Thursday, 14 August 2008

A Thursday on our own...

It's day one of our 4-day weekend between sessions, and while many from our group have left the city in hopes of finding memorable si'ghts, I, along with my sidekick Anna, have decided to stay within the city but explore its bounds. What started out as a 'little adventure' turned into a pretty memorable afternoon. The two of us set out to test our knowledge of the MRT (the subway) and the city bus system. We ended up going to one of the biggest malls in the country. We wandered around, finding all sorts of gifts for family and friends, but there was one feature about this mall that attracted us more than anything...the ferris wheel! That's right, the 2nd largest ferris wheel in all of Asia to be exact! Anna and I hopped aboard and we snapped a bunch of pictures of the city. I couldn't believe that I actually went onto this thing willingly. But isn't that what this trip is partially about?...pushing my comfort level to the brink?
After a few hours in this massive mall, we got back onto the bus system and found a huge memorial that none of our guide-books had in them. This huge, beautiful memorial was dedicated to the martyrs of Taiwan's history. There was even a changing of the guards, which we were just in time for when we arrived! The precision of those guards is hand-in-hand with the guards at Buckingham palace. (Which I have also seen first-hand) This memorial was almost haunting. They requested absolute silence beyond a certain point and no photography. This memorial was placed in higher esteem than the Chang Kai-Shek memorial! There were pictures and biographies of many martyrs along with life-size bronze busts of others. It was eerie, but incredibely moving at the same time. I guess legend says that if a person was to take a picture in the sanctuary area, that the images of the martyrs would appear on film. Craziness. We were glad we found it.
We just got back to our hotel about an hour ago. I freezing cold shower was definitely in order today. Well over 100 degrees today. Tonight, we're heading back out, the two of us, to go to one of the many night markets! So another post will be coming up soon!

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