Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Great Walk of China

That was not a typing error, it sure felt like the Great Walk of China...I will update with more photos in due course but as an idea, we walked what seemed like the whole of the Great Wall! In the foreground of the photo you can see our finishing point. In the far distance (left side of the photo) is where we started. The Wall ran for quite a distance, left to right, then towards the front of the screen Overall, it took approximately 90 minutes, including quite a bit of stopping.
We were quite pleased with the time that we made as some of the terrain was incredibly steep, actually needing a railing to get down.
I will post more photos from the trip over the next few days.
Tomorrow we leave Bejing for Macau.
Keep Safe

Not the greatest menu I have ever seen...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hong Kong/Beijing Update

So far the trip has been going well although it is remarkably hot. The heat in itself is not a major issue; having spent so long in Greece I am used to it however the humidity makes it harder to handle.
We have had two days in Hong Kong and did plenty. The first day was spent shopping, mainly seeing the local markets such as Mong Kok. There was some local shopping and much joy was had looking at the shop and street names… wow I need to grow up.

In the evening we caught the light show and then headed up to The Peak and got some dinner. It was actually the clearest night that I have ever seen up there although he clouds had come in by the end of the meal.

The second day was spent at the Monastery in Lantau Island and seeing the Tan Tian Buddha. Bizarrely, dinner was had in the Outback Restaurant; Australian cuisine! As I had eaten Asian food almost exclusively, and the next few days would see plenty of the same, I did not feel guilty for tucking in to a prime rib steak!

Tuesday saw a rather scary flight to Beijing. Initially the flight was booked by Amy’s mother and she booked us on to China Airlines…officially the worst airline in the world. It has had more fatal crashes (5) than any other airline in comparison to the number of flights taken. It ranked 90th out of 90 in airline rankings.

One argument later and we were booked to fly with Dragonair.

The flight was horrible, loads of turbulence but we arrived safely.

I am now in Beijing and spent today at the Forbidden City. I then went to what must be one of the oldest restaurants in the world. A Peking Duck one. It was awesome and is without doubt the best Peking Duck I have ever had.

Anyway, I will try and update the blog again before I go but as I have to steal bandwidth from someone living close, I rely on them having their wireless turned on!

Until next time

Keep Safe

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sigh...another delayed post..

OK, way too long again...

So much has happened since my last post I have no idea what I have done, and what I have not. 

2008 Melbourne Poker Championships.
I flew down to Melbourne for their annual poker festival. I have to say, I didn't particularly enjoy myself although I was there for the best part of 10 days. Bizarrely, one of the highlights for me was going to the theatre to watch My Fair Lady! I did not know that I would know a few of the songs but was surprised at how much I actually did. I think it dawned on me when they reached "The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain"...
Of course I played a fair amount of poker while I was down there, including the main event. In usual fashion, Day One ran for way too long and I think it was about 13 hours of poker by the time that we finished for the day at roughly 1am.

I was actually in pretty good shape at the end of the day and was very pleased with my game, making a few well timed bluffs to pick up a couple of nice pots.

Day two was a real struggle and took various bad beats throughout the day but managed to hang in. Eventually, I excited in about 20th position I think, all in preflop with KK against KQ...a horrible way to lose.

In the end I won about $5,500 but I was remarkably disappointed having played well for the two days. It was good to catch up with a few friends  after we had finished playing though and we went upstairs to the nightclub/casino to unwind until the early hours.

I am going on holiday on Saturday for 9 days and to be honest, I can't wait. I have actually written a schedule which can be found here.

In short, I fly in to Hong Kong for a few days. I have been plenty of times so it will pretty much be the usual trips to the Po Lin Monastery, The Peak, Tian Tan Buddha, etc. I will be going with my girlfriend, Amy, so it will be nice for her to see those places as she has never been before.

We will then fly on to Beijing for four days and see the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, etc. I will also get to meet her parents as they live there.

Finally, we will be flying back in to Hong Kong and then on to Macau. We are staying at The Venetian so it should be pretty good. Also, the day that we arrive is the opening night of the Cirque Du Soleil show, Zaia. We have tickets :)

What else...well, on Thursday, I am going to the public opening of another Cirque Du Soleil show in Sydney actually, Dralion. It is one of my friend's birthday, Tanya, so I will be taking her. Should be fun.

Other things of late...I have been to loads of concerts; Matchbox Twenty a couple of times, Kiss and an Australian with the most incredible voice, Vanessa Amorosi. Oh...and the support band for Vanessa Amorosi was a guy called Michael Paynter. I really believe that he will be huge. We actually have gone to watch them a few times lately but mainly to see him. 

I have linked a YouTube video so that you can see him here. Prepare to be amazed :) His first album will be out in a couple of months I it loud :) Finally, here is a link to one of the shows that I recorded on my phone :)

So, until next time,

Keep Safe