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:
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:
On the North Cross-Island Highway:
Sunset in Danshui:In Pinglin:
Notice the green and white teapot street lights in Pinglin: