Touring Around

So I have been a good little tourist this weekend.

On Saturday, despite writing that I was going to try and take it easy I ended up walking in the drizzling rain over to the National Taiwan Museum (the oldest Museum in Taiwan), where I saw some space age hydroponic sprouts and an interesting installation of architectural details from the almost 100 year old building printed onto glass along the mezzanine floor. Its a small museum, so afterwards I walked around the botanic garden that borders the building, which was a bit muddy to walk through, but peaceful.

Shopping seems to be a popular pastime here so I joined the fray and went into the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store, which is like a Macy’s turned sideways into a skyscraper. First I went down into the basement grocery store to buy of all things tea in tea bags and honey to drink in my room and then went up to the 11th floor in search of a possible yoga mat (I have been practicing each morning in the dance studio located down the hall from me). It was a no go on the yoga mat, but managed to find myself a western type spoon in housewares on the 9th floor.

Later that night I was looking up places to eat nearby and I decided to try this place called Fei Chien Ou, which is known by locals as the best place around to have unagi (eel). Apparently there is always a long wait on line to get in, but I guess since I got there after 8:00 I was seated right away.  Dinner is on the earlier side here. It was down a small alley, and I had to point at others’ food to describe what I wanted, but it was a very good simple meal with rice and miso soup.

Went to bed early to wake up at dawn with the birds again and decided to set out for the hot springs up north in Beitou. The whole way there I was debating whether I should go the cheap route and go to the public outdoor hot spring, which would be crowded, or pay a bit more for some time at one of the nearby hotel private hot springs.  I went for the public baths and even though I was the only Caucasian I relaxed and enjoyed myself much more that the public baths I went to at Olympic National Park. By the time I finished and returned to my place for a long shower to wash off the sulphur smell it was only noon and had to decide what to do for the rest of the day.

When I ventured out I made my way over to a place that was recommended called Creative Park. It was very close and once there found myself wandering around a series of old factory or army barracks that were converted into an indoor/outdoor mall with high end designer shops mixed in with an organic farmer’s market and craft show.  I especially liked going into a tea house specializing in cold brewed teas where I bought the kind of clear water/tea bottle I have been looking for.

So I better stop rambling on and just let my pictures speak the rest for me. Have a good Sunday all of you on the other side of the world.  Oh and by the way thank you so much for all your concern about my mosquito situation. My host Andy came by and dropped off a net for me.  It is just beautiful, I feel like a fairy princess sleeping under it, and so protected from those nasty little buggers.



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