What’s the best way to visit a city? Most people would tell you to pick-up a guide-book, get a good map and put-on some comfy walking shoes.
Not Bermudian Emily Ross! Ok maybe the shoes, but Emily believes that one of the best ways to see a city is to get lost. Where’d she go?
Well, where the Queen told her to go:
I’ve always thought that the best way to see a city is to get lost in it. It’s one of the advantages of travelling on your own: there’s no pressure to have a plan and sometimes that’s best! I think I’ve seen the most on days where I’ve had no guidebook and no mission.
‘Were you on your own all day?’ said my room-mate incredulously. It was evening time on Saturday and I’d just come back from a long day of wandering.
Trust me, I’m not a social recluse, but it’s really not all that bad! As a large group of exchange students had travelled to Shenzhen in mainland China (I wasn’t feeling up for a big market trip this weekend…haggling is fun and all, but you really do have to be geared up for it. This weekend needed to be chilled out), I decided to do a tube-stop coin flip. I chose two MTR (the Hong Kong underground) stops that I hadn’t been to yet, and flipped a coin (a good ol’ Bermuda quarter stubbornly floating about in the bottom of my handbag) to decide which to go to. The Queen told me to go to ‘Admiralty,’ so off I went.
Upon exiting the MTR I found myself in a mall (this happens a lot in Hong Kong). On the ground floor were a few nice restaurants and in the middle was a gorgeous grand piano. A jazz pianist was playing live music and I sat in a coffee shop on the floor above and listened for a good hour and a bit. Really, really enjoyed his playing. Might try to go back the same time this weekend to see if he’s there again!
After stopping off in a posh supermarket to eat some free samples, I realised this mall was a little out of my price range and headed outside into the great unknown. I’m starting to fall in love with this city thing – there’s always something different around each corner. Mind you, I do find myself missing taking an hour to walk down Reid Street because you keep running into people you know. I think that’s one of the best and worst parts of travelling for a roaming Bermudian: the anonymity.
After a good amount of wandering, I stopped off in a fro-yo joint down a side street (Hong Kongers love their frozen yoghurt. Ice cream is a rarity here) to refuel and then noticed a funky looking boutique across the road. I poked my head in and saw it was not only a kooky clothing/jewellery store but it doubled as an art gallery (of course). It was the opening of an exhibition, so I somehow managed to nab myself free wine and canapés and a performance from a great local indie band – just because I happened to be in the right place at the right time!
These surprises are found most easily by not looking for them specifically – so go out into the city and pay attention to what’s on the way to the big sights. Go down a random street, avoid over-planning and you’ll have a great day, whether on your own or with friends!
Categories : Emily Ross Column, Uncategorized