Posts Tagged ‘photos


Roadside Scenery around Hualien

Sorry I’ve been dreadful about posting and responding to comments recently.

Here are some photos of the countryside of Hualien from the vantage point of a tour bus full of children…

Many of the riverbeds in Taiwan are dry as this one is.  Often the water is diverted into rice paddies.

There tend to be a lot of tour buses that frequent Hualien.

It’s a good thing I never had to drive around Hualien– the clouds and mountains are far too distracting.  I’d never figure out proper directions.

The lamppost looks like an odd sort of tree…

Sitting on the bus, watching the scenery flow past the windows, I relaxed with the view of all that green and blue.  My kids and I all ended up dozing off at some point or another.  The nice thing about a bus is that I didn’t feel compelled to count heads every five minutes to make sure that I hadn’t lost any children on our field trip!


Farglory Ocean Park

The director of my school liked to take the kids out for a big end-of-the-year trip.  So last June we took the kids on the train to Hualien to visit an animal farm/zoo of sorts and Farglory Ocean Park.

Farglory Ocean Park just appears to be a pleasant ocean-themed amusement park at first.  Little did I know…

The view from the skyway of the ocean.  It’s really beautiful, but I was preoccupied with my three charges from my school since this was one bit of our school trip to Hualien for the end of the year.

I totally lost my street cred by admitting my fear of heights and scary swift ups and downs to them…  I escaped the swinging ship thanks to my lovely guy co-workers who graciously took one of my charges on with their guys.  She proceeded to be very queasy afterwards and so we lost our chance to switch off kids for the water- coaster.  In the looong line to get in, I was a big baby and whined to my kids that I hadn’t seen taking big scary rides in my contract when I signed on to teach them.  I survived, but was left woobly kneed afterwards (yup, I’m a big dork.).

I discovered one of the outer rings of the inferno (missed by Dante) is wandering an amusement park with kids who have very different ideas of where they want to go and what they want to do in the beating summer heat.  Thankfully Farglory Ocean Park also has aquarium and water shows were you can sit and watch dolphins doing tricks or manatees getting fed.  The little aquarium theaters bring an educational component to the park though the shows are entirely in Chinese.

The link in Chinese is here.  English information is here.


Barclay Park 2

When we went to Barclay Park this spring (yes, there’s a backlog of postings, my apologies– but fortunately for ye readers who like attending my witterings and pretty pictures, since there is a backlog, the blog will likely not die even after I finally return to the US in the fall for the kiss and cry of the election…  Oh, where was I?  Right… Barclay Park, a spring morning when I actually woke up REALLY early to go take photographs), the air wasn’t oppressively hot, and there were plenty of people doing their morning exercises of Tai Chi, and stretches and strolling energetically about.  In spite of the hopping pathways which hosted adorable tots being walked by their parents, there was a certain ambiance that retained that silent watchful quality nature has, even when it’s not all that silent…


Cute lizards



A smushed flower– these are pretty common if you stroll underneath the trees with slightly fern-like leaves and red flowers which I don’t know the proper name of.  They’re beautiful though, and I’ll photoblog them at some point.  ETA: My mother informs me that they are called “flame trees” and that Tainan has also been known as the “flame tree city.”


Another flower that was growing on bushes close to the water’s edge.

I think these are vaguely orchid-like, even though they are attached to a bush.

A water hyacinth.

Sunflowers always make me think of Provence, but there was a little field of them in Barclay park too.


Cherry Blossoms, Ing hwa

I have fond memories of the weeping cherry tree in our front yard transforming from deep pink buds to pale white petals raining down into the fresh shoots of spring grass. Last spring in Taipei was my first remembered spring without cherry blossoms.  I’d originally intended to visit Kyoto this weekend for the Cherry Blossom Festival where people picnic under the cherry trees.  Cherry blossoms are special in Japan because they embody the transience of mono no aware— a delight that holds a note of sorrow, because we know that it will pass all too quickly.

Visiting cherry blossoms in the misty mountains of Alishan was the chance to see their blush delicately intermingled with the forest of trees around them.

The deep pink of this particular kind of cherry tree I’d never seen before.

The kind that I’m more accustomed to is paler– and most of those were still in bud, though a few managed to bloom.

Though it was still early in the season, some cherry blossoms and petals managed to slip down and nestle in the grass.

Happy Spring!



To get to Alishan, we took the high speed rail and then transferred to the mountain train from Chiayi train station. The mountain trains are small and curve around and through the mountains (the map looks something like a child gone silly with a crayon). They push through tunnels and bamboo forests up to where the forest becomes Cypress trees. The air gets cooler and cleaner filtered through all those trees.

This mountain train is coming down from the mountain into a little town that we stopped in. The trains are narrow, and switch from being pushed to being pulled up the mountain. The conductor literally hops out and pulls the switch to change the tracks as the train changes direction and circles higher.

The train station above the highest convenience store (rather appropriately–Hi-Life) in Taiwan.

But what people go to Alishan for are the trees.

There are trees that are over a thousand years old in Alishan, often with names like: “Giant Tree #3.”

Stump in the shape of a heart.

There are a lot of stumps in different shapes– my photography skills were too limited to catch the pig and the dragon and the phoenix…

This time of year is good for a visit because of the cherry blossoms!


Cherry Blossoms after Dawn

on Alishan.


Here Comes the Sun

Over the mountains by Alishan.

Free Rice

September 2019
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