Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 17: Hello Stanley Bay!

I'm so irritated with myself. I started the day, by being awake, didn't sleep last night. Probably because I was so wired AND trying too hard to relax. Sometimes things aren't what they seem and you wonder if you've been deluded. Then you wonder if you were awake or asleep. I should never be allowed near the internet or any other digitally inducing communication gadgets.

I finally went to bed just as the sky lightened, I slept too briefly but then I woke and remembered where I was, I smiled and jumped out of bed, purpose running through my veins.

I went downstairs to the China Hong Kong City, it’s a set of buildings that house the China Ferry terminal, a mall and my hotel. Instead of eating at the hotel restaurant, which is pricey, I went to the food court and got a large bbq pork dumpling and a cup hot coffee. 

I could have easily gone down to street level just outside HK City and taken the bus that would have taken me all the way to Stanley Bay. Instead I took the walk down the street and entered Harbour City and cut through it.

This is just a random stair case that I saw and it looked so cool, I had to stop and take a picture.

When I came out of the mall, I was at the Star Ferry. I love water, whether rivers, ponds, lakes, but I obsess over the sea.

Old fashioned tugboat, against the Kowloon skyline.

 This is the Hong Kong Island skyline.

After we dock at the terminal, I ask around to get to the Stanley Express bus. I'm told to just go across the street, the ticket vendor points across the parking lot where there are double decker buses. I thank him and walk.

I keep walking until I end up at the International Financial Center (IFC), I don't know what it is,but I go in and it's a mall. Ok. So I ask again and the info guide tells me to head for the MTR. Ok, I see the signs, it's a really nice looking mall, high end stuff, chrome, glass and marble.

I see the MTR signs and I follow it. But it takes me to underground trains. I'm all confused. I go back up to the mall level, find a uniformed guard who kindly walks me out of the mall and shows points out a set of bus terminals and tell me I can find my bus there. 

I have been told by one of my host that when I go to Stanley Bay, I need make sure that I sit in the front seat, on the second level of the double decker bus. He said it was the most scenic ride, if I am not queasy about heights or movement, I would enjoy myself. As a matter of fact, I'm scared to death of heights, but how many times do I get to ride a double decker bus? The last time I was in Stanley Bay, I was driven up by my hosts. This time I was going to relax and have fun.

This is the famous Stanley market, the stereotypical  stalls with goods piled one on top of each other, tight and closed in.

I woke up late so by the time I got here, it was closing in on almost 2pm. 

I wanted what I wanted, even though the stalls selling food were really very tempting. But I had my mind set that I was going to eat at my favorite place, sit down and be served. No buffet, no fast food, no boiled peanuts!

I found my way to the waterfront, enjoy the pictures. 

There are lots of nice little eateries, like I said, every thing you could want. But I had my heart set on something else. This is the Stanley waterfront.

Off to my left are these condos. How I wish I had that kind of money, so I could live in this beautiful island in a place with a view of the ocean.

There is a section that if you keep your back firmly turned, it's as if you were in a totally secluded island. It's beautiful and yes, I did scamper on the rocks like a 4yr old. Only I didn't fall, or crack my head or any part of my body on the jagged rocks. I just enjoyed letting my inner child romp.

But eventually, I have to turn around and from the rocks this is what I see. Another view of the Stanley waterfront. Look closely at the hill behind the buildings. There is a small path that leads to the top. I wish I had the time, I would definitely want to see that climb.

Across from the horseshoe shaped waterfront, is another set of high rises. All that glass! Whew, can you imagine the sunsets? 

This is called Blake Pier, I never did make it out there.

This is the Murray House, the Maritime Museum is there and that 2nd floor balcony at the very end is my destination. I hope I can get a nice next to the balcony table.

So I didn't get a table right at the balcony, all the small tables were taken, I couldn't very well expect them to seat me. But what a nice consolation prize, I may not have gotten the ocean view, but this is a pretty beautiful view too. 

It's not a real palm tree, it's a potted plant, but it will have to do. I get to sit and exhale. I'm not starving since I ate a late breakfast, but I wanted to eat.

It's salmon with greens and a lemon garlic sauce, that's a pureed tomato & olive oil w/the toast and off to the side is pureed potatoes. No Perrier, but Pellegrino is good too!

Did I want dessert? But of course! It's a frozen almond nougat, the strawberry has a drizzle of mango sauce and there is my coffee service, served with a mocha biscotti.

I was in heaven and yes, I got a few stares for taking pictures of my food. But I think those people who stared today, will take pictures of their food tomorrow. 

I don't think of it as being a dweeb, I think of it as enjoying the moment and if I take the long good bye journey to the end of my days, I will have these moments indelibly set and if even for a moment, I will remember bliss.

This is another view from the Murray House, how it looks like someplace in the Mediterranean.

How gorgeous is this?

 I look out into the afternoon sun and I see this quiet little boat, stark against the large cruise ship in the back ground. I've always had these romantic notions of living on a boat.

They still have these old style sampans flying around the island. I watched him come in.

I watched him looking like he was starting to settle in for the night.

In a world where I carry digital cameras, three cell phones(personal, office BB and a China cell phone), laptop, chargers, where the internet seems as necessary as breathing, this man lives as millions have lived for thousands of years. He lives by the labor of his hands and home is where he lays his anchor. 

Who lives the more fulfilling life?


  1. great pics some remind me of the gold coast and sydney harbour