Friday, July 22, 2016

Searching for a Summer Wind

It's July, it's hot, it's  time to get out of the house and walk around in search of the elusive "Summer Wind". Cue Frank Sinatra:

The summer wind came blowin' in from across the sea
It lingered there, to touch your hair and walk with me
All summer long we sang a song and then we strolled that golden sand
Two sweethearts and the summer wind
--Johnny Mercer

So, off we go on a visual walk-about.

The water front is the best place to start out looking for a cool summer breeze. "It lingered there, to touch your hair" 

There's a nice little breeze out here on Osanbashi pier.

That's it, stay hydrated.

That's a big ship!

A local hula club is enjoying the breeze while getting in some dance practice.

These charming ladies are sure having fun.

Here we go, firefighting boats are shooting their water canons into the air, that sure helps bring the temperature down.

Nice view of the harbor.

She's wearing a traditional summer yukata and he's wearing a jinbei; great way to look good and beat the heat.

Walking the waterfront promenade.

Behind every good man is an even better woman guiding him along the way.

The parasol - commonly seen in the summer season.

Gotta get me some shades too!

Summer means baseball around here. Now is the time for the high school baseball tournaments to begin.

If one can't find a cool breeze, get on a scooter and ride like the wind!

Emi is on the hunt too!

Another way to stay cool is to wear well ventilated pants.

That's it, keep to the open spaces.

This was an unexpected surprise.

Majorettes in perfect step.

And, here comes the marching band.

The band may have been small but the sound was big.

I love a parade!

Even the sunflowers are drooping from the heat.

This hydrangea is still standing tall.

Running like the wind.

Smoke'em if you got'em.

The twists and turns of the promenade.

Let's dance!

In Nogeyama park I paused to refresh myself from a water facet.

Some brilliant flowers flourishing along the side of the road.

Last shot of the day: Yamashita park,  the coolest place in town. If one checks their history they will find that this park was built to give people a place to stroll on hot summer days.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Taipei Taiwan - Summer Vacation!

It was hot, humid, rainy, and it was fun! We spent 5 unforgettable days in Taipei walking, taking buses and riding the excellent metro train system. The people of Taiwan are very friendly; everywhere we went we were treated with respect and kindness. Whenever we looked confused or lost someone would immediately ask us if we needed help. Happy smiling people everywhere one looks. Strangers on the street would greet me and welcome me to Taiwan. No kidding!

Because we were on the go so much and we were dealing with oppressive heat, humidity and on-and-off rain most of my pictures are just snap-shots.

Part one - Street Scenes

Taipei is jam packed with small shops and businesses.

The architecture of the buildings is varied, seems to be a lot of western influence.

Many of the sidewalks are covered which is great because rain squalls happen unexpectedly and the protection from the rain is appreciated.

It seems like motor scooters out number cars 10 to 1.

No need for a mini van to transport the family here.

When the traffic signal turns green it's off to the races!

Early Sunday morning - a quiet time for us pedestrians.

It's not all concrete jungle, there were lovely tree lined avenues too.

Part two - Visiting a temple.

There are temples everywhere and this one was big!

Popular too.

Everything is ornate - a lot of attention to detail.

The stone carvings are incredibly detailed.

We were a bit exhausted after spending time at the temple so we refreshed ourselves with some awesomely delicious diced mango on shaved ice.

Across the street from the mango stand was a small shop that sold soap - of course we bought some; we're tourists!

Part three - Beitou hot springs resort town

We road the railway system to the scenic town of Beitou. It's not too far from Taipei and the trains are the cleanest I've ever road on.

Exiting from the Beitou train station.

Right outside the station we are greeted by Colonel Sanders. In a country that has some of the finest cuisine on earth, it boggles the mind why KFC and Micky-D are doing so well here.

After a relatively short walk we arrive at the hot spring.

I'd follow her anywhere. I have to, she's the only one of the two of us that knows where we're going and how to get there.

Steaming hot and smells of sulfur.

Total strangers, just like us.

Yes, it's me.

We visited the old historical bath house.

If I didn't know better I'd swear I was back in Japan.

This bath house is architecturally incredible.  A real mix of styles. Large southern style verandas, Japanese style tatami mat rooms and roman style baths.

A large roman style bath.

I would have loved to visit this place back in the day when it was in operation. Simply amazing.

The view from the train platform as we ready to depart from Beitou.

Well, all good trips must come to an end. It was an excellent vacation, and, if we ever come back here again it will be in the winter when the climate is more agreeable.

The view from our hotel room just before we checked out.

Thanks for stopping by!