But on to the pictures!!!!
On to the Taipei Main Station
From a wall in our room
I think a letter is missing.
Two shots from our local Metro Station
They play very cool music to indicate a train is arriving or departing
There's background music in the station as well
That's not true of all stations.
Taipei Main Station and environs
A panorama of the main hall of the station
Notice the lack of seating?
So what does the enterprising Taiwanese group do when they need to kill time, eat lunch, etc, while waiting for the train?
There is a very 'hip' element to the better off, younger Taiwanese
As seen by this hot chocolate purchased by Wife
Our tour focused on history.
Taiwan has NOT historically been a part of China. It was pretty much populated by indigenous people until the 18th century when the Qing dynasty (the Manchus) colonized the island. It remained under Chinese control until 1895 when Japan took it over after the Sino-Japanese War. It remained under Japanese rule until the end of WWII. Then the defeated Nationalist Chinese moved in when they lost to the Communist Chinese. The Nationalist were not nice people and basically acted as conquerors. So historically Taiwan really has not been a part of China's millennia long history. Remember this when you hear the People's Republic of China talk about Taiwan being historically a part of China.
We visited a central part of the city that used to be enclosed by city walls
Now there is only a gate or two remaining or monuments to the gates because when the Japanese came in they decided that the city walls were too old fashioned.
Many of the civic buildings used in the city date back to the Japanese period. And they are all Western in style! Like this the presidential palace.
Our guides told us that the Japanese architects, influenced by the desire to modernize coming from the Meiji Restoration (remember that?), could do things in Taiwan that they couldn't do in Japan because it would have rocked the boat too much.
We had two great guides that were full of energy and personality
While history was the focal point, it was the city itself that really grabbed me. Now remember we were going through what today is definitely a more upscale part of town. You will see the difference in my next post.
Gardens and monuments
This is supposed to be some kind do it yourself acupressure therapy walk. Looked like torture to me.
Can't have too many toilets
Temples? Got to have Temples
Building Art? Love building art in Asia
Wife making cozy with the Qing Dynasty architect (who you will note has a coffee in his hand)
And let's finish with one last panorama of one of the major city intersections