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Everything's Coming Up Roses.

Return to the Shing Mun Valley Park.

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Perfect pink rose.

Perfect pink rose.

Our pool was scheduled to close on the 21st of November, so on Sunday 20th November, we headed off for our last swim of the season. We had been swimming every day for around a week and a half. We were planning on doing our usual end of the season double swim in the pools in both of the sports centres and then eating out, but, to our astonishment, there was a notice up at the pool saying: 'Outdoor pool opening dates extended to November 28th'.

Well, we were ecstatic, even though that meant another week when I wouldn't be going hiking. We had a lovely day at the pool. The sun was shining. The water was cool, but we like it cool, and there weren't too many other people swimming, as so many people here will only swim when the water is like stepping into a bath tub. We were really looking forward to another week of it.

Next day, we woke to find the temperature had fallen and the sun was nowhere to be seen. Nonetheless, we went swimming. Peter found it a bit cool. As he gets older, he feels the cold more. Me, I was really enjoying it. Nowadays, I always seem to be burning hot. Then it started pelting down with rain. We had reached the end of our swim anyway and came out and it was freezing. Pounding rain, winds howling. One of the lifeguards felt sorry for Peter and even stood holding an umbrella over his head as he got ready to leave. After a hot shower we made our way home through the rain.

On Tuesday, I offered to take Peter swimming again, but he said: "Don't you dare try and make me go back in that water." Thus, I felt justified in taking myself out. This was the first time I had left Discovery Bay for over a week and a half.

I wanted to go hiking, but the sky was black and the weather forecast said torrential rain and thunder storms. I thought about where I could go that wasn't too far from civilization and public transport, so I could escape if the weather went to hell. Then I remembered visiting Shing Mun Valley Park in the summer and looking at the lotus blossoms. There were posters everywhere showing the highlights of each season and, if they were accurate, I reckoned it should be rose time of year, so I went back to have a look.

I took the train to Tai Wo Station and went out via Exit B. There was a little park just at the exit and it was filled with beautiful bauhinia trees. These trees are the symbol of Hong Kong. They are gorgeous and they are in full bloom everywhere at the moment. One day last week I photographed lots of bauhinias in Discovery Bay, too. My bauhinia pictures here are a mixture of these two visits. Some shots were taken on a sunny day and some on a cloudy one.

Bauhinias on a cloudy day.

Bauhinias on a cloudy day.

A cluster of Bauhinias.

A cluster of Bauhinias.

Bauhinias under blue skies.

Bauhinias under blue skies.

Purple Bauhinias.

Purple Bauhinias.

Since I was visiting Shing Mun Valley Plark for the second time, I knew exactly where to go and I had a good laugh at how close the park was to the MTR. It had felt much further in the summer heat. I knew from my previous visit that the park had a rose garden, but I wasn't really expecting much from it. After all, it was small, and I have been to some utterly stunning rose gardens in Austria, Germany and New Zealand. No way could this compete.

Well, the rose garden was beautiful and, while it wasn't as good as others I had been to, it was a very pleasant place to visit. It has a pretty statue and some fountains in addition to the roses.

Overlooking the rose garden.

Overlooking the rose garden.

Fountains and roses.

Fountains and roses.

Statue in the rose garden.

Statue in the rose garden.

Once I was done photographing it, I went for a walk around the rest of the park and that was when I discovered the unexpected. There were lots and lots of beautiful flowers everywhere, but mingled in among them, sometimes in flower beds, sometimes in pots - were roses, roses and more roses. I forgot all about the gloomy weather and just really started to enjoy my day out.

Pots spilling over with roses.

Pots spilling over with roses.

Three roses.

Three roses.

Pink rose, red rose.

Pink rose, red rose.

Freshly watered rose.

Freshly watered rose.

Freshly watered rose.

Freshly watered rose.

White rose tipped with pink.

White rose tipped with pink.

Pink and white perfection.

Pink and white perfection.

Pink rimmed rose.

Pink rimmed rose.

Pink rimmed rose.

Pink rimmed rose.

Yellow rose.

Yellow rose.

Yellow rose.

Yellow rose.

Red rimmed yellow rose.

Red rimmed yellow rose.

Red rose.

Red rose.

Red roses.

Red roses.

Pink rose.

Pink rose.

Pink rose.

Pink rose.

White roses.

White roses.

Orange rose.

Orange rose.

These two compliment each other very well.

These two compliment each other very well.

And these two.

And these two.

Of course, being me I could not resist photographing some of the other flowers, too. After all, they were just as lovely. Just like on my last visit, there was an army of gardeners making sure everything in the garden was lovely.

Orchids.

Orchids.

Cosmos.

Cosmos.

Delicate white jasmine flowers.

Delicate white jasmine flowers.

Tulip tree.

Tulip tree.

Beautiful melastome flowers.

Beautiful melastome flowers.

In addition to the flowers there were more turtles than you could shake your first at, brightly coloured fish and some clean, healthy looking pigeons.

A Bridge of Turtles.

A Bridge of Turtles.

Big turtles and small turtles.

Big turtles and small turtles.

"Hey you, get out of my way!"

"Hey you, get out of my way!"

A pile up of turtles.

A pile up of turtles.

Pigeon.

Pigeon.

I found some new bits of the park I hadn't seen last time and had fun looking at all the little statues dotted around everywhere. These included animals, fairies and cherubs. Honestly, I think if I were still a little kid, I'd believe I was exploring Fairyland visiting here.

Fairy.

Fairy.

Angel with lantern.

Angel with lantern.

Angel holding bird.

Angel holding bird.

Angel among the toadstools..

Angel among the toadstools..

White rabbit.

White rabbit.

Hiding rabbits.

Hiding rabbits.

Panda.

Panda.

As always seems to happen to me, to my amusement, I was once again adopted by an old Chinese man who watched me taking photos then decided to point out the most beautiful things to photograph and also to tell me where to stand and what angle to take them from. He was quite sweet and his wife was amused at him bossing me about. It was really funny. Some people seem to like to satisfy their photography urges vicariously through me.

Stairway.

Stairway.

Water garden.

Water garden.

Windmill.

Windmill.

Decorative wheelbarrow.

Decorative wheelbarrow.

Waterfall.

Waterfall.

Chinese painting out to dry.

Chinese painting out to dry.

I could happily have stayed in the park all day, but I decided I better get back home. Then I remembered that this park was supposed to be near Tsuen Wan's Tin Hau Temple. I had once almost visited there, but hadn't quite made it, so instead of heading straight back to the MTR, I took the footbridge across the road and went looking for the temple. I was actually on the wrong road, but luckily I noticed a pink tourist sign in the distance, so went to see what it was pointing at and it led me straight to the temple.

Tsuen Wan's Tin Hau Temple is nowhere near the sea. Instead it is located right at the back of a pleasant park, next to a residential area. This temple was originally built in the eighteenth century, but was dismantled and relocated during the construction of the Tsuen Wan MTR line. The temple contains a bell and stele dating from the Qing Dynasty.

Temple entrance.

Temple entrance.

Temple drum and bell.

Temple drum and bell.

Embroidered cloth in the temple.

Embroidered cloth in the temple.

Temple door.

Temple door.

Temple door.

Temple door.

Temple shrine.

Temple shrine.

I discovered a gorgeous looking cat sitting outside the temple as I admired the ornamentation on the temple roof.

Cute cat.

Cute cat.

Dragons on the roof.

Dragons on the roof.

Artwork on the temple.

Artwork on the temple.

Inside the temple, I was pleased to find that there was a lot more natural light than usual, as there were lots of different openings. I was able to take some clear shots of Tin Hau, goddess of the sea.

Tin Hau.

Tin Hau.

Tin Hau.

Tin Hau.

Outside in the temple courtyard, one of the temple attendants started chatting to me. He spoke excellent English. He really must have grown up overseas. Usually I feel a bit like I am trespassing in temples, but he could not have been more welcoming and told me I should take some photos inside. I had actually already done this.

Incense coils.

Incense coils.

Incense burner.

Incense burner.

Incense coils.

Incense coils.

Incense burner.

Incense burner.

I had nearly been to this temple before. I almost came here one summer after visiting the Sam Tung Uk Museum, which is located in an old Hakka village. I thought that I could not visit both, as it was so difficult to walk in the heat and I was convinced that the temple was far away up a hill. Low and behold the museum and the temple are right next to each other. I could spit further than the distance between them. It made me laugh.

Museum.

Museum.

Museum.

Museum.

I would have visited the Sam Tung Uk Museum again, but it was a Tuesday so it was shut. My first non-swimming day in weeks had turned out to be very enjoyable after all.

Then on Wednesday, I was just relaxing, minding my own business, when Peter, much to my surprise, ordered me down the pool for another freezing cold swim once again in the rain.

Posted by irenevt 12:47 Archived in Hong Kong

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Comments

Wow. Irene, thank you for brightening up a cold raining morning in England.

by alectrevor

You are most welcome, Alec, though to be honest, it's cold and wet here, too.

by irenevt

Beautiful pics and beautiful garden!

Ciao!

by Maurizioagos

Thank you for visiting, Maurizio. All the best.

by irenevt

Roses are rrad, violets are blue...and now we know what the earworm of the today will be.... lol :)

Beautiful park, I would have enjoyed walking around there too! :)

by hennaonthetrek

Hi Henna yes it was lovely. Thank you for visiting.

by irenevt

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