Picturing the cheery lady who had helped us check in the day before, we thought we could get some travel advice from the hostel when we checked out. Instead we were greeted by a grumpy faced man who looked like he wanted to give us the very minimal attention possible. We’d forgotten our receipt in the room. He wouldn’t let us sign out without it (and he didn’t handle it very nicely) Nate volunteered to run back and get it. Our hostel was not in the same block as the sign in desk, and was a bit of a hike to get to. I pulled out the tablet to work on our planned route after Nate took off. Turning to the reception desk I opened my mouth to ask a question, only to find that the man had pulled down his curtains and disappeared. We literally had to bang on the window to get his attention when Nate got back!
Grumpy or not, we had his attention, and so I went ahead and asked him some questions. When I asked him where to eat he replied: “There are many places across the street.” When I asked him where to shop he said “there are many places across the street” when I asked about a supermarket he said “There are many places across the street.” When we went across the street there was nothing there.
After a bit of wandering we found an Irish pub, with cider on tap, and decided to fork out for the very expensive, but delicious, full Irish breakfast. It was worth every Hong Kong cent. The woman who ran the pub was much more helpful then our hostel receptionist had been and pointed out some good shopping areas on our map.
We took the star fairy to cross over to Hong Kong island. The boat ride was scenic and very relaxing.
Nate was in charge of the map, and I was talking about weddings, so I didn’t clue in at first that taking the train to the far side of the island couldn’t be the right thing to do. We got off of the subway and started following signs towards Victoria Park, but fortunately realized before too long that Victoria Park and Victoria Peak were not the same place. Back on the subway right back to where we started from, I muttered about Nate being a map hog, and we exited the subway, back into the heat, and continued from there feeling hot, tired, and grumpy. By the time we reached the peak train we had cooled off emotionally, if not physically.
The train went almost completely vertical at some points, making the ride very “trippy”. Jagged bumps on the floor of the train acted like steps (or a ladder at very steep points) as the front of the train rose.
We were dropped off at a building jam packed with over priced restaurants and souvenir stores. Nate and I rode the escalator up as far as we could without paying the extra fee for the sky dome.
We got some descent picture despite the advertisements pasted to the sides of the building that blocked our view.
We’d only gotten a one way ticket, as we thought it might be fun to walk back down. We followed an old road, and were passed by several people running up or down. It must have been a brutal run.
The first part was a pleasant hike, quiet with old trees and thick jungle undergrowth. When the trees stopped the sun hit us and we were walking through apartment buildings instead of a park. We started following rows and rows of stairs that led down, down down, the mountain. That’s when the heat really started to get to us. Our legs were aching from all the stairs. We followed a sign that promised an escalator, grasping at the hope like a dying man in the desert grasps towards shimmering mirages.
We were discussing which direction we should go when a white school girl piped in “Are you looking for the escalator?” her British accent took us by surprise.
“Yes, does it actually exist?” I asked.
“Yeah, I’m going there. You can follow me.”
“How much is it?”
“It’s free.” She neglected to mention that it only went up. After all that excitement, we ended up finding ourselves still climbing down stairs.
It wasn’t all bad. We found an awesome Italian restaurant and stopped for food. The two guys running the restaurant happened to be from Canada!
We stopped briefly to check out a temple, and then headed back on the fairy and on to the shopping street, where we got pens to hand out at school, and I almost picked up a dress for 199 RMB, before realizing that the dresses in the packages actually weren’t nearly as nice as the ones hanging up on display. After I asked to try the dress on I was told “no trying them on.”
“But my butt is so big,” I turned side profile to show off, “It might not fit.”
“Ok, ok, you want long or short?”
“How much for the short one?”
Suddenly the price was getting higher! “You said 199 for the long one.”
“No, is 299.”
I got a significant price drop in the end, but the dress didn’t fit right, and the low quality was obvious once I put it on (probably why they don’t allow people to try them on before buying).
We’d promised Kat we’d pick up some juice that she really liked, hence the trip to the supermarket. We managed to find a place, and got the juice as well as a bunch of food for us that we’ve had trouble finding in Jinan. I’ve written in my journal “Supermarket was amazing! English muffins, kettle chips, cranberry juice, ginger ail, ginger beer!
We had a bit of a rush getting to the subway to take us on our long trip back to the airport, but we had no issue at the boarder, and so made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare.
Our flight home was delayed, so it was very late when we got in. We’d forgotten tooth brushes, so it felt very good to brush our teeth.