Our last morning in Shanghai was quiet - just sorting out food for the train and emails etc.We left the hotel about 3:00 for the train station. The station was a bit chaotic - we knew we had to clear immigration in Shanghai but did not know where. We found a sort of queue and some how managed to be at the front when they decided to let the middle in 1st. We cleared customs and immigration before we boarded the train.The train was very smart. We were in soft class and even had our own TV screens - not much use as all that was on were Chinese comedy shows. As it had been very hot in Shanghai, I was in shorts and froze on the train as the air conditioning was very fierce.We woke late next morning and pretty soon we were in Guangzhou (or Canton in old speak). There the train divided and we went on to Hong Kong. We were quick through customs and then into Kowloon with all the noise and bustle. It seemed very strange as it was Chinese but not at all like China. There is far more English around, far more Westerners, no hoards of cycle and scooters and the traffic stops at red lights! I still get confused which way the traffic is coming - here it drives on the left as per UK but not mainland China. We had a list of things we needed to do here apart from renewing Chinese visa. Fran needed her hair done - it was much more than my 80p cut but the results were good. We stocked up on a few things that are difficult to find in China (cotton buds, deodorant etc.). After spending all this money, I needed to sit down. We watched the light show from the pier at Kowloon. All the buildings on Hong Kong island are lit up with various search lights/lasers etc. - look fantastic at night - certainly the best free show we've seen. It is also strange being by the sea again - we had not seen the sea for nearly eight weeks and that was the cold Baltic at St. Petersburg.
Having done all the chores, the next day we were free to do a little sightseeing. First we bought some croissants for breakfast and sat by the harbour to eat them - a nice start to the day. We then went across on the Star ferry and on to the cable car to go up the peak. The other time we had been here it was raining, but everything looked much better in the sunshine. We decided to walk down from the peak through the gardens. What started out as a pleasant walk down of about an hour turn into a difficult descent as it got very steep. I had difficulty even walking down it and our legs both suffered for it later.
Fran has a thing about riding the escalators here as they are the longest set in the world. They take you from the centre up through Soho - an old Chinese area that is being gentrified and filling up with cafes and bars. It was certainly a bit incongruous as we walked through the old parts with the traditional markets, seeing the fish being gutted, and with the modern parts of Hong Kong as a backdrop.