Saturday, September 30, 2006

Planes, Trains & Automobiles (& buses, trams, & ferries)

During our last few days in China, we began to marvel at the many froms of transportation we utilized during our trip. From airplanes to buses to rickshaws, we did it all. On Thursday, Sept. 28, we left the White Swan at 9 a.m. on a 29-person bus. It was just big enough for the 14 of us, plus luggage.

We then boarded the 10:30 a.m. train for Kowloon (which is the northern part of Hong Kong). We all loved the train. The seats were large, the aisles were spacious, and the scenery was nice. We rode past big cities, smaller villages, and farmlands with rice paddies.

We arrived in Hong Kong at about noon, and after checking into the Empress Kowloon, we immediately went out sightseeing. I was in Hong Kong 10 years ago, and remember being amazed by how huge and crowded it was. I wondered if I would feel the same amazement now, after having been to New York City and Beijing. I did. I believe it is bigger and more crowded than New York or Beijing. The 12 of us walked down the crowded city streets (with babies on mine and Linda's hips) to the Star Ferry pier.

This ferry brings you across the bay to Hong Kong, providing cool breezes, and a beautiful view of the harbour and city, for about 38 US cents.

We got off the ferry, stopped for an ice cream break, then took a double decker bus to the tram at Victoria's Peak. (After our walk, it was Jerry's turn with Zoe in the carrier).

At the base of Victoria's Peak, we boarded a tram to the top of the mountain. The kids loved this ride. The tram goes almost vertically up the side of the mountain, and the buildings outside look like they're at a 30 degree angle.

Once at the top, we rode escalators (Katie's favorite form of transportation) to the top of a high building. There were glass windows all the way up. Marie is not fond of heights, and about halfway up, decided she'd gone far enough. The rest of us went to the top, for a beautiful view of Hong Kong --on one side mountains, on the other, the skyline.

We stayed at the peak for a nice dinner overlooking the city, and got to see Hong Kong lit up at night--a pretty amazing sight. Then we took the tram down the mountain, the double decker bus back to the ferry, and the ferry back to Kowloon. Instead of walking, we opted for taxis back to the hotel. All in all, we were pretty proud of ourselves for negotiating all of this sans Rui.

The babies continued to "go with the flow." They both slept fine in their third crib since leaving the orphanage less than 2 weeks earlier. I can't even imagine how strange all of this must seem to them after 16 months in an orphanage!

We made it back to Jacksonville safe and sound, and the Derfusses are now back in Orlando. I will post more about our VERY LONG trip home, later.


At 3:56 PM, Blogger Ann said...

Welcome home, you all must be exhausted. Rest up!!

At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Sandy and Gertie said...

Welcome HOME, dear hearts! We can't wait to see you ALL!!!!!
Thanks again for the wondeful photos.
Sandy and Gertie


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