Monday, March 15, 2004

Taipei, Taiwan--Day 45

Today I headed back to the zoo to check out the hippos in better lighting. Instead of taking a cab like yesterday, I was advised to take the MRT which is Taipei’s Mass Rapid Transit (same name as in Singapore) because it was cheaper. Both the woman at the front desk and the man at the taxi cab desk insisted that I try out the MRT system because it could take me right to the zoo. I looked at the map and the roundabout way of me getting there on the MRT but saw that indeed, it would drop me off right in front of the zoo. So I decided to take it and had to first take a cab over to the Station and then got on the MRT which was, as they said, very efficient and I was there in more or less the same amount of time that it would have taken me to take a cab.

It’s a good thing that I did because there was absolutely NO ONE at the zoo today, unlike yesterday where I literally had to fight my way through the crowds of people standing around the hippos. Today I basically had the place to myself, with the occasional couple showing up to check out what the hippos were up to then heading on their way. Luckily I showed up just in time for their morning feeding time so I was able to get similar pictures to yesterday of them getting out of the water, but from more of an overhead angle. I snapped away and was thanking my lucky stars that Ellen was going to help sort out who was who.

I spent the morning at the zoo and when all of my memory cards were full, I headed back to my hotel to transfer the photos. Then I got back onto the MRT and headed out to the National Palace Museum which hosts one of the largest (if not the largest) collection of Chinese artifacts and historical pieces. Although I am feeling a bit impassionate about museums at the moment, I was really impressed by the collection of prints and porcelain. I spent about an hour at the zoo, tagging along on a private English speaking tour for a little bit, and then walked around the grounds taking some pictures. I then got a cab back over to the MRT station and headed down to the main Taipei train station area which is sort of like downtown Taipei (I think---anyways its where a lot of shopping is) and walked through the 2-28 Peace Park which was fabulous since the sun was just starting to set. I stayed in the park for a little while then walked over to where all the hustle and bustle was and found an underground mall which was mostly under construction then walked around the shopping area outside and got a bite to eat at a local take away place. After catching the MRT back to the closest station to my hotel, I then walked the rest of the way back to start working on organizing the pictures. Since there are so many pictures, its taken me quite a long time to get them all arranged, ready to be sent off back to the States as well as to Ellen at the Taipei Zoo.

(c) 2004 Sarah Galbraith. All Rights Reserved.