This post is long. As I am starting, I am unsure as to whether or not I will send out the email portion in either two parts or without photos. There are a lot of photos…
We sailed in to Keelung Harbor shortly before 0800 this morning.
with the temple on the hill and the painted fueling towers.
After disembarking and sliding through immigration, George and I headed down the sidewalk where a colleague of his (and one of those he mentored this past year through the Bakar Labs) picked us up to give us a tour of Taipei. The drive took about 45 minutes for a distance that is less than that in km, we parked the car to walk/take the MRT (transport system).
We started from an area that was, in my opinion, the same as the NY garment district. Shop after small shop featuring bolts of fabric or notions with occasional models of made to order fancy garments. At one corner we made a quick stop at a Visitor’s Center where, on the second floor there were racks and racks of traditional costumes which could be tried on.
across the street an amazing small temple with ornamentation and delicate roof details.
From there it was on to the MRT as public transportation is easier and more sensible (much less cheaper) than moving cars around. Bon actually has a motor scooter (herds and fleets of motor scooters everywhere ) but rents a car when having to go long distances. Can’t put three people on a scooter – so there you are.
Our first stop was Chiang Ki-Shek Memorial Plaza which is also has the freedom gate,
the theater and music hall (roof detail).
Inside on the top level is a statue and honor guard (changes once and hour which we didn’t wait for).
There are two levels below – an exhibit of calligraphy –
and the ground level floor explained Chiang’s life.
A brief stop for beef noodles for lunch
and we were off for the The Palace Museum which contains just about everything that Chiang brought back from mainland China. It is huge with three floors of exhibits starting with early Bronze Age and working to the present. The only thing I didn’t notice was clothing through the ages. Otherwise, from furniture through decorations to porcelain, books and calligraphy – it was all there.
we have decorative pins and fingernail guards
(and I thought that the current artificial nail spikes were bad?)
decorative boxes. And books with painted illustrations from eras long before printing
and then there is the jade. I now have the maps and information on the different mineral types and a map on where they are found if anyone is interested.
since the white and green jades are actually two completely different minerals and found in different areas of the world. The earliest uses seemed to be weapons and beads with the fancy items appearing later.
The most amazing piece was this jade screen
the detail of which is incredible with each panel being different.
The last exhibit we walked through was of ink stones –
which unlike the inkwells of the western world were used to first grind the ink materials into powder, then reconstitute into a liquid form before apply to paper with brush.
It was dark when we drove back to Keelung. George went off to the BBQ, I ordered room service and crashed!