HONG KONG; One of those far away places with strange sounding names that added so much color to our childhood imaginations.

DSCN1967 Hong Kong was to be the start of a very Asian and apprehensive adventure. We left the never- never land of Maui, Hawaii and flew to this exciting and enchanting piece of China; perhaps the oldest civilization on earth. We have traveled to many places but this raised our blood pressure a notch or two just thinking about it. Foods that do not match our digestive habits;

languages in characters we cannot comprehend;

several months of being on the wrong side of the highways, streets and sidewalks;

multiple times zones, some in half hour increments gave us far more challenge than a trip to the “Dark Continent”!

This was a bit scary. But we had a good plan! Main part of that good plan was to have Joe along with us. Our friend Joe is just one of those people who can save you in Barcelona, dig you out of quicksand, navigate a 95′ boat over a sandbar 12″ deep, and on top of all that…is just fun to be with!

Second part of the good plan; we are doing this on a Holland America ship that will feed us every day, snug us in a warm bed, and hopefully come look for us if we are not back at “All Aboard”! Cruise ships and vacation rentals provide almost all of our accommodations on this adventure. We try to avoid hotels as they tend to be very confining.DSCN1961 Hong Kong was chilly and cloudy for much of our visit. We arrived just in time for the Chinese New Year celebrations, the city was decorated extensively.DSCN2355DSCN2354 The celebration lasts officially for a week but extends to three weeks for some devotees.

DSCN1964 Since its return to China the city operates as a special administrative district of the central government. DSCN1957

We took a fascinating tour of the Hong Kong fish market. This is not the typical fish market where dead fish are laid out on ice; these fish, thousands of them; are all alive in tanks.P1050552

P1050548 The market was at least a quarter mile long through a narrow walkway on the docks with tanks with every imaginable type of seafood awaiting selection. You know your fish is fresh when you buy it live!DSCN1975