But then we do love to fill our days to the max.
We’d planned a relaxed start to the day but surprisingly, all three of us were up and ready to go earlier than anticipated. It must be the promise of a super hotel breakfast buffet, do you think? Anyway, we weren’t the only ones starting the day early because looking over the building site which is to become the new waterside garden complex, the construction workers were there at 8 this morning, doing their tai chi, too.
Anyway, we’d put together a brief list of potential things to do today, beginning with a trip up the Peak, if the weather looked promising. It did, so we walked beneath the HSBC building towards the tram terminus.
We passed St George’s Church and the Court of Appeal on the way, which rang bells with me as I’m almost finished with Old Filth, a story with these surroundings very much in the picture.
From there it was an easy – uphill – climb to the tram, though even at this hour it was getting a little warm. That’s by our standards, of course – people here are dressed in warm scarves, boots and coats whilst we swelter in our T shirts and cotton shirts. Well, it was 21C today!
Anyway, it doesn’t look much like a tram terminus but that’s exactly what it is and thankfully, there wasn’t much of a queue. We were able to simply buy our tickets and after a short wait, board a tram and up we went.
In the boarding area, there were some attractive displays and catching sight of the poster for the “Riviera of the Orient”, I thought I’d look out for something like that to bring home. Perhaps there’d be a souvenir shop up at the top? In spite of this being our third or fourth visit on the tramway, we couldn’t quite picture what there was at the top, other than the classic, fantastic view.
I’d certainly forgotten how steeply the tram climbs. In no time at all we were above the skyscrapers.
Hah! Did I suggest there might be a souvenir shop up at the top? Not only did the tram disgorge all passengers into this tacky collection, the whole of the Peak terminus appeared to be a shopping centre.
When we finally found an exit into the fresh air outside, we discovered yet another mall right there across the plaza! The idea of looking for a charming old-style poster suddenly seemed a waste of time. We’d not come here to shop!
Just around the corner was a well constructed viewpoint in a Chinese style pavilion, so, having found our way there we spent a while snapping photographs,
picking out landmarks (the hotel we stayed in last February is over in the distance),
watching people (always entertaining, don’t you think?)
and wondering, who lives in a house like this?
On the way back to the tram, we also agreed how incongruous the Christmas decorations are here!
When we reached the lower terminus, the crowds had gathered and we were glad we’d set out earlier than planned, for a day spent standing in a queue is not really our idea of fun. As it was, we were ready to move on to our next plan.
See you in the next blog post!