03 February 2011

Hello from Hong Kong

We arrived in Hong Kong Jan. 26 and made our way to Tao Fong Shan, http://www.tfss.org/.  We'd been told it was an affordable church-linked guesthouse, but realized when we got here that it is especially Lutheran.
The center was founded in 1930 by a Scandinavian missionary and today continues to work with inter-religious dialogues and the study of religion. This is Christ Temple, an octagonal structure reminiscent of the two temples leading to the Altar of Heaven in Beijing.
We're staying in this mountain-top guesthouse which comes with a great view, a labyrinth close by, and the Lutheran Theological Seminary up the hill.  
Hong Kong is definitely not like our part of China, and there's a lot of talk about one country, two systems. This poster prohibiting spitting and littering, among other things, caught our eye. 
We were treated to lunch at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club with a marvelous view of Victoria Harbour. The half-size Little Mermaid scupture on the left was a gift from Denmark.
At the Flower Market we joined thousands who were shopping for new year decorations. The bamboo plants for luck are next to the five-generation fruit plants, auspicious when the entire family gathers to celebrate.

A tram ride up to the Peak.

Goldfish pond next to the Museum of Tea Wares.

An hour on the ferry and we were in Macau, originally a Portguese colony. The icon of the city is the Ruins of St. Paul's, a cathedral built in the 1640s and destroyed by fire in 1835.

But like all parts of China, the new and the old go together as in this view from Mount Fortress (a military defense structure built in the 1630s) targeting a lotus-shaped building (one of the many casinos that will relieve you of your HK$, Chinese RMB, or MOP$). 

Greetings from this part of China, as we continue to enjoy our winter holiday.