#CroissantFriday filled with Marzipan (almond paste)
Beautiful sweets. They must have been expensive!
Tokyo Day TwoWe visted the Tokyo Tower, the Zojo-ji Temple. We made a short trip to Airport the with Monorail. Enjoyed the 360° view observatory in Tokyo Metropolitan Government building nr1. Free entrance by the way. Tokyo was smoggy though. We also visited the Meiji shrine and at night we again enjoyed the 360° view in Tokyo Metropolitan Government building nr1.
What was left? Hong Kong. But you were there already, you may say. So what? Last time we were there for 3 days only and we enjoyed it a lot. We loved Hong Kong’s public transportation system, it would get us everywhere. There’s much more to see than just a temple, the Peak, Lantau Island with the big buddha and Peng Chau Island. This time, we’ll be there for 5 days! We’ll visit more of Hong Kong, Macau and Disneyland!
And we’re prepared a lot better than last time! We both have our iPhones with us and I even took my HTC. I manipulated my Google Maps on my iPhone so it would keep every place I viewed in memory. It built up to 177MB and features complete Hong Kong and Macau maps, ready to be viewed offline. I loaded Tripadvisor Offline Guides app on all phones, as well as Triposo, Hong Kong Lonely Planet and some other offline guides. I recommend Tripadvisor as it features recent reviews of hotels, restaurants and sightseeing places. You’ll be sure to have a nice stay and don’t have bad experiences in a bad hotel or restaurant. Additionally, I installed Springpad to have a notebook to quickly save notes for the trip. I’ve added a checklist of things to pack and places of good restaurants with photos of their yummy dishes. I hope it’ll also be good in offline mode. We’ll see.
Our flight was delayed by almost 3 hours, that’s not much for a cargo flight. First, we flew from LUX (Luxembourg) to KMQ (Komatsu, Japan) for 11 hours. We flew with a 747-8, a huge cargo freighter with a lot of space in the passenger’s cabin. We could sleep on the ground. I didn’t get much sleep though, I’m not used to sleep in airplanes. The missus fell asleep right away. When we arrived in Komatsu, we didn’t get any cell phone signal! Usually we inform our family via SMS when we arrive that we’re well, but that wasn’t possible. We stayed in Komatsu for 2 hours. The crew that flew us, stays in Komatsu. They were informed that their next cargo flight got cancelled so they’d have to stay in Komatsu for 8 days. If we would have decided to spend our vacation in Japan, we would have problems to get back home in time for work.
We continued our way to Hong Kong for 2:30 hours. When we arrived, the weather was good. Hot and humid, but not as bad as I expected. We took the Airport Express to Hong Kong Station on Hong Kong Island for 160HK$ (for 2 people). From there, outside of the IFC Mall where the taxis are, we took the hotel’s shuttle. Only 10 minutes to the hotel.
When we checked in, the receptionists were very friendly. We should have gotten a standard room but we got an upgrade to a deluxe room with an upgrade to a Premier room O.o The room is nice and clean, we have a view on the ocean. We went by foot to find a small restaurant somewhere, where we wanted to eat something small. Well, by the prices, we assumed it was something small. We ordered two fried noodles with shrimps and a congee with fish. Huge servings. We payed only 100 HK$ (10€) for everything.
We directly drove to Saarburg’s castle.
The driveway to the castle was wet and slippery so we parked at the bottom to go up the hill by foot.
No entrance fee, not many people but an awesome view!
It was fresh and warm, with a little wind.
From the top, we saw a Sesselbahn (chairlift) going up a hill.
In this old chairlift we reached the top of a hill that offered two attractions.
The Sommerrodelbahn (coasting slide?) and a bird of prey show.
We took a slide on the Sommerrodelbahn which was quite fun!
But we were too late for the bird of prey show. It’s only at 11 AM and 3 PM.
We walked a little bit through the forrest, then we took the lift back down.
We drove to the Altstadt (old part of Saarburg) for a coffee.
There we saw the in-town waterfall with a few mills. Very beautiful!
Some shops were open.
Many people were sitting at the tables for a coffee or ice cream, that’s typical for europeans in summer.
We went inside the Hotel Am Markt for a coffee, as it was a little too windy outside to sit next to the small river.
What a good decision!
Minutes after we took a seat, it started to rain heavily!
People hurried inside next to us for cover.
By the way, there seem to live a lot of italian people in that town. I could hear italian being spoken everywhere.
And the town was invaded by dutch tourists.
This coffee shop was also a restaurant, with its own pizza oven.
As we wanted to pay, the cook placed a big bowl of grated cheez right next to me.
I had to control myself extremely to not put my head into this bowl and eat all this delicious cheez!!!
We drove to the other side of the river to have another great view on the castle.
We had a great day at Saarburg!
We also saw that it would only take us 1 hour to come here by bicycle. We would drive alongside the river all the time!
Just as we were on our way home, it started to rain torrentially!
As I said before, we were very blessed with the weather.
In summary, I recommend visiting this town. It’s beautifully old and I’ll definitely come back to view it by night :)
It was a small fun fair, but it had everything you expected from it. Lots of food, drinks, cocktails and games.
Typically you go there to get beer, a Bratwurst (fried sausage) and fries.
We only got us a big bag of crispy fries with chili sauce, although we were very tempted to try a Farmer Steak!
We could enjoy the beautiful landscape of Trier. I love this town.
It has a nice, old ambiance. I’d love to live there if it weren’t further away from my workplace.
Starting from the 23th of August, there will be a huge funfair in Luxembourg called the “Schueberfouer” http://www.fouer.lu/en/Schueberfouer.html .
This funfair is annually and became a tradition in Luxembourg.
Millions of people love to visit it each year and at its end, there will be a big fireworks display.
If you plan to visit Luxembourg, make sure you don’t miss Luxembourg’s traditional Schouberfouer :D
What does one do on the last day of his holidays, knowing that departure is at 1 AM? Easy, see as much as possible! In short, we did a shopping tour, visited a temple, drove to a coast, did more shopping, had dinner, flew back to Luxembourg. Not much, eh?
Let me say this again, I really enjoyed my trip to Hong Kong. It’s so different. You could go anywhere by foot, you had easy and cheap transportation methods always close to you, and you could get almost anything to eat. Not just local food, but also standard stuff like pizza, bread and Schnitzel, everything that is also available in Germany. You could go eat chinese, taiwanese, vietnamese, indian, italian, german and american food. And you were always surrounded by huge skyscrapers. Every metro station was surrounded by huge buildings with tiny flats. People don’t seem to care about their home. They care more about their phone or car. Flats looked old and dirty, while everything else was perfectly clean and looked like new. If you were in the center of Hong Kong, english was never an issue. Did you get lost in the outer Hong Kong, you had to start using hands and feet when you wanted to order something to eat. Once in a restaurant, we thought the lady behind the counter was winking us to go away while she just asked us whether we want to eat inside or takeaway. Ordering from a chinese-only-menucard with photos became also challenging, but it was manageable and funny.
We’ve decided to make a tour through the streets of Kowloon and some shopping malls. Drank a coffee of the day at Starbucks. In one shopping mall, namely the K11, there was a “Toast Art”, a wall full of toasts showing the Mona Lisa! Our feet thanked every single escalator for being there.
We took the metro to Wong Tai Sin, there’s a temple, surrounded by many skyscrapers again. I was disappointed of the souvenirs shops, they had stuff that was way too much kitsch to buy. Why didn’t they have a small temple? The temple was full of tourists. I think it’s the best to visit it during the week and not on weekends. Also personally I think, that most of the people, that were there shaking a box of sticks to see one stick falling out and going to a fortune teller, just did this out of fun. At the left side of the temple, there were many boxes with fortune tellers, one box had “English” marked on it and the guy behind the counter was already winking us to come closer. This temple did not seem visited by many non-chinese speaking tourists, as almost every sign was in chinese only. We were kind of lost but enjoyed our stay anyway.
We took the metro back to Central station. From there we took the bus nr 70 to Aberdeen. The fare just cost 4.70 HK$, so it couldn’t be a long trip. We expected the bus to drive around the coast to get from north to south of Hong Kong Island, but there was a tunnel. We got off at Aberdeen itself and walked on the promenade for quite some time, watching the Sampans (small boats) driving people from one side to another.
We entered a big groceries shopping centre. You could get fresh fruits, bread and buns there just like at home. You also could ask for fresh sushi. Some guy would make it in front of you, as they had fresh ingredients just next to the sushi counter. The prices of groceries were not much different than at home. A raisin bun cost 3.50 HK$ = 0.35€, basically the same price. We entered some restaurant called the Paramount. The menu card offered many different dishes, mainly fish plates. I’m not really sure what we’ve ordered but it sure was delicious. Looked weird, but the taste was great! Funny that most people sat there in their jackets, the AC was turned up too much. As always, you were served complimentary tea. But we drank Sprite, good old Sprite. If you were unlucky and got served 7UP, this tasted like ice-tea, not like 7UP at all.
We arrived at the airport around 11 PM. Just in time. The plane would leave in 2 hours. Or so we expected. The lady at the counter asked us to wait for the crew. 10 minutes before midnight, she informed us that the plane was delayed for another hour. We’ve decided to go shopping. But the shops and restaurants closed at midnight! On an airport? How could they! We actually expected the plane to be delayed even further. So, enough shopping, we went straight to Burger King (would close at 12:30). There was a small chinese restaurant hidden just next to it, so we ate there some shrimp and chicken rice rolls first, just to eat chicken nuggets and fries at Burger King afterwards. We chatted with the cleaning ladys, then went back to wait for the plane. Luckily, it wasn’t delayed any further and the crew arrived to pick us up. A long flight awaited us. The first stop, after 9 hours of flight, would be at Baku in Azerbaijan. We slept through until the first stop. After a 2 hour stop, we would continue with a 4 hour flight to arrive back in Luxemburg.
Back home, we first drank some coffee. We missed our strong coffee a lot. The one at the Hotel just made us sleep. We got dizzy and had to eat some chocolate. We shaked like we were still on the flight, it was so funny. We were behaving like drunk people, rolling around on the carpet.
Last words and tips:
We used two guides, a Marco Polo Hongkong Macau guide and a Dumont Hongkong guide. Both quite useful. I can’t tell which one was better, one had sightseeing tips, the other helped us which bus to take. They both are in german, I don’t know if they are available in other languages. But you could get maps of Hong Kong everywhere.
There is a Big Bus Tour that drives you through Hongkong and Hong Kong Island for two days for 420 HK$ = 42€, if you take the Deluxe tour (2 days). We unfortunately discovered it 3 days too late and didn’t use it as we already saw most of Hong Kong by foot.
I strongly recommend you to discover Hong Kong during the week. The transportation prices and the amount of tourists are much lower than on weekends.
Be sure to check, whether some attractions are open and not under maintenance (like the Ngong Ping cable car… http://www.np360.com.hk/html/eng/front/index.asp)
I hope you liked my posts about our trip to Hong Kong :) Maybe it even made you want to visit it too! We surely enjoyed it and we will do it agai, to see the rest of it. Especially since we missed to visit Disney Land and the Ocean Park ;D Feel free to leave comments or contact me through email / twitter if you need any additional infos.