Monday, July 7, 2014

Memorials, High Tea, and Taipei 101

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!
Come join us for another day in our Taiwanese adventure!  =)

There are two very important men in Taiwan, one is considered the Father of China and the other is considered the Father of Taiwan.  So, we figured we should visit both of their memorials while we were in Taiwan!  First on the list, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's memorial!

It looks like the memorial is right by the Taipei 101 doesn't it?  Let me tell you, it isn't really... We know, because we walked there from the memorial...
Taipei 101 is the tall building you see right there that David thought looked like Chinese takeout boxes stacked on top of one another!  such a romantic that one  =p

We got there in time to witness the 'changing of the guards', which happen every hour I believe?  I've never seen anything like it!  They always have 2 guards in front of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's statue inside of the memorial, and they are not supposed to move until they get relieved by other guards.  Poor chaps...  I would definitely not be cut out for that job...

The changing is a very silent and long ceremony (except for their stompings) where the guards all move in slow motion and in unison.  How they keep their balance so well is quite beyond me.

After witnessing their ceremony, we wandered around the art gallery inside, which was really quite well done, walked through the Sun Yat-Sen exhibit full of history, which the history nerd in me absolutely loved, and then we decided to wander the grounds a little bit.

The idea of walking around the beautiful memorial grounds was awesome, but the weather was really not cooperating with us this day..  so we ended up just waiting out the rain before walking over to the Taipei 101.

Oh you deceptive little (tall) building you...  In all honesty, it probably is not that far, but we really thought it was only like 1 block away, so I think that's why we were so taken aback by the length of time it took us to walk over there!

Anyway, the observatory at the Taipei 101 was closed due to the weather, so we grabbed a quick bite of lunch, and said goodbye to the 101 to visit the Jiang Kei-Shek memorial.

Jiang Kei-Shek memorial is surrounded by two performance halls on either side, and a giant door/gate thing in the front.  It was such an interesting juxtaposition of orange/yellow/red colors of the concert halls and blue/white colors of the gate and the memorial.  

In front of the gate, which I thought was really beautiful.  I know, I know, beautiful might not be the first word people think of, but I'm a sucker for the blue/white combination, and to me, it was very beautiful.

The memorial.  it really reminded us of the Lincoln memorial in Washington D.C.

and the view from the memorial?  it's really worth the climb  ;)
As we were leaving the memorial due to the beginning drizzle, we were discussing the 'changing of the guards' we had seen earlier, and I voiced that it must be really difficult to do everything so slowly and balance on one foot like they did.  So of course, David thought he would give it a try to see if it really was that difficult!  haha  
What do you think?  Does he look like one of the guards?  
I thought he looked pretty similar until...

He did this.  Which was his interpretation of their front facing stance!   
Went straight from one of the guards to my Latin dancer man!
hahahaha  we seriously about died laughing.  
If you are familiar with the ballroom Latin style of dance, you may recognize the flavor of that in his placement of the hip /legs ;)

Feeling like we've burned enough calories from laughing, we headed back to the 101 for some tea! This was my first time having high tea, and I felt oh-so-British!  haha

the best tea companion  ;)

aren't they so pretty?!

there was even a tap dancer to provide entertainment!

and of course, the mandatory raised pinky photo  ;)

Having had our fill, we decided to go up to the observatory, which was open thanks to the weather clearing up!  We got in the elevator, which is I think the fastest commercial elevator (correct me if I'm wrong), and began our adventure.  As soon as the elevator started moving, the ceiling of the elevator became the night sky!  Within seconds of marveling at the ceiling, however, we were already at the top, and had to get off of the elevator with popping ears.

Now, I am not usually scared of heights, and usually, going up a tall building is no more than just that. However, going up the 101 was a totally new experience for me.  As soon as I got up there, I felt the building swaying and moving under my feet, and that totally threw me for a loop.  I think it took me the whole time I was up there to get used to the swaying building!  haha

The view up there was really breath-taking though..

and the weather was clear enough that we even got to go up to the outdoor observatory, which is the highest tourists are allowed to go!

that's the top!

Having had enough of the outdoors, we went back inside to watch a movie about the building of the 101 and had some photo ops   ;)

That little cutie is the Damper Baby!  here is his profile  ;)

he is the giant golden ball seen here, the damper, that reduces the swaying of the building by up to 40%!  I can't even imagine what the swaying would be like if they didn't have the damper!  Every skyscraper has one, but 101 is the only one that has the damper out on display for the people to see.

101 is definitely a tourist must see, and really, I think it is worth a visit!  We had so much fun learning about the physics and the engineering of it while enjoying the view and the experience  =)

Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful week!!

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