Orleans in a few (dozen) pictures

Cathedral 《 Sainte Croix d’Orleans 》:

Le petit train starts its journey in front of the cathedral:

The little train travels around Orleans’ ancient town:

Every corner of every street is marked by the figure of Jeanne d’Arc on her horse, who helped liberate the city from the English in 1429.

House of Jeanne d’Arc:

At the end of the trainride, I took to the pedestrian passages of the ancient town.

Emperor road with its wood-sided houses:

The garden of hotel Groslot and the remains of the former chapel 《 Saint Jacques 》:

Inside the cathedral:

Groslot hotel:

Some shopping before the apero:

On weekends a little book market installs itself on Place du Martroi.

Orleans is situated on the Loire:

Back into the ancient town:

Museum of history and architecture:

Orleans is a very pleasant town to visit, especially during sales.

Near the Breton border

All this copious French food meant I was due for a morning run. I headed towards Kermoisan, passing by the many “biscuiteries Bretonnes”.

I passed by the lovely hamlet of Tregate:

Outside of Tregate were the salt marshes of Guerande, which form a spider’s web on Google maps.

The paludier’s belongings are put to rest on Sunday:

In the background you can see the Saint Guenole in Batz-sur-mer.

The salt marshes are defined by muddy paths, which all but ruined by trainers.

I rejoined the road, going up midway through the saltmarshes before walking along the road to Pouliguen.

The “port de plaisance” in Pouliguen:

Which continues along the beach of La Baule escoublac:

In the afternoon, it was time to settle back and enjoy the sun.

Or for those with more sunburn-prone skin, slowly hide in the shade of the tent.

Dinner tonight was a Greek feast:

Noirmoutier-en-ile

Today I had a boat excursion with the family from Pornic to Noirmontier. (Skipping the day that involved 25 hours traveling by plane and train to get there)

In the early morning, I prepared my pack lunch:

Pornic is a lovely little town:

All aboard the pirate boat:

Hidden underneath the deck was a very French breakfast:

The ship is run by a Sailor dog named Jasmine:

Breakfast was served

Under his watchful gaze.

At this point, everyone on the boat was looking very French.

Before landing at Noirmontier, It was aperitivy time:

Noirmoutier:

The family settled camp for lunch, causing fellow travellers to flee:

A little beach nearby with cute huts on stilts:

Another, larger beach with villas on the side.

The old lighthouse:

Tourists strictly following the rules:

Sailor dog led the taxi back to the ship:

Finishing a very French day with a French summer time dinner: pate-en-croute, jambon, rillettes, cornichons, salade et melon!

Hong Kong 5

Along the waterfront is the Sun Yet Sen memorial park.

The high speed ferry to Macau :

Tennis at dynasty club, among the skyscrapers:

The game was interrupted by another outburst of rain.

Lunch was also in dynasty club:

Yuanyang is a mixture of 50% latte, 50% milk tea.

Deep fried crab salad:

Pork chop rice:

On the way to Wan Chai market, I grabbed a shake shake fries from McDonald’s (kimchi flavoured).

At Wan Chai market, I bought some clothes to blend in with the locals:

(At the time, I didn’t realise this was meant for a wine bottle)

I took the tram back

Passing by some herbal Chinese medicine and dried fish shops.

$$$ Ginseng $$$

In the afternoon, I visited a overpriced Sailor Moon-themed cafe.

Roses = buns, drink = shaved ice Rosie peach

Finished the day with takeaway.

And a drink in a hotel bar:

With a very fancy bathroom.

Hong Kong 4

I woke up early at 4:30am to climb up to Victoria peak for a sunrise view.

The alternative is just to take a taxi up (Not a bad idea).

Instead of staying at the viewing platform, I climbed up to the actual peak (next to a water supply station):

It was very foggy so there wasn’t much of a view.

I then walked down to Victoria peak garden.

It was here that I came across a female Nephila pilipes’ web.

One of the largest spiders in the world

The garden has paths surrounding the peak but there wasn’t much that was visible.

I then went down to the Lion viewing platform.

And took the cable car down.

It’s looks a bit Harry Potter-themed.

The cable car’s terminus is in Hong Kong park, which is quite peaceful in the morning.

You can climb up this tower to see a view of the concrete forest.

Next to it is the Fighting SARS memorial:

Tired, I walked to the closest Starbucks, which happened to be Bing sutt-themed, a Hong Kong cafe in the 50s.

I had a red grape jelly frappuccino and lemon & lavender scone.

At the central pier, I visited Hong Kong’s maritime museum.

Hong Kong eye:

Man Mo temple:

Man Mo temple is located on Hollywood road, which has lots of antique shops.

There’s a road from here that leads to Western market.

(Picture from tram last night)

The first floor is dedicated to cloth sellers, who mainly sell silk.

I stayed on the ground floor, enjoying an iced toddy palm juice.

After a nap, I made my way to Chungqing mansions and ate dinner at a Indian restaurant.

Found some sweet friends on the way to Star ferry pier!

Tried some egg puffs:

Before taking the star ferry to the island.

Very appropriately dressed for the occasion

My feelings about the flat being on the top floor with no lift:

😡😭😫

Hong Kong 3

After a filling breakfast I headed towards Stanley street for shopping.

Nothing to see in the early morning.

I then took the bus to Repulse bay – at this point, it started to pour with rain.

At Repulse bay, I had lunch, whilst waiting for the thunderstorm warning to go so that I could go sailing.

It didn’t so I went kayaking instead (no pictures as I didn’t take my phone with me). We docked near Middle Bay beach and swam to the beach.

In the evening, I visited the McDonald’s in Admiralty,

Which has a long list of different food options

Overall I had for 52.5 HK $, so it felt cheaper than China.

(I also chose the table serving option at no extra cost)

Bank of China skyscraper:

Between the skyscrapers is a small garden, displaying different types of trees.

Protestors stand in front of the Court of Final Appeal:

HSBC building:

St John’s cathedral:

(Ticking the starred items on LP off the list)

I then wandered into Hong Kong park,

Before heading back to my new home by tramway.

Catch a tram, catch a smile

At my new home I watched a movie before falling asleep.

Lantau island

Today I planned a day trip to Lantau, the largest island in Hong Kong (also where Hong Kong Disneyland is).

First, I took the cable car to Ngong Ping village.

(The weather forecast for this entire week is rain)

The crystal cabin has a glass floor:

The other option is a long hike up the mountain.

At the top is Tian tan Buddha, the largest bronze Buddha in the world.

Before climbing up to the Buddha, I visited Po Lin monastery.

Hope I didn’t offend any gods.

Tian tan buddha:

After seeing the Buddha, I walked towards wisdom path.

Wisdom path:

The wisdom path wooden planks form a ♾

It was a long and tiring walk up to Lantau peak, Hong Kong’s second highest peak.

After reaching bird’s rock at the top of mountain, the path was lost in the clouds.

At the top was a stunning view of a white cloud.

(If not for the weather, I’m sure the view would be quite impressive)

After a quick walk back down, I passed through the 12 guards.

They each represent a time of day and a Chinese calendar animal, each with their own weapon. This one is ox.

At Ngong Ping, I took the bus to Tai O, Hong Kong’s oldest fishing village.

Most shops sell dried flatfish here.

Some websites call Tai O the “Venice of Hong Kong”. It felt like a pretty ordinary fishing village, not worth the visit if that’s all you’re seeing in Lantau.

Locals live mostly in huts and stilted homes.

Tai O has a long history of smuggling and acted as a point of entry for illegal immigrants from mainland China during British occupation of Hong Kong.

After a bus and MTR trip back to my new home, it was time for a homemade Chinese dinner:

Sesame seed pudding:
It tastes better than it looks.

Hong Kong day 1

This morning I was greeted by a very excited little fellow.

I head off early with my new travel companions to Clearwater bay

There I had lunch

(Western food) and played tennis

Before jumping into the pool.

They have a very nice golf course here.

I then went to Temple street to go souvenir shopping.

And dined in central Hong Kong at the Peking duck.

Tasters:

A chef displayed his noodle making skills:

Pekin duck:

Worth waiting all this time for – it’s a lot for 1 person

Desserts:

Date pancake and rice balls flavoured with osmanthus in liquor soup.

Another border crossing

In the morning I searched for a nice place to have breakfast but as most places are closed, I ended up in McDonald’s.

Asian sourdough and soybean milk (you can order the normal McMuffin)

McDonald’s is surprisingly quite expensive (16 yuan).

As I walked to the bus stop, the clouds finally decided to let the sun through – shame it had to be the day I left.

I arrived early for my bus to Shenzhen (a long 8.5 hour busride). Unfortunately the bus didn’t do the same, arriving 20 minutes late (causing me to go round the bus station multiple times, asking each member of staff about my bus).

Anyways… on the bus I had lunch:

(Despite its name, its really just underbaked dough with beans in it).

When you think you’ve gone through every toilet experience imaginable…

This toilet break spot also had some food drowning in a soup

The bus eventually arrived at 21:40 and then I took the bus towards Huanggang border

before switching for a taxi.

After crossing Huangang border control, I took the shuttle bus to Lok Ma Chau border control.

And then a taxi to Yuen Long, where I met my friend and her family.

Looking back, this seemed simple but involved hours on the bus figuring out which border to cross and hoping that everything went as I hoped as I had no HK dollars. (Lots of stress)

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