(for Goodies fans: "and now, A Walk in the Black Forest" didn't fit in the header)
Too tired to blog last night, a busy evening and we're not night owls while on holidays ?
Slept in yesterday, cold cloudy days make it easy! Usual place for breakfast, still busy even into peak hour. Then we went for a leisurely walk through Sha Tin Park, a large well-manicured park next to our hotel. Cold and still with just a few drops of very light rain, very pleasant indeed. The park is a mix of shady tree-lined walkways, open plazas, formal walled Chinese quadrangles with ornamental ponds, oddly sterile children's playgrounds... and dedicated exercise equipment for the elderly, a common sight in parks here. Behaviour signs are everywhere, forbidding smoking, climbing, feeding or releasing animals, jumping into ponds, urinating; even the play equipment has detailed instructions on how to use it for gymnastics training. The group of visiting schoolkids were as excited and raucus as you'd expect in Oz, though.
Our walk took us over one of the footbridges spanning the river, with only a narrow band of city buildings separating us from the forested hills beyond. We strolled back again across another bridge near the Heritage Museum, had a coffee and a mooch around New Town Plaza, then hung out at the hotel for the afternoon. Nerdia went for a swim; the hotel pool was impressive but a bit cold so she relaxed in the steam room instead, which will probably amuse the folks enduring the heat back home.
Come early evening we trotted down to the lobby, rugged up in all our warm clothes and ready for the hotel's shuttle bus down to the harbour for the light show tour we'd booked the day before. Naturally we were early and bus left on time with just a few other passengers and an hour to reach the waterfront. Alas, there had been some sort of crash on the freeway - an upturned scooter was all that could be seen by the time we reached it, plus an ambulance and police galore, hope they were ok but didn't look too good. Peak hour traffic crawled. Passengers alighted near the Temple Street markets we'd visited yesterday, then quizzed the driver about how to get back. Time was ticking. Hotel staff had warned us not to be late, the ferry wouldn't wait. 10min to go...
Bus now whizzing along main street, lined with glitzy top end brand stores and heaving with crowds. Wait, this isn't a normal shopping crowd. Why are the footpaths lined with police tape? Why are they all screaming, Beatlemania style? We never did see who they were there for, but he/she must have been inside the tight knot of security bods scooting into a well-lit foyer amid chants and cheers. 8min to go...
Bus finally dropped us off 5min from the harbour - with 5min to go. Pelted down the street - thankfully Plane Boy knew they way - dodging pedestrians, squeezing through narrow spaces, planning how else to spend the evening if we missed the ferry.
But we made it! And wow, it was worth it.
The ferry had only a dozen or so passengers so heaps of room to move around and follow the view. We did a circuit of the harbour, following the lights and the prerecorded commentary. The official show itself lasts 15min but there are lights all over the skyline all night long, quite spectacular. Took some photos and video but didn't do it justice. Bracing cold and free drinks made it all the better.
We were on the water for an hour, then it was time for a late dinner (harbourside shops very expensive so slummed it and had MacDonalds) before taking a taxi back to the hotel. A lovely evening!
Today we're off to see the giant Sitting Buddha statue and cable car ride.