Today is the day we return in search of where my wife was born, fifty years ago at the British Military Hospital on Mount Kellett, Hong Kong Island. But what, if anything, will we find there?
After spending most of yesterday travelling back from Beijing and settling back in to our hotel (the Ibis Sheung Wan again), today is going to be a busy day of exploring. After a quick breakfast at the Starbucks below the hotel, we were off out again, heading towards the Peak Tram from central.
But first a short detour to the Edward Youde Aviary, a surprising space in the middle of this metropolis. It’s a free attraction, with various caged aviary displays and then the highlight, a massive walk-through aviary with around 600 birds present.
Next, we took the old fashioned Peak Tram up to the top of Victoria Peak, for its magnificent views over all of the Hong Kong skyline. But the real reason for coming here, of course, was the ten minute walk from the Peak to Mount Kellett Road.
We knew the British Military Hospital Mount Kellett had been demolished in the 70’s, and a particularly useful site for our research was Gwulo.com, with its old photographs of Hong Kong and its knowledgeable reader comments. From this site, we were able to establish that the foundation stones had been preserved at the nearby Matilda International Hospital (previously the British Naval Hospital) only a few minutes further along Mount Kellett Road. Showing the Gwulo picture of the stones to the present day security guard, he quite happily pointed us towards the memorial on a corner of the building, and overlooking Aberdeen Harbour to the South of the island. A lovely photo opportunity, and the guard seemed particularly interested when we showed him some further photographs of the area in the 1960’s, including one of Deborah as a new born baby.
From the old family slideshows, we were also able to pin down the location from the series of photos taken back in the 60’s. The hospital has now been replaced by apartment blocks, at 14 Mount Kellett Road, although much of the site perimeter wall still remains, and we’ve captured this in a few snapshots.
And finally, a mixed bag of night time photos around Hong Kong. Some evenings, we would head out on the tram to the Central district, and the bars and restaurants around the mid-levels escalators. Other evenings, we would grab drinks and snacks from the nearest 7-eleven and simply enjoy the view from our hotel room…