Seattle, Washington, USA

The main section of Seattle_s downtown district (with Pike Place Market on the waterfront) faces Elliot Bay (on Puget Sound) to the west, Seattle, Washington, USA

The main section of Seattle’s downtown district (with Pike Place Market on the waterfront) faces Elliot Bay (on Puget Sound) to the west, Seattle, Washington, USA

 

Seattle, Washington, the Emerald City, offers a diversity of attractions — from the iconic Space Needle and Pike Place Market to the Olympic Sculpture Park and the avant-garde interactive rock ‘n’ roll museum known as EMP (recently renamed the Museum of Pop Culture).  Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy hiking, biking, boating, kayaking, and skiing.  Oenophiles have many wineries within easy reach and beer lovers can sample the suds from a slew of craft brewers.  For coffee lovers, Seattle is the world center for coffee roasting and coffee culture.  Home of Starbucks, Tully’s, Seattle’s Best Coffee and many outstanding independent roasters, there is never a lack of caffeine in the city.  The city is home to two of the five leading, large American technology giants – Amazon and Microsoft, as well as the headquarters of the retail chain, Costco (Apple, Alphabet (parent of Google), and Facebook are headquartered in San Francisco’s Silicon Valley).  Surrounded by water on three sides with the Olympic Mountains looming in the distance, Seattle is spread over six hills in a series of appealing neighborhoods, each with its own creative character.

 

The Space Needle, built for the 1962 World_s Fair, located in a huge civic complex known as “Seattle Center”, is known far and wide as the symbol of the city; Seattle, Washington,

The Space Needle, built for the 1962 World’s Fair, located in a huge civic complex known as “Seattle Center”, is known far and wide as the symbol of the city; Seattle, Washington, USA

 

Pike Place is known far and wide for its restaurants, cafes, and market shops offering fresh produce, fish, flowers, herbs wine, and household items; Seattle, Washington, USA

Pike Place is known far and wide for its restaurants, cafes, and market shops offering fresh produce, fish, flowers, herbs wine, and household items; Seattle, Washington, USA

 

Our ship docked at Pier 66 (the Bell Harbor Marina) which has a great view of the downtown high rises and the Ferris wheel; Seattle, Washington, USA

Our ship docked at Pier 66 (the Bell Harbor Marina) which has a great view of the downtown high rises and the Ferris wheel; Seattle, Washington, USA

 

Southeast of the city and ascending to 14,410 feet (4,392 meters) above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape; it is an active volcano and the most glac

Southeast of the city and ascending to 14,410 feet (4,392 meters) above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape; it is an active volcano and the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning six major rivers; Seattle, Washington, USA

 

When we sailed on the Washington State Ferry over to Bainbridge Island across Elliot Bay (part of Puget Sound), we got this beautiful image of our ship docked in downtown Seattle, Washin

When we sailed on the Washington State Ferry over to Bainbridge Island across Elliot Bay (part of Puget Sound), we got this beautiful image of our ship docked in downtown Seattle, Washington, USA, near Seattle Center and the Space Needle

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Hong Kong Skyline, S.A.R. (Special Administrative Region), People’s Republic of China

Panorama of Hong Kong viewed from the Hong Kong Museum of Art in Kowloon with the Convention and Expo Center on the left and the IFC (Internaitonal Finance Center) office buildings, IFC

Panorama of Hong Kong viewed from the Hong Kong Museum of Art in Kowloon with the Convention and Expo Center on the left and the IFC (International Finance Center) office buildings, IFC Mall and the Four Seasons Hotel on the right, behind the Star Ferry boat

 

Hong Kong, officially the Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, is an autonomous territory, and former British colony, in southeastern China on the Pearl River Delt, with a population over 7 million people of various nationalities.  Its vibrant, densely populated urban center is a major port and global financial hub with a skyscraper-studded skyline.  Central (the business district) features architectural landmarks like I.M. Pei’s Bank of China Tower.  Hong Kong is also a major shopping destination, famed for bespoke tailors and Temple Street Night Market.

Note that the air quality varied considerably over the few days we were in Hong Kong.  Some of the photographs on the day we sailed in appear a little sepia (a brown tint), due to the heavy smog that day.

 

Sailing into Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China, from the south, following our stop in Shanghai, China, we passed by the old shanties in Aberdeen on Hong Kong Island_

Sailing into Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China, from the south, following our stop in Shanghai, China, we passed by the old shanties in Aberdeen on Hong Kong Island – in sharp contrast with the hundreds of high rise apartment buildings constructed over the past few decades

 

Sailboats were out in Hong Kong Harbor, a nice welcome to Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China

Sailboats were out in Hong Kong Harbor, a nice welcome to Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

The tugboat helped guide us into our pier at the Ocean Terminal, Kowloon, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China – across from the Convention and Expo Center and skyscrapers o

The tugboat helped guide us into our pier at the Ocean Terminal, Kowloon, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China – across from the Convention and Expo Center and skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island

 

Our pier at Ocean Terminal, just west of the Kowloon side Star Ferry Terminal, was close to the new International Commerce Center (completed in 2011), the tallest building in Hong Kong,

Our pier at Ocean Terminal, just west of the Kowloon side Star Ferry Terminal, was close to the new International Commerce Center (completed in 2011), the tallest building in Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China, with the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Hotel on the upper floors and Sky100’s wrap-around, 360-degree view observation deck

 

A panorama of our ship docked at Ocean Terminal in Kowloon, with the new International Commerce Center towering over us on the left and the Star (Ferry) House office building (with some

A panorama of our ship docked at Ocean Terminal in Kowloon, with the new International Commerce Center towering over us on the left and the Star (Ferry) House office building (with some great restaurants!) on the right (“Weather Forecast” is advertised on top at that moment), Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

The Kowloon Skyline with the Star House (center) in front of One Peking (also full of great restaurants!) and the Clock Tower and Hong Kong Art Museum (right front), Hong Kong, S.A.R., P

The Kowloon Skyline with the Star House (center) in front of One Peking (also full of great restaurants!) and the Clock Tower and Hong Kong Art Museum (right front), Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

A Star Ferry boat docking in the Kowloon ferry terminal, with the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Clock Tower in the background, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China; the ferr

A Star Ferry boat docking in the Kowloon ferry terminal, with the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Clock Tower in the background, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China; the ferries cost US$0.15 per ride, making the crossing of Hong Kong Harbor between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island quick and affordable

 

A filtered view of the high rise apartment buildings surrounding Kowloon Park where, as we took a morning kike, we forgot that we were in a giant city (except for the occasional partial

A filtered view of the high rise apartment buildings surrounding Kowloon Park where, as we took a morning hike, we forgot that we were in a giant city (except for the occasional partial view of the skyline), Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

The new ferris wheel (installed after the London Eye), the Hong Kong Maritime Museum (quite interesting!) in the left-most pier, the Star Ferry terminals, the IFC office buildings, IFC M

The new Ferris wheel (installed after the London Eye), the Hong Kong Maritime Museum (quite interesting!) in the left-most pier, the Star Ferry terminals, the IFC office buildings, IFC Mall and the Four Seasons Hotel, Hong Kong (Island), S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

The Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China, skyline at night, viewed from Kowloon

The Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China, skyline at night, viewed from Kowloon

 

Shanghai Skyline at Night, China

The Pudong district_s new skyscrapers lighted up at night, Shanghai, China

The Pudong district’s new skyscrapers lighted up at night, Shanghai, China

 

Few cities in the world have skylines that come alive at night in full color as pulsing billboards – Shanghai is at the top of the list in our experience, with perhaps Singapore (and its laser light show) right up there, too.  Our ship’s birth at the Shanghai Port International Passenger Terminal gave us prime viewing of the Pudong district’s new skyscrapers on the port side.  From our balcony on the starboard side we were mesmerized by a nearby tall skyscraper that changed the moving/pulsing light patterns on its exterior several times a minute from various “paintings” wrapped around the skyscraper to vertical Chinese character advertising billboards.  From the ship we could also look forward and catch a glimpse of the Bund starting at the bend in the Huangpu River.  All in all, a terrific night-time light show.

 

A close up of the new skyscrapers along the Huangpu River in the Pudong district, north of the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower, Shanghai, China

A close up of the new skyscrapers along the Huangpu River in the Pudong district, north of the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower, Shanghai, China

 

A light show on the nearby skyscraper which we could watch from our apartment_s balcony on our ship, docked at the Shanghai Port International Passenger Terminal, Shanghai, China

A light show on the nearby skyscraper which we could watch from our apartment’s balcony on our ship, docked at the Shanghai Port International Passenger Terminal, Shanghai, China

 

A floral pattern “wallpaper” on the nearby skyscraper which we could watch from our apartment_s balcony on our ship, docked at the Shanghai Port International Passenger Terminal, S

A floral pattern “wallpaper” on the nearby skyscraper which we could watch from our apartment’s balcony on our ship, docked at the Shanghai Port International Passenger Terminal, Shanghai, China

 

A geometric design in lights on the nearby skyscraper which we could watch from our apartment_s balcony on our ship, docked at the Shanghai Port International Passenger Terminal, Shang

A geometric design in lights on the nearby skyscraper which we could watch from our apartment’s balcony on our ship, docked at the Shanghai Port International Passenger Terminal, Shanghai, China

 

A Chinese character advertisement on the nearby skyscraper which we could watch from our apartment_s balcony on our ship, docked at the Shanghai Port International Passenger Terminal,

A Chinese character advertisement on the nearby skyscraper which we could watch from our apartment’s balcony on our ship, docked at the Shanghai Port International Passenger Terminal, Shanghai, China

 

A nighttime view of the Bund at the bend in the Huangpu River in central Shanghai, China

A nighttime view of the Bund at the bend in the Huangpu River in central Shanghai, China