Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hong Kong Airport

There's just one word for this place -- big. Nicely planned out...but my gate is literally a mile from the checkin counter. I have to take a train to get there. I got a glimpse of that when I took the cable car up to the big Buddha in Ngong Pin.
I took a photo but it was so hazy it didn't come out very good, so I'll play with it in photoshop. But you can see the beginning of it to the left in this photo. Until then...this is the second leg of the journey up to the Buddha. rising maybe 700 feet up a hillside and supported by nothing but that cable. They offer a car with a glass bottom so you can look straight down, but it was $100HK extra so I used that as my excuse not to travel that way.

This was actually an interesting journey, once you got past all the gift shops for tourists. There are about 250 steps up to the Buddha, and I climbed them. Hell, I climbed Arthur's Seat and that was up 200 meters above Edinburgh, so I figured I could do this. I only had to stop to let my weary legs catch up to me four times (my lungs used that as their excuse for me to stop).

I saw the gold reclining Buddha in Bangkok and that was impressive, but it seemed a bit cheesy. This one seemed just right, for some reason -- on top of the mountain with a spectacular view, a hazy day keeping the sun's heat off, and various people standing at respectful distances, silently praying.

I'm not sorry to be heading home, not like I was when I visited Ireland or Berlin, but it turned out to be a decent trip. At least now I can say I've been here...and I honestly have no need to return except for business.

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