Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hualien ... biking along Taiwan's East Coast!

This past weekend I went down to Hualien with Nelson, Walt and Jerry. As they're running a project "Cycling Taiwan", they're organizing a bike trip to different locations every weekend.

Friday evening we met at Taipei Main Station and there it started - my first train experience in Taiwan...of course, the place was crowded - Friday evening, what do you expect... As can be seen in the pic, many are wearing face masks, most people are eating, some are sleeping (like me) and of course - everybody is connected to the world wide web - Taiwan has the highest wireless coverage worldwide!! What's funny - the seats can be turned around in order to sit face to face (2 people opposite of 2 others).

Two locals are welcoming us and showing us around...of course, we go to the night market :-)
*thank you very much*

Again and again I am surprised by the hospitality of Taiwanese people: friendly, helpful, generous... anot not only to foreigners but als their own folks!

Saturday - in the morning we're visiting famous TAROKO GORGE...

These huge rocks came down with the last typhoon...

Safety helmets are obligatory in parts of the trails

...beautifully blue water...

Walt, Jerry, Nel, me

After I clarified that a City Bike is NOT a Girl's Bike and a Mountain Bike is not a Boy's Bike we were ready to happily go on our bike trip ... yes, I rode a mountain bike, NOT a men's bike !!!

Biking along Taiwan's East Coast :-))

@ the Pacific Ocean


Walt and Nelson brought their foldable bikes ;-)

...this small vehicle attached to the bike was just for promotion - it's all about sponsoriiiing

back in town ... enjoying delicious dumplings

a typical Taiwanese breakfast...

another type of Taiwanese breakfast ;-)

At the farm ... oh wow, the first time in 3 months that I see actual cows on the range land :-))

...and drink REAL MILK that actually tastes like milk in Austria - not this sugared water with white color (or so...)

Sunday turned into a wonderful sunny day w/ blue sky and temperatures above 25C degrees!!

48 hours and a thousand pics later we're back in Taipei ;-) 
...thanks Walt+Nelson for capturing the gorgeous landscape ad all these funny moments on camera !!
謝謝你們 - 太高興的!!

It was a wonderful weekend, I discovered a very nice part of Taiwan and its countryside, learned a lot more about the culture here and was made aware again:
the way I am used to see and do things is not the only way...there are sooo many other viewpoints out there!!

I am grateful for all the understanding my Taiwanese friends show me - as a foreigner in their country who should actually behave according to morals and customs.

*thank you Nel for the readiness+openness you're answering my challenging questions*

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