Monday, May 7, 2012

“Thirty-something” is the new “twenty-something”

One Friday May 4th, I left Taichung shortly after work, taking the HSR up to Taipei where I roamed the streets a little and took some pictures. I stayed at the same hostel where we had first stayed when we arrived in Taipei on April 28th 2011, and quite incredibly a member of the staff recognized me upon my check-in. I’m just going to assume that it is because I have an unforgettably handsome face. 

Unfortunately, Amanda had to teach a morning class the following day, so she caught the HSR on Saturday and we met shortly after noon at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial. Later that afternoon, we met up with a good friend and old work colleague of mine as well as his wife and two traveling companions. The last time I saw my friend Pierre was when we had stopped in Vancouver before flying to Beijing, so it was really great to catch up. We all went up to the Taipei 101 observation deck and took in some spectacular views. Later, we all went to the Taipei 101 Din Tai Feng where we enjoyed beef noodles, dumplings and xiao long bao amongst other dishes. Later that evening, Amanda and I went for a short walk and I took a few night shots from a pedestrian bridge overlooking an intersection by Taipei 101. 

The following day, we met our friends, old and new, for a coffee before saying farewell. It was a beautiful day, in fact we were lucky with the weather the whole weekend and so Amanda and I caught a cab and headed for the Maokong Gondola (貓空纜車). When we arrived at the gondola station next to the Taipei Zoo we were a little disappointed to see that it was shut for maintenance and would not be reopening until June 2nd. At that point, the obvious alternative was the zoo. Despite it being a very busy Sunday at the zoo, it was still an enjoyable experience and we had much better views in the panda habitat than we had last time we visited. 

All in all, it was a great birthday weekend. It was wonderful to see old friends and make new ones and I don’t think I had ever seen such clear blue skies in Taipei.

I took this a short walk from our hostel. Floats were being prepared for a religious festival.
A shrine close to our hostel
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Gate
National Theater
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Guard
Brett and sea coral in Taipei 101
Derek, Jason, Mihoko, Pierre and Brett
Intersection near Taipei 101
The pedestrian bridge is a good spot for taking pictures.
Zoo crowds
Bearded Dragon
Panda Habitat

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