Thursday, 4 January 2018

Australia! Part One

If you'd told me a few years ago that I would be holidaying in Australia I would have laughed in your face.   Me?  The me that didn't like to venture far from my comfort zone.  The me that had to be in control of everything?  Right.  No one was more suprised than me when invited to join my daughter and her wife on a trip to Australia, I found myself saying yes!

Of course the prospect of our, as then unborn, grandchild being with us and it really was a no brainer.  I was going.  Fortunately hubby wanted to come too and despite his untimely early arrival Nathan was ready to experience his first long distance trip.

We set off on Thursday 9th November flying from Heathrow to a stopover in Hong Kong. 
Nathan pre boarding the plane
 Admittedly we weren't there for very long, arriving on Friday and leaving on Sunday, so we didn't have too long to spend exploring, but it definitely wasn't a favourite place to visit.  We stayed in a very nice hotel (Mandarin Oriental) on Hong Kong Island and the service couldn't be faulted but everywhere you look are high rise buildings.

Travelling with a baby means taking a lot of luggage.  Fortunately for the girls they had amassed enough air miles and perks that they were able to fly business class to and from Hong Kong so it was more comfortable for them with Nathan.  We endured economy class and although it was a night flight not much sleep was had.  We shared in the perk of having transport provided by the hotel to and from the airport - we were met as we came off the walkway from the plane and whisked through the airport on a motorised cart, assisted through immigration and then transferred to a people carrier to travel to the hotel.  It was all very smooth.  Exactly what we needed after the long flight.

It was late afternoon by then so we had a rest before eating in the hotel.  We explored the local area but were more than ready for our beds before too long.

On the Saturday we took the ferry to Kowloon on the mainland to do more exploring.  It is a very busy area with lots of shops!  In the afternoon we met up with friends of ours from home who happened to be visiting their daughter who is currently living in Hong Kong.  We found a bar overlooking the waterfront but it was quite overcast and windy so we retreated inside. 
Later we went out to eat but taking Nathan out in the evening is not the easiest thing to do, especially when he's tired - it involves a lot of pushing the buggy backwards and forwards to get him to sleep. Hard to get cross with him though when he's in a smily mood.

Our friends were also able to enlighten us as to what was taking place in a huge underpass near our hotel.  When we walked through it earlier in the day there were lots of young women on either side of the walkway, gathered in small groups, talking, playing games, having a picnic etc.  They had spread out cardboard boxes and blankets on the ground and we wondered if they were perhaps waiting for an event.  Apparently though, these young women work for families in Hong Kong during the week and then at the weekend they meet up with their friends and congregate in the underpass.  It was clearly a regular thing because there were people giving out the flattened cardboard.  I'm not sure if they spend the night there or not as we didn't pass by in the evening.

Sunday was very wet so we didn't actually venture out.  We had a leisurely breakfast at the hotel.  Watched a Remembrance Day service from the window of our room and then prepared for the journey back to the airport.

I'm glad that we broke the journey up because it's such a long way to Australia and I'm glad to be able to say I've been to Hong Kong but I wouldn't be rushing to go back.  (Except of course we did on the way home, but only to spend a few hours in the airport as we changed planes.) It was interesting to see how, although the Island has now reverted to China, there still remains evidence of when it was ruled by the UK such as the Remembrance service.

I realised once I started this post that it would need to be several as we visited so many places and if I tried to cover everything in one post it would be very very long!

Stay tuned for part 2!


  1. I have a feeling I would not like Hong Kong either. Too many people and too much congestion and towering buildings. How exciting though and Nathan is just adorable in that photo!

  2. I was in Melbourne for all of November. I wish we had been able to connect. You could have come to Phillip Island to see the penguins and stay at our palace by the sea.

    1. Aww thanks. I'd like to say maybe next time but with the costs and distances involved I doubt we'll get to Australia again, especially when New Zealand is tempting.


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