  We got to LHR at about 05h40, so a little earlier than expected.  It was still raining a lot when we got there but luckily I had my nice new raincoat with me.  I pulled up the hood and didn't get at all wet.  



Once inside Terminal 3  we went in search of the FINNAIR desk which we found tucked behind in a corner.  Self check in only with a bag drop.  Luckily Edward is good at this so he did it and I stood in the bag drop queue.  The very nice Polish ground crew attendant told us that the flight was full and she could check our little hand luggage bag in for free. This was great as it meant that Edward and I only had our backpacks with us.  I had even stuffed my handbag and my NEW NIKON D3400 camera into my backpack.  It was a bit heavy but manageable.
So there we were at the airport with just over an hour before boarding.  I wanted a coffee and Edward wanted breakfast so we went to the Pret-a-Manger.  WE got some muesli and a croissant with out coffee.  AS it happened this was a good thing.  On FINNAIR they don't serve breakfast, you have to buy it!  Apparently this is because they think of this as a domestic flight - EU is domestic.  :-) When we boarded we had to agree with the Ground Attendant - the flight was full!  Not a spare seat at all.  I bagged 14A by the window leaving Edward in the middle.  He fell asleep and I stared out the window or played on my handy.  For most of the flight we were above heavy cloud cover.  Once we got to Sweden though the cloud cleared allowing me a good view of the snow and ice covered ground and the many islands in the archipelago.  I kept an eye on the in-flight map - something I really like doing - and could identify a Finnish town called Tuuk.  The ground was covered in snow and most the the rivers were still frozen but the trees were a bright green and looked full of energy.  
     
 






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Sarah's Travels & Journals 30 MAY, 2018 WORLD CRUISE 2018 - Getting to Hong Kong 27.3.18 27 March 2018 Really, really early start today. Up at 03h00 for a 03h30 taxi to Heathrow. Woke Mum up as well so that I could hug her before we left. I know that we will miss her but adventure awaits. David is on vacation so Sean collected us bang on 03h30. It was raining when we left and cold but Sean's car was nice and warm and cosy. Surprising amount of traffic on the road as well for that time of the morning. Edward nodded off in the passenger seat and I watched the traffic go by. Once we got onto the M25 the east bound side of the road was just endless numbers of very large trucks all whizzing down the highway. I read somewhere once that the M25 is the busiest highway in the world with something ridiculous like 10 000 cars on it at any one time. Seeing all the trucks I can believe it. We got to LHR at about 05h40, so a little earlier than expected. It was still raining a lot when we got there but luckily I had my nice new raincoat with me. I pulled up the hood and didn't get at all wet. Once inside Terminal 3 we went in search of the FINNAIR desk which we found tucked behind in a corner. Self check in only with a bag drop. Luckily Edward is good at this so he did it and I stood in the bag drop queue. The very nice Polish ground crew attendant told us that the flight was full and she could check our little hand luggage bag in for free. This was great as it meant that Edward and I only had our backpacks with us. I had even stuffed my handbag and my NEW NIKON D3400 camera into my backpack. It was a bit heavy but manageable. So there we were at the airport with just over an hour before boarding. I wanted a coffee and Edward wanted breakfast so we went to the Pret-a-Manger. WE got some muesli and a croissant with out coffee. AS it happened this was a good thing. On FINNAIR they don't serve breakfast, you have to buy it! Apparently this is because they think of this as a domestic flight - EU is domestic. :-) When we boarded we had to agree with the Ground Attendant - the flight was full! Not a spare seat at all. I bagged 14A by the window leaving Edward in the middle. He fell asleep and I stared out the window or played on my handy. For most of the flight we were above heavy cloud cover. Once we got to Sweden though the cloud cleared allowing me a good view of the snow and ice covered ground and the many islands in the archipelago. I kept an eye on the in-flight map - something I really like doing - and could identify a Finnish town called Tuuk. The ground was covered in snow and most the the rivers were still frozen but the trees were a bright green and looked full of energy. We arrived in Helsinki on time at 12h00 and had a 4 hour layover there. We decided not to go through immigration and into the city as we thought we wouldn't have enough time (or money). Instead we had some lunch and did some walking around the airport building. Not a large terminal but nice and modern with free phone charging areas and some loungers where you could put your feet up. They are in the process of building a second terminal and I'm sure that it will be just and nice. Whilst wandering about we had a chat with a Finnish Attendant and she assured us that the next part of the flight would have food service so we didn't have to stock for the 9.30 hours leg of the journey. I was pleased about that as after a very short time any padkos starts to go soft and mushy....... Finally it was time to board. Ground staff was challenged with an out of service computer and had to check us all through by hand. Then we boarded a bus for a very long drive out to the Airbus A380 that we were flying on. Once again the flight was completely full!! We only worked it out once we got to Hong Kong - EASTER WEEK-END TRAFFIC!! The flight attendants were all Asian - Chinese, Filipino and Japanese - and all of them live in Hong Kong. I found the temperature of the flight very warm and at one point I thought I might melt. Edward accompanied my to the back where I took my shirt off and stood in my Cami under an air vent drinking cold water. The flying time is 9 hours and 35 minutes and as it is an overnight flight they served supper and breakfast. Due to all the computer problems we left Helsinki about an hour late. The flight crew managed to make up lots of time and we landed just 15 minutes late. Absolutely no trouble getting through immigration in Hong Kong. They don't actually stamp your passport though, just give you a computer generated slip and tell you to keep it in your passport. HELLO HONG KONG!! Sarah at 11:43 AM Share No comments: Post a Comment › Home View web version ABOUT ME My photo Sarah I am a nurse and a sailor who is luckily enough to work my passions and practice my profession on a luxury cruise ship that travels around the world! I take loads of photographs but find very little time to actually upload them.......this will all happen I just know it! All I have to do is actually unpack my suitcase and hang about for a while but .......... hey look at that, just gotta go there...... :-) View my complete profile Powered by Blogger.

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Picking up the Queen Mary 2 on her final Voyage Segment this month, from Hong Kong.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
Ports of call include: Barcelona and Cadiz, Spain;  Cochin, India;  Colombo, Sri Lanka;  Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Muscat, Oman; The Suez Canal  via Port Said Cairo, Egypt; Hong Kong, China;  Kuala Lumpur ,Langkawi and Penang, Malaysia; ; Limassol, Cyprus;  Naples and Rome (from Civitavecchia) Italy;  Nha Trang, Vietnam; Petra, Jordan (from Aqaba); Phuket, Thailand; ; Singapore; Southampton, United Kingdom (SOTON)


While in Capetown last month, we had the good fortune of meeting up with The Mary:


Keep Calm. Ship Happens! 


What an  amazing feeling when boarding a ship we have sailed on. The QM2 is no miraculous exception.  This is not your typical cruise ship. In fact, it is the last of the great oceanliners- passage ships designed for 12 months brutal Atlantic crossings NY to SO'TON. Her keel sits higher above  the water line, 7 decks instead of 5, which makes it cut water better and makes for a smoother ride. Today, the first voyage segment SOTON to Cape Town is completed. This is part of the 2018 World Cruise Itinerary. We last sailed on her in June 2017:

Prior to that, In July  2014, We sailed on her.The Mary cames to Hamburg for her tenth jubilee and  she got a special celebration by the locals 
QM2 @sea July 2014

After 6 sea days, we took a voyage, not a cruise onboard the Queen Mary2. This is the shortest bridge between New York and Europe. Airplanes, afterall, are like diets - I don't like being on them.
The QM2 allows dogs onboard-cute!
The Queen Mary 2 comes to Hamburg every year.
 For her tenth jubilee she got a special celebration.
I took lots of videos, and posted them for my my friends on Facebook, but this one pretty much sums up the crowds enthusiastic response  as the flagship sails away down The Elbe River to open waters in the North Atlantic...
Sailing across The Pond to NY