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.
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.
Saturday / Sunday 5th / 6th May 2012
On Friday we flew from Sydney to Hamilton Island. The tourism is booming on this island since
a few years and there are some very expensive hotels to stay.
We just stayed shortly and walked to the tourist center and enjoyed the lunch.
Then we went with the ferry to the mainland.
In Airlie Beach we let us drive to the hotel and then went to fetch the vouchers for the different
tours we booked. Airlie Beach is an ideal spot to discover the Whitsunday region and the many
tours which can be made here. The quite small center is full of travel agencies.
We wonder how so many may survive here. I was already in 2007 here an I liked the region.
And so I suggested to Konrad to stay a few days here.
On Saturday morning we were picked up in the hotel already at 7 o'clock and brought
to one of the many harbors. By ship we passed the many islands of the Whitsundays and
we drove to the open sea. The catamaran was rocking heavily as it did not have a big draft.
Thanks to my medication I could stand the torture, but Konrad who normally does not suffer seasickness
had problems. After an hour we got close to the reef and the waves got closer.
At the reef the waves were gone.
Arrived on the Hardy Reef we were shown the room for the night.
Up to six guests can stay overnight on the pontoon.
We changed cloth and went to the first snorkeling tour.
They had quite many diving googles, even corrected ones.
Konrad rented one, else he would not have seen very much.
After Konrad checked how that works with the snorkel we enjoyed three times
the underwater world. In our two-day package there was also a led snorkeling tour.
A group of four was brought by a small boat to another part of the reef.
From there we slowly swam back to the pontoon and Erin, the biologist explained the underwater world.
It was very interesting, beside different fishes and corals we also saw a turtle.
It did not let itself be disturbed from its lunch.
It was shortly before full moon and thus the low tide was rather strong.
Suddenly the reef was looking out of the water.
Shortly after 2pm the ship went and only very few people stayed back on the pontoon.
Some of them went by helicopter back to the mainland.
Two couples arrived in the late afternoon by helicopter and went snorkeling.
We went by boat to the waterfalls. Right, there are waterfalls in the sea!
The reef forms a lagoon and the water level was higher inside and flew like rapids over the reef.
At the second, a bit bigger waterfall we surfed a bit on the waves.
As we had sufficient fuel we went further to the sand beach.
In the middle of the reef there is a sandy strip which looks like a beach.
We could not get onto it, as it is too far in the reef.
We enjoyed the view of the different colored corals and once we saw a clown fish, better known as Nemo!
Back at the pontoon the moon was raising and the sun setting. It was very beautiful.
Below the stars we got a very rich dinner and we enjoyed the evening atmosphere.
As they had some lights outside, we even could see the fishes in the chamber below the water.
There was also a fish which was three meters ten years ago. We guess it grew a bit since then.
After a restful night the alarm clock went off at 5:15 as we wanted to welcome the sun.
First we saw the moon disappear slowly into the sea. On the other horizon it got lighter and lighter
and very slowly we saw the sun and its first rays.
After a cozy breakfast we jumped into the water. I thought it will be cold, but it was pleasantly warm.
We snorkeled four times until the ship came.
The most beautiful is it when we were out alone.
On the way back the ship was rocking quite strong and Konrad stayed outside.
As I had a seat below the air conditioning I endured the trip without problems.
We came back to Airlie Beach with many nice memories.
30th March, 2012
and I had a bad night. One of the ladies in our room snored like a
chainsaw. We slept very bad and after midnight Sandra left the room
armed with the duvet to go to the common room. But there were still
some guest watching TV, so she came back. In the morning we
immediately decided to get another room. First the receptionist told
us they are fully booked, but our insistence to check if there is not
other possibility was successful: there was a free double room. We
immediately booked it as we did not want to spend another night in
breakfast we went to the harbour. We reached it at last minute to get
a place on the ferry. After 30 minutes we reached Rottnest Island.
The island is 4 km wide and 11 km long. Here we chose to take the bus
which drives across the island every hour. After the first tour we
wanted to hike a bit. So we walked along the coast and enjoyed the
rocks, the sand and the green landscape. At 1pm we joined a quokka
tour and could see these cute animals for the first time. Quokkas are
about 20 cm tall and are like kangaroos marsupials. After the tour we
observed these small animals everywhere and until Dominik said that
we have now certainly enough pictures. We continued with the bus and
walked to the light house. To get to the harbour we took the last bus
and had to wait for 2 hours for the last ferry.
in Freo we first went to the hostel and after to the prison. We
joined the night tour and could listen to some scary stories about
this place. Unbelievable that this prison was in operation until 1991
and a few month later the first tourists came to visit it. It is
anxious that only 20 years ago there were nearly unimaginable
20th March, 2012
in the morning we went with a bus to the harbour. First we boarded a
glass boat were we could see the floor of the sea for just 3 minutes.
Then we boarded the excursion boat. About 20 persons took part of the
trip. Through big waves we went to the reef. Equipped with snorkel
and flippers we went into the water. Immediately I got a bit panic
and thought: “what I am doing here!” Every time while breathing
in I got salt water into the mouth. I let me bring back to the tour
boat by the safety boat. I explained the problem and I got first an
explanation how to breath. As I told them that I think that the
snorkel has a defect, I got a new one. After I did not have any
problems anymore and I could maze at the beautiful corals and fishes.
I am fascinated every time of the world below the water, I also
completely loose the sense of time.
a small snack we continued. We were looking for the biggest fish of
the world. This is the whale shark which can get up to 18 m long.
They come to the Ningaloo Reef when the corals release their seeds in
March and April. I felt a bit crumbly as these animals are gigantic.
On my first jump into the water I just got a glimpse and the whale
shark was gone. The second time I could watch the guy from the side.
There were another two swims where I could see the animal very good.
It was impressive to swim with them. We saw 5 whale sharks and the
sixth one dived away as soon a we spotted him.
lunch we went to another beautiful snorkelling place. Here I could
peacefully observe the fishes. This was a very impressive day for me.