Monday, April 02, 2007

Adventures with Catherine, Yehliu

A few months back I picked up a book entitled Taipei Day Trips. It outlines 30 little excursions in and around Taipei. After my first few dates with Catherine I knew she would be the ideal travel partner. I brought the book with me on one of our dates and showed it to her. I told her that, once the weather breaks, we are going to knock out each and every one of them. She giggled and said she would love to. We are going to take turns picking which trips to take, I chose the first one. Our goal is to finish the book this summer.

Yesterday, we accomplished trip number 1. We made our way to Yehliu, a little beach community on the northern coast. The area is known for its ports. It has been a popular stopping point for the past three centuries for Japanese pirates, Spanish conquistadors, and American traders. It's pretty mystical because of the odd sandstone formations on the beaches. The weather and erosion has carved the sandstone into egg-like shapes. Legend has it, they are eggs laid by ancient sea serpents.

We started our little adventure at the Taipei Main train station. 45 minutes on the north-bound train got us to Keelung. From there we had to find a bus to take us to Yehliu. We followed the guide book and had very little trouble finding our way. The bus weaved its way through Keelung and we arrived in at our destination in about 30 minutes. The bus ride was a bit harrowing at times especially since we had to stand up throughout most of the ride. Bus drivers in Taiwan have a nasty habit of speeding up and slowing down far too much. The roads had some nasty little drop-offs on the sides and no guardrails. We found ourselves being tossed around more than once on the curvy roads that followed the coastline. This didn't bother me so much because of my time in Honduras, but Catherine had a tough time. At one point she lost her footing and landed in the lap of a woman...very funny, we had a good laugh.

I am going to let the pictures tell the story of our day.

At the train station in Keelung. Anxious to start our trek.

After the bus dropped us off we had to walk a few kilometers. The street scene in Yehliu.

A nice temple on the way up to the beach. The detail in the design is great.

Standing at the entrance to the park. Lots of people there. It's a popular weekend destination for city dwellers.

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