Green Taipei

It was fairly cold when I landed in Taipei, one night in March 2016.

From the bus window, only darkness and dim lights from apartments and lamp posts. What that gloomy night was hiding me was the perfect green colours all over the city, on hills, parks and gardens.

A luxury to wake up the next morning to, buzzin’ to explore everything.

Parklife has always been a beloved topic of mine, and I apologise for creating boredom with yet another blog post about Val visiting a park but really… what’s best than nature? Humans can try to excel with art/creativity/design/architecture and then just stop reflecting under the shadow of a tree, a friendly refuge for every soul.

When I visited Singapore’s Gardens I was struck by how that tropical composition was an essential part of the city. Taipei’s gardens were more part of daily life of its citizens. I saw people resting, praying, exercising, living. The only difference from a normal park in Europe is the hills, that firmly hug the metropolis and provide challenging walks and breath-taking views. Something quite magical, if I may add.

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Temples

Temple comes from the Latin word “templum“, a structure dedicated to religious and spiritual activities.

We all feel the need to feel connected or meaningful in this beautiful crazy life, and it’s really fascinating, sometimes overwhelming to enter in a place considered sacred by others. I put together a collection of pictures (click here!) I took of temples in HK and Macau; there were too many to publish here, so I used you can find them on Flickr.

I hope you can see the beauty and the interest I saw through my eyes and camera.

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HK – take two

Even according to Wikipedia, Hong Kong is a disambiguation.

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Across the hilly streets in Central we lost the count of stairs and slopes. And it’s like a highway of things to watch and document about. American style bars, street markets, little sushi, international restaurant. And then tall, ruined buildings, that make your heart skip a beat when they let you peek through them: the sky white as a wall made of salt, a rare ray of light, another irresistible weird building hanging one after the other. We walked all along like a landslide, rushing our restless hearts to the next thing to see, to a discovery.

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We got stuck by the heat in a public garden along the fancy Hollywood Road, looking at the ladies and at this peculiar couple, two complete strangers who shared a bench without changing expression or interacting for more than 15 minutes. Fascinating scene.

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What strikes most maybe are the temples in the middle of the city. They are silent, almost surreal. Red and gold dominate the place. The smell on the air and the slow pace of prayers – repeat x3, I learnt- made me felt every time a humble piece of the jigsaw someone else was trying to do. There I remembered when child I was at church, and I had this naturally imposed silence during the Gospel.

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A change of plans is always on its way: call it fate, call it rain, call it HK. Walking ups and downs, the harbour is a precious shelter to sit down, look at the buildings switching their lights, putting up the show. Sunset, then Darkness came so early that we had just got used to breath and say “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” that with the big question spinning in my head ‘why do they use so so much diesel fuel everywhere? Maybe it’s the cure for my asthma’ it’s time to celebrate ourselves in a panorama bar.

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In the background Edith Piaf singing “La vie en rose”, I drink my cocktail and think that life can be beautiful, but sometimes is just beyond it. I surrender to HK and its power. Cheers.

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