The weekends are the best. Nobody would question that. People are happier, nicer, more social. Life is usually pretty good on the weekends.
Today, all the teachers from the schools met. We went to a place called Wow Cafe, here in Shenkeng. Wow is a place that specializes in Western food. It was nice seeing and talking to (if only briefly) some of the friends I've met but haven't seen in awhile.
After lunch, I went with 3 other teachers to the Gondola. The Gondola here in Taiwan has just reopened, after closing down for nearly 2 years due to structural damages suffered from a typhoon. We rode it for the entire way - a full 30-plus minutes, and for a time, we were higher than Taipei 101.
The Gondola roundtrip is $NT 100, or about $3. Not bad at all, considering what it costs to ride the Metro in DC. The views were awesome (I'll try to post some pics later when others post their pictures.)
When we got to our destination, which was Maokong, we really didn't know what to expect. We had randomly decided to go on the Gondola, but hadn't really decided what to do - or even where it would take us.
We got off and followed the road to a local tea shop. The tea shop was on the 2nd and 3rd floor of a building, with the third floor being an open space with a roof - and being that we were all born to eat outside, we decided to sit there. The tea we got, Long Mountain High Tea, was a very bitter, bold and strong tasting tea. It definitly let you know you were drinking something. It was a little expensive too. For a small bag of tea, it cost $NT 400, or $13. On top of that, they added a $NT 100 service charge, or an extra $3.
But we all enjoyed both the tea and the view that we had. We were high up in the mountains, looking down onto Taipei City - with Taipei 101 in the center of our view. It reminded me of when I was in Los Angeles 3 years ago and we had found a ridge that overlooked one of the towns on the outskirts of the city. Very peaceful and relaxing.
We then headed back into town, riding the Gondola back to the Taipei Zoo (the 1st station). We then went on the MRT from the Taipei Zoo to the Liuzhangli MRT stop to go to a night market. The interesting thing about this night market is that the time I was lost in Taipei for 5 hours, I walked through the market several times. I had a better time this time because I actually knew where I was at - and finally know where I can go to find the market again, as it has some good places to buy things (including knock off's!)
Afterwards, we headed to Taipei 101 to enjoy the last hour of the night and now I am back at home, writing this, thinking back on a very good day. Sometimes, random trips with no purpose, plans or reasons are the best.
Until next time...
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