A few days in Taipei at the beginning of the year.
I had hoped to get to the Taipei Zoo but life and other schedules had a different opinion. So, armed with my Easy Card, I took the gondola up into the tea-growing hills around the city. The weather was not what I would call stunning but, fortunately, the rain held off for most of the time I was up there. I had a good walk and some green tea ice cream – all that one can hope for some days.
The great thing about the Easy Card is that it works as a pre-paid debit card as well. The card provides discounted fares on the metro, bus, and gondola(!) but can also be used to purchase sundry items.
Despite being in the city multiple times before, I had visited neither the Chiang Kai-shek nor the Sun Yat-sen Memorials. Considering the long shadows that these two cast over modern China, the visits were overdue. While looking for a less-common destination in the city, the Lungshan Temple was recommended. Since it was just before the Lunar New Year, the temple and the surrounding area was well decorated. Much of the details of the temple were lost in translation to me, but the visitors were welcoming and the neighborhood …colorful.
Also have to give a shout-out to the great staff at the Ounce Speakeasy in Taipei. I was fighting a cold and knew I had many more days on the road ahead of me. I needed something with ginger to rejuvenate. They did not disappoint.
PS: I cannot be the only person that thinks the Taipei 101 looks like Barad-dûr.