December 1, 2011
True to having the countryside vibe (what with the shops closing at 7PM!), most of the shops were still closed (or just about to open) at like 10 in the morning. We went to Xitou Nature Education Area 溪頭自然教育園區 to take a look around.
We were also supposed to go to other places, but apparently, because it’s December, it gets foggy (thus making it hard to see the roads etc.). We couldn’t go to the other places we wanted to go to. Oh well! We still had a fun time at the education area, and it was huge! We kept walking and walking and walking…
The brochure by the entrance listed 19 scenic points inside. We passed by almost everything, except for those that were really just way up there. We were tired so we didn’t want to keep walking up! The more famous spots that we saw were the University Pond 大學池, the Giant Tree 神木, and the Sky Walk 空中走廊. We ate lunch at this restaurant/cafe near the Giant Tree. I ordered the salmon rice. The food itself is placed in this oblong tin container. It isn’t that big, and there are only bits of salmon in it, but at least it filled my stomach.
After a couple of hours inside, we decided to call it a day. It had started drizzling and it was getting really foggy, so we headed back to our hostel to take our things. Bought some last minute stuff for my relatives, and then we headed to the bus stop. We took the 3ishPM bus to Taizhong, and then took the train back to Taipei.
We even met this guy on the train and it was actually pretty interesting to talk to him. He’s 60+ years old and he’s originally from Taizhong, but he attended university at Taiwan National University. Later on, he moved to Japan and he met (and lives) with his wife and his kids there. The train ride took around 2 or more hours, so we were able to talk about a lot of things – history, culture, our own lives, etc. One of the things he told me is that he feels one of my “talent” is being able to take something complicated (say a conversation or something) and making it simple (i.e. explaining it to others in ways they can understand).. something like that. It could only just be an isolated case of course, but it’s flattering really.
He was with his Japanese friend and when we got off at Taipei Main Station, he even treated us to melon shake. We continued talking for like 2 more hours with his friend just sitting there (because he doesn’t speak Chinese). Sometimes, he would explain stuff to his friend, and his friend would tell him to tell us some funny stories about his family and stuff. Aww, such grandpas!
That marks the end of our Nantou County trip! :)