23rd June, 2012
the morning we got picked up by Caren and drove to Suzhou, a big city
with 4 million inhabitants and partner city of Constance. With a bit
of search we found the entry to the railway station and met David, a
friend of Caren. Together we visited the „Humble Admisistrator's
Garden“. The fact that it is world cultural heritage and one of the
four most important gardens in China indicates that this Chinese
pleasure garden is not very humble. It was constructed in the Ming
Dynasty at about 1509 by a retired imperial official and has a size
of 5.2 ha. It is a Chinese garden, this means that it consists of
artificial mountains and ponds, but it should look as natural as
possible. And everywhere there are pavilions to be able to enjoy the
next point of interest was Tigre Hill, a former kings site which is
crowned with a thousand year old, slightly leaning pagoda. Else it is
a beautiful park with many pavilions. Spectacular is the collection
of bonsais with more than hundred trees.
last stop was Lake Jinji. Here we is the home of modern Suzhou. A
nice, two kilometre long promenade goes along the shore. The view to
the city is not so good due to bad weather. One thing remarkably
changed since my last visit ten years ago. Then I counted one
skyscraper. This was very pleasant in contrast to the forest of
skyscrapers in Shanghai. Today Suzhou also has many skyscrapers, but
also the number of inhabitants doubled since then.
we drove back to Kunshan and enjoyed a wonderful Chinese dinner.
Today Caren's sister arrived from Taiwan and joined us for dinner.
22nd June, 2012
morning we did not have more time to further explore Hong Kong. We
went to the escalators to get to the train station. On the airport we
had more time than expected as our flight was late. After a very
shaky flight we got to Shanghai. To enter we required a visa which we
issued in Sydney.
and her boys were already awaiting us. As Caren spotted us, she came
towards us. In front of her was man which started to talk in German
to us. We were so perplex that we did not even answer. As Caren then
look at him inquiring, he realized immediately that we did not wave
lives in Kunshan. This city is about one hour outside of Shanghai. In
the car I thought “something is wrong”. I soon realized that in
China they are driving right. From Australia I am still used to
driving left. We saw people which were hitch-hiking on the motor way,
some were also selling food. In the city itself there some
motorcycles, but the drivers do not seam to need helmets.
book a hotel for us and brought us there. After check-in we went to
dinner with her family. She told us that it will be simple. But our
menu was much more. There was freshly pressed apple juice, soup, a
plate with prawns, salad, meat to choose and pudding with tea. Not
really simple food.
21st June, 2012
got up early in the morning as our body is still used to Australian
time. First we went up the stairs do ride down the Mid-Levels
Escalators. They are the biggest system of roofed outdoor escalators.
These many connected escalators connect the Western District with the
Central District. In the morning the escalators go down, in the
afternoon the go up. So it is easier for the people to go to work or
back home after work. The Mid-Levels Escalators are about 800 m long
and pass a height of 135 m. Walking up beside them made us sweat as
it was already in the morning hot and humid. With the escalators we
went down to the ferry terminal. Here we bought a tourist bus ticket
and drove with it through the city. We left at Man Mo Temple and had
a look at it. After we did not wait for the bus, but went back to the
ferry terminal by walking. Here we took another bus which went to
Aberdeen. In the harbour of Aberdeen we made a Sampan boat trip. In
Aberdeen harbour there are still about 600 house boats beside all
official effort to bring these people onto the shore. On our tour we
saw a lot of crab fishing boats as it is forbidden to fish in June
and July. The harbour is surrounded by skyscrapers and it may happen
that there is a hole in such a house. That way the dragon living on
the mountain can look through them.
at the center we took the ferry to Kowloon on the mainland. Here we
walked along the seafront walk and enjoyed the view to Hong Kong.
With the same ticket we could also do a sightseeing tour here. After
we strolled the Ladys Market and watched the many stands on the
street. Our next destination was the Tin Hau Temple. Unfortunately it
was already closed. Here should also be the Temple Street Night
Market. The street was still mostly empty when we entered a small
restaurant to have dinner. After the left again, the market stands
were ready and were waiting for customers. In the Night Market all
sorts of things can be bought. Directly next to the temple many
fortuneteller had their stands. Passing the market we walked back to
the ferry terminal.
8pm was already passed, we only saw the last few beats of the
Symphony of Lights. This is according the Guiness book of recommended
the worlds biggest regular light and sound show. The lights of 44
skyscrapers of Hong Kong and Kowloon highlight the harbour.
Tuesday 8th May, 2012
it is the time to realize my Christmas present for Konrad. With a
small plane we went to a scenic flight. First we flew over Hill Inlet
and Whitehaven Beach which also look gorgeous from above. Passing
some small islands we went out to the Great Barrier Reef. We flew
over the Hardy Reef where we stayed overnight. But now we could see
how big it really is. The highlight was flying over the heart reef, a
small coral formation on Hardy Reef, not much bigger than the plane.
on the mainland we went to the bus stop, but unfortunately the bus
was just gone and we would have to wait another 30 minutes. On the
same flight was an elder couple which passed by car and asked us if
we would like a lift. We accepted with many thanks and thus had a bit
more than an hour left in Airlie Beach. After lunch we went by bus to
the airport which is 40km outside. With a stopover in Brisbane we
flew back to Sydney.
7th May, 2012
we slept a bit longer as the tour started not so early in the
morning. With a boat we went into the Whitsundays. We sailed to the
Hill Inlet and walked up to a lookout. Here we had a wonderful view
over the bay and Whitehaven Beach. From far the combination of white
beach and turquoise sea looks gorgeous. Now we went there and stayed
there for two hours. We used the time to swim, to walk, lay on the
beach or to enjoy the lunch prepared by the crew. Attracted by the
nice smell came more and more big lizards. Some of the animals were
surely about 1.5 meters long. They are not dangerous as long as you
do not get too close. Back on the boat we went to a bay where we had
some time to snorkel. Unfortunately I had bad goggles and thus often
water in the eyes. But I had the opportunity to let Konrad listen to
the sound of coral eating fishes.
were back to the hotel just before sunset we could enjoy the last
rays from the balcony.