Part 2 - Hong Kong and Malta
Trip Start Dec 10, 2005
24Trip End Ongoing
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Day 61 -Friday 14th April 2006 (Good Friday)
Today we fly out of beautiful Brisbane (what a great morning for the Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race which happens at our front door) for Hong Kong. It's goodbye to everyone for we hope at least 8 months (we can't let Matt win his bet that we will be back in 4 months !!). Once we arrived in Hong Kong we caught the hotel transfer bus to the hotel and it was amazing to see the scenery as we drove in - massive massive sky scrapers and we also went over the Tsing Ma Bridge which links Lantau and the New Territories. This bridge is the worlds longest and heaviest road and rail suspension bridge (like the Golden Gate but even bigger). We arrived late to the hotel Regal Kowloon at about 10.30 and then found somewhere to eat dinner
Day 62 - Saturday 15th April 2006 - Hong Kong
Today was a fun day of walking around Hong Kong and checking out the local sites and trying to avoid Indian salesmen who wanted to take you to their shop to have suits tailored (they just don't give up!!!). We walked along the walk of fame where the Hong Kong film festival was on and onto the star ferry terminal. Then we walked along the major streets, particularly Nathan Street which is full of shops and in particular electronic shops. We walked through the streets for hours and hours and also through some of the street markets. We have a theory about the Asians - that they will basically eat anything as we saw some weird foods for sale including turtle and roasted turtle shell and dried lizard on a stick !! (just like a lollypop only probably crunchy and salty)
We found a great place to have a foot massage and pedicure which was ridiculously cheap (about $19 for 50 minutes) and it was awesome. We then had a walk through the famous night markets as we wanted to buy some cheap DVD's but apparently there are too many police around for them to sell them on a Saturday night. Wayne had dinner in the night markets and had heaps of cheap seafood and some 1 liter beers (Gem sat and watched because she can't eat seafood) - needless to say he was rather pissed at the end and we had to catch a cab home.
Day 63 - Sunday 16th April 2006 - Hong Kong
We went on a tour of the harbor today on a star ferry and Gem tried really hard not to get sea sick but it was inevitable
Day 64 - Monday 17th April 2006 - Hong Kong
We caught the train out to Tung Chung Station and then a long bus ride through the mountains to the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island where the worlds biggest Buddha is. The Buddha took ten years to build and is 80 foot tall and made of bronze. We climbed the 200 plus steps to the top and took in the fantastic view. Wayne braved the local markets again for some noodles and then we headed back to the train station were we caught a cab to the "ladies markets" which were absolutely packed as today was a public holiday and everyone was out on the streets
Day 65 - Tuesday 18th April 2006 - Hong Kong
This morning we decided to buy a new camera as we had been shopping around for the best price as our camera had been giving us some trouble and can be a little unreliable. We thought we had got a good deal but then Wayne went and checked another store (I told him not to) and found that we could have gotten the same thing $100 AUD cheaper - he was spewing
Day 66 - Wednesday 19th April 2006 - England
We got to where we had the motor home stored and all was O.K with it. We have decided to called it "Misty" as it is a Hymer and we think it sounds like "Misty Hymen" the swimmer from the USA that they Roy and HG always make fun of. So Misty it is. We unpacked bags and saw Misty and even though she had been sitting still for 3 months she started right away. We went off to Margaret's place to pick up the documents to get the motor home registered but then realized that Stuart had already managed to get the motor home registered in Gem's name and had number plates awaiting us. What a legend!! This means we don't have to go through the horrible process of dealing with DVLA again (but it also meant that we could have taken a later flight and got the benefits...bugger!!)
Day 67 - Thursday 20th April 2006 -England
We were planning on leaving the motor home in Middlesbrough while we went to Malta for a week as we thought we would still be waiting for the registration to come through, but as it was already done we have decided to cancel the hire car and drive Misty back to Gatwick. So today we had to organise parking at Gatwick as you have to pre book and then we set off on the long drive back. Wayne was a bit disappointed he was not going to catch up with his poker buddies in Middlesbrough but we decided to drive all night to try and miss the busy traffic on the highway.
Day 68 - Friday21st April 2006 - England to Malta
This morning we arrived at Gatwick at about 6.30 and had a couple of hours to spare before dropping off the motor home
Day 69 - Saturday 22nd April 2006 - Malta
This morning we found a grocery shop to stock up on supplies for the week
Day 70 - Sunday 23rd April 2006 - Malta
This morning we took off to Valletta (the capital of Malta) for the Sunday Markets that they have in town - they were O.K but nothing special. As it was Sunday it was hard to navigate our way around as half the streets were closed due to the churches having parades through the streets. The Maltese are among the most devout Catholics in the world and more than 70 % of the population head to mass on a Sunday so the streets were packed. Due to strong religious beliefs, Malta is the only European country where residents can't get a divorce and abortion is illegal. We then drove to the Sunday Fish Markets in Marsaxlokk which was a cute little fishing village where we stopped and had some fresh fish for lunch. The weather was so beautiful that we decided to go back to the hotel and take in some sun around the pool and where we could watch everyone out on the beach jet skiing, parasailing etc
Day 71 - Monday 24th April 2006 - Malta
We head for the Ta Qali Craft Village this morning which mainly consisted of little shops in old wartime domed shaped hangers selling lace, ceramics, cheap ugly souvenirs, and wool and glass products
Day 72 - Tuesday 25th April 2006 - Malta
We set of to Valetta again today to take in some more sites. We stopped in Sliema where we deciced to take a 1.5 hour harbour ride around the Grand Harbour. While Gem hate's boats she coped quite well despite when we got out into the open sea the boat was rocking really badly - there was thankfully no vomiting. The grand harbour was an amazing way to see Valetta and gave you a much better appreciation for how large the walls are the fortify the city. We then drove into Valetta and walked around the beautiful streets and then into the Upper Barracca Gardens which were near the Castille Place. From the gardens there is the most amazing view across the three cities and the grand harbour which is classed as one of the world's largest and deepest natural harbours. The origins of the garden go back to 1661 when it was a private garden of the Italian knights.