Brides Pool & Plover Cove
And because I enjoyed the previous hiking tour so much I was eager to join another group of people which headed out to do exactly the same thing...of course with the purpose in mind to explore yet another part of Hong Kong which I haven't visited before.
This time we spotted the New Territories which is a region in the North of HK. Our group consisted of 6 to 7 people, determined to start the trip at half past eight on sunday morning, the 30th of September. As usual the departure was slowed down by some latecomers in the first place and than again because the bus was overdue for about half an hour. Tired of waiting we decided to take another bus that was also going in the same direction, just not arriving at the exactly same spot where we intended to climb up. The nearest point for us was a stop in a small village named Tai Mei Tuk, which accidentially seemed to have been captivated by an olympic spirit as some Asian Triatlon games have been going on and a lot of people, local and foreign were either participating or cheering.
We haven't spent too much time there as we still had to walk for some time to reach the starting point as indicated on the map. Actually we had several hiking routes to choose from and finally we agreed on the shortest one which led us first to Brides Pool, a wonderful but small lake with a sputtering waterfall and a big stone in the middle where we placed ourselves.
In fact it seemed to be forbidden to enter the area as there was some kind of sign with some stuff written on it but of course neither of us cared about it. After we have been spotted to intrude without second thought nearly all Chinese visitors there followed suit^^ The brightest minds even brought their swimming suits along and jumped right away into the cold water.
After this stopover we started at last with our tour. The weather was again impossibly humid and hot which turned the climb to a pure torture and ordeal. Honestly, in the whole of my life, never ever have I been sweating more than on this day. When I reached the top of the mountain there was absolutely no spot left that could have been dry. But the gorgeous few was absolutely worth it^^
More adventurous though was the descend as some Chinese guys whom we met on the peak proposed to us to consider a short-cut to climb down. This of course was not a real path and we had to struggle through the nature always with the fear to fall off the hill^^ Countless times have I found myself lying on the ground as my shoes slipped away at nearly every second step I took which forced me to hold on to whatever grew there^^ I still wonder how it was possible that I haven't sprained my ankle or that nobody else got hurt as well. The best moment of all was when we finally arrived at the normal track and could relax since everyone was extremely strained.
Sometime in the evening, around six or seven pm we at last returned to the hall and agreed to meet again to watch women's world championship in soccer where the German team won against Brazil 2 to 0. Following this exceptionally good game we agreed also on watching a movie to bring the evening cozily to an end^^ Fortunately for me, we didn't have much choice and therefore I could see Tarantinos: Death Proof for the first time and could happily return to my now not so hard bed^^
Mid-Autumn Festival & National Day!
In autumn there are two big events in China which are celebrated throughout the country. The first one is the mid-autumn festival also known as the moon festival as the day is chosen due to the right positioning of the moon and hence not fixed to a special day on the calender. The second is of course the Chinese national day.
The mid-autumn festival has a long tradition and will be celebrated in most cases at home. This is a perfect occasion for family and friends to gather in one place, enjoy each others company, lit lanterns, have a good meal and most importantly give and receive as a present the famous mooncake.
In fact the mooncake was the greatest indicator for an upcoming event, especially for us as exchange students. Even long before the actual day have these been sold at every corner. I got my very first taste of this peculiar cake while I was shopping in Wellcome (my preferred supermarket) where the cashier put one of the cakes into my basket as a present. There are lots of different tastes to it but fortunately I got the most traditional one which has a sweet paste and a salty egg yolk as a filling. I must say that the first bites were not convincing but on the second and third try I really liked the special taste even with the egg combination that seems to be not everybody's cup of tea^^ I definitely will try to organize some to bring home.
The Chinese national day, which is dated on the 1st of October is another opportunity to celebrate. Therefore everybody got off from work and studies and could enjoy another free day. In China people are granted 7 vacation days A girl whom I got to know at the university invited me and some other people to visit the performances given by different groups on that day. Her group was doing the dragon dance (one of the many groups performing this dance^^) But their dance was most interesting and very nice to see.
In the evening there were of course fireworks on the Tsim Sha Tsui harbour side which was so incredibly crowded by people that the Walk of Fame was totally closed down even though Katie and me were still trying to get there as it seemed to be the best spot. Finally we ended up being behind a tall building and couldn't see much of the show, just some of the fireworks that were high enough were visible to us.
The way back was also rather interesting as the crowd of people was divided into groups and hoovered out of the area by policemen just like in a production hall^^ We returned happily to the hall and met again with all the guys we have been actually heading out and whom we lost on the way to the harbour^^ All in all it was a pleasant day.