Wandering around HKIA

April 14, 2010

Arrived safely in Hong Kong after a fairly uneventful 8 hour flight sitting in cattle class.  The only thing remarkable about the flight was the little inseat TV kept freezing or reverting back to the menu which was quite frustrating.  Eating on the plane hasn’t improved any.  Especially now that the food is more “gourmet’ .  Nothing beats the experience of trying to eat couscous elegantly with a blunt plastic fork while crammed between other passengers also attempting to eat the same thing.

Spent some time wandering around Hong Kong International Airport trying to decipher the various maps so that we could get our boarding pass. After getting some directions, we got our passes and went through security again to get to the departure lounge

Managed to get some Hong Kong dollars from an ATM and got ourselves some food …  two dishes of number 225, some steamed pork buns and drinks for $205 HKD. 

Now we have a 3 hour wait until our flight to Zurich, which we will probably spend browsing the shops or just chilling out in the lounge area.

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More Accommodation

February 27, 2010

Some time ago I outlined details of our Irish accommodation so thought I’d better outline details of the remainder of the accommodation we have booked.

The list  falls into four main parts : London, Paris, Switzerland and Hong Kong.

London

108 StreathbourneFor London, we have chosen 108 Streathbourne, a B&B a little way out of central London.  This B&B has been recommended by Trip Advisor as the 2nd best B&B in London.  Its run by an English/Australian couple and is close by the underground [Tooting Bec on the Northern line is the closest station], yet far enough out of central London to be relaxing.  We are looking forward to staying there.

Paris

10 rue Fontaine ParisOur Paris accommodation will be at 10 rue Fontaine.  Located in the heart of one of Paris’ liveliest neighborhoods, this one-bedroom 4th floor apartment is just steps away from the Moulin Rouge, Montmartre and Sacré Coeur.  We are renting this apartment from Frenchy Rentals, a small property management group who rent out apartments for the owners.  We found this apartment via vrbo.com [Vacation Rentals by Owner] but booked it directly through Frenchy Rentals.

Switzerland

We are staying in five different locations in Switzerland ranging from the capital city to a mountain resort.  Accommodation in Switzerland is quite expensive despite the very good Australian dollar to Swiss Franc exchange rate, so we have had to economise a little.

Bern

For our two nights in Berne, we are staying at the Bern Backpackers [Hotel Glocke], booked through hostels.com, in a Twin Private room with a shared bathroom.  Located in an historic building which is part of the city’s UNESCO world heritage area, the hostel is centrally located and close to the train station.

Wengen

For our two nights in Wengen, a Swiss ski resort, we are staying at the Hotel Belvedere.  Wengen is a no-car zone, so we chose the Belvedere because it is within walking distance of the Wengen station and because it was the best looking hotel in Wengen.  The hotel is a traditional art nouveau-style chalet hotel overlooking the Alps.  We’ve chosen a double room plus breakfast.

Zermatt

For our two nights in Zermatt, a small village close to the Matterhorn, we are staying in Le Petit Hôtel, a fairly modern hotel.  Being a very popular tourist destination, and at one end of the famous Glacier Express train trip [more on that in a future post], accommodation in Zermatt was hard to come by and I think we were lucky to get a place to stay, despite booking 6 months in advance.

Luzern

For our two nights in Luzern, we have chosen a budget hotel imaginatively named the Tourist Hotel.  This hotel is located on the Reuss River and is close by the main railway station and is just a couple of minutes walk from the streets of the old town of Luzern.  Despite being classified as a two-star hotel and being closer to a hostel than a hotel, it  received fairly good reviews from TripAdvisor.com.

Zurich

For our three nights in Zurich, we have splurged a little [within our budget, at least] and have booked into the Hotel Continental. Built in the 1960s, the Hotel features Swiss chalet-style interiors and is centrally situated, 500 metres from the downtown area and the main train station.  It also received very good reviews on TripAdvisor.com.  The exterior of the hotel, in the photos I’ve seen, looks to be your typical bland 60’s architecture, but the interior photos belie the drab exterior.

Hong Kong

We are staying in Hong Kong for 3 nights on our way back to Australia.  We have chosen a harbour view room at The Salisbury – YMCA in the Tsim Sha Tsui part of the city.  Reasonably central, this hotel came recommended by a couple of friends which was good enough for us.