Saturday, 17 April 2010

Worst Blogger Ever...

This is the title that I've acquired now that it's been 3 months without a post. On the other hand, Best Blogger Ever seems even less desireable to me so I'll gladly take the hate mail and my new title :) . I've actually just been quite busy lately - trips, teaching more English classes, finishing up my university Chinese class, and well...laziness can all be attributed to the lack of updates on this captivating blog site written just for you by the Worst Blogger Ever!
So what's new in Taiwan?? Well, I went to Spain so I don't know. Only kidding...well partially - I'm still in Taiwan although I did go Spain for a week during my Chinese New Year break (mid-February). It seems quite funny to go all the way back to Spain from Taiwan when there are so many places in Asia and SE Asia that I want to see BUT I couldn't have made a better decision on how to spend my big break for the year. 4 flights and 34 hours after leaving Taiwan (stops in Hong Kong, London, and Madrid), far-from-haggard Kyrstie arrived in Malaga for an amazing week of traveling around Andalucia (the south of Spain). Adolfo and I drove to Cadiz for a night of insanity as the annual Carnival de Cadiz was being celebrated with hundreds if not thousands of costume-clad people partying in the streets. We then went to Sevilla for two nights, Cordoba for one, and a quick stop in Granada before returning to Malaga for the last few days (with day trips to Nerja and Frigiliana). We saw some beautiful sights, museums, cathedrals, a futbol game (Sevilla v. Osasuna) and ate a lot of delicious Spanish food (purposely avoiding every restaurante Chino - ha). It was a shame that once I finally stopped saying "謝謝(Xie xie)" when I meant to say "Gracias" that I then had to re-wire my brain back to Chinese because I had to start the journey back to Taiwan. The trip definitely reminded me of how much I truly love Spain. Although I'm enjoying being in Taiwan and experiencing this different culture, I'd be lying if I said my heart wasn't in Spain.
Plaza Espana in Sevilla:
El Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan:
Walking to the hotel in Cordoba:

The streets in Cordoba:
Looking towards Cordoba from Madinat al-Zahra:
Sunset at Nerja:
Upon returning I was determined to start making the most of my one-day weekends in Taiwan. It's amazing what you can do in one day really. Driving my scooter through the local mountains, hopping on the train to Pinglin (big tea-growing area), checking out the lantern festival celebrations in Taipei, riding bikes in Danshui, late-night bonfires at the nearby beach, and frequenting the ex-pat restaurants/bars in Taipei made up a few decent Sundays before the next much-anticipated-event arrived at the beginning of this month - My parents! :) My next post will touch on the week of more Wades "Wading through Taiwan"!
Lantern festival being celebrated at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei:
Taipei 101:
On the North Cross-Island Highway:
Sunset in Danshui:

In Pinglin:
Notice the green and white teapot street lights in Pinglin: