09.12.2003 - 13.12.2003 8 °C
Tue 9 December 2003 Expert Config Tool Course dinner in really good restaurant near Le Meridien with Wilhelm, Harald, Silke (Germany) and Gerard (UK)
Wed 10 December 2003 Expert Config course ended at midday but stayed around consolidating. At 4PM departed on TGV for Paris (arrived 18:00 and had hotel by 18:15 and was heading to Bastille by 18:30! I love that TGV. Walked to Notre Dame and Pompidou Centre and Les Halles. Didn’t get Pompidou and didn’t like local hanging around Les Halles at 9PM. Walked back to hotel via Rue De Rivoli and Bastille (stopped for supplies of cheese, chips, wine and bread) had a great feast in my room watching the soccer live from Lyons enjoying the irony.
Thurs 11 December 2003 Woke late. Walked to bridge for photo of Notre Dame realising I was running late I then walked up to Les Halles (again) to make direct connection to CDG Airport. Went via back streets of central Paris. Very nice. At a very crowded CDG a bit early and waited patiently for plane. Plane late to leave…Almost dark by time of departure and cloudy and raining and very long taxi and wait at top of runway!
Fri 12 December 2003 Amazing scenery once light over SE China. Arrive in Hong Kong and buy ticket to centre. Very neat and well organised airport and train. Hong Kong is a 3D maze because it is on a hill. Walk through Zoo/Botanic gardens and catch Funicular to summit – nice view. Back down hill same way and across harbour to Kowloon. Kowloon seemed to me to be much more like Asia. Kowloon is bustling, noisy, dirty and Spy Philips office when looking along Canton Street – spooky. Back at airport early and enter lounge. Meet expat Pom living in Gosford wait-listed on my flight. We have a couple of beers and watch the sunset feeling warm and fuzzy.
Sat 13 December 2003 arrive at KSA 0800 and catch Taxi home. Sleep in afternoon and wake at midnight the pattern of poor sleeping continues on another continent and time zone!