Day 4 in Taiwan – Movies, Ferris Wheels, and Night Markets

This was our last full day in Taipei, Taiwan. We had a blast traveling around the city and making a few day trips to the outskirts. If you missed the first few posts, you can read about them here.

Our Last Full Day in Taiwan

Nicole and I got up and headed to the Starbucks down the street from our hostel. We each had a coffee and some snacks to tide us over for the day. Since the two of us had been running around having so many adventures over the past few days, we decided to take it easy today and just do random fun things around town.

Starbucks breakfast of champions
Starbucks breakfast of champions

Wu Fen Pu Garment Wholesale Area

Our first stop, after Starbucks was to a wholesale clothing market. Nicole and I took the subway out there and walked through dark and narrow stalls filled with discount clothing, shoes and accessories. For a weekday, it was surprisingly empty. There were a few other shoppers walking around the streets stopping into shops here and there, but it was far from crowded. Many of the stalls weren’t even open yet. Mind you it was around 11am when we walked through. It was surprising to see. I imagine the market must get going later in the day.

Miramar Entertainment Park

After the clothing market, we took the subway to Miramar Entertainment Park. We walked around the mall for a bit and watched “As Above, So Below”. It’s a great horror movie if you’re into that genre. After the movie we rode on Taiwan’s second tallest ferris wheel. It had breathtaking views of the city and like the gondola, it had a glass floor to look down and see the ground far below.

Beer and Pretzels

After the ferris wheel ride it started to rain, and thunder, and lightning really hard. We took the subway back into central Taipei and happened to spot a Paulaner Brauhaus. We’d visited one in Munich this past summer and really enjoyed it so we had to stop in and visit while we were in Taiwan. We had authentic German beer and inauthentic Taiwanese pretzels. Nicole also ordered some steamed dumplings, so it was a vaguely cultural experience. Overall, it was quite the combo.

Night Market

After our lunch of beer and pretzels and dumplings, we took the train out to the Shilin Night Market. Of all the night markets we visited while we were in Taipei, Shilin was the biggest. Streets lined with stalls and carts spread out in all directions. The night market had everything from clothing to food to even a carnival right inside the market. There was a temple at the center of the market playing a Taiwanese movie on a projector screen free for everyone in the community. Nicole and I got some chicken skewers and fresh fruit and walked through the market.

 

After our stroll through the night market, it was getting quite late. We headed back to our hostel and packed our things.

Leaving Taipei

The next morning we left the hostel and took a cab to the downtown airport. From there we transferred to Taipei’s international airport outside of town, the same one we used when we arrived. I had a great time in Taipei. There were tons of sights to check our and the people were incredibly kind and friendly. I would encourage anyone who is thinking about visiting Taipei to do so. However, I think you only need a few days in Taipei. I would couple a trip to Taipei with a few day trips outside of the city or even to different cities in Taiwan.

 

 

Third Day in Berlin – Street Art

We went on an alternative Berlin street art tour that involved some graphic images. There aren’t many, but there are a few graphic images in the gallery towards the middle of the page. Just a heads up. Now, on with the blog…

We woke a bit later than usual the day after the world cup. I know we weren’t the only ones waking up late. The streets of Berlin were eerily quiet leading all the way up to about noon. I think the World Cup victory from the night before kept most people in bed nursing their post-celebration hang overs. However, that was not the case for us. Nicole booked an alternative Berlin street art tour for us.

Street Art Walking Tour…because I’m edgy

The tour met below the Berlin TV Tower around 11. Our guide and the rest of our ragtag group introduced ourselves and we started our trek. The tour was really informative and I’ll do my best to explain the pieces as I remember them in the gallery below.

Lunch with the Germany National Soccer Team

Germany World Cup Van
Germany World Cup Van

That would be cool right? I wish. After the walking tour and getting incredibly lost in a hospital turned art school, Nicole and I found ourselves almost right back where we started, near the Berlin TV Tower. We stopped for a bite to eat. I got some sausages and Nicole got some currywurst. She loves currywurst. In the middle of our meal, this Mercedes van pulls up and a handful of guys in Germany jerseys get out. A few people in the area turn their heads and I notice that some of the people at our outdoor cafe are turning around. There’s some curiosity about this van but not the sort of full-on pandemonium you would expect for a World Cup champion team to be just 30 feet from you. Either way I snapped a photo. Later I saw an article on CNN about the world cup and the same van was in the article picking up players from the airport.

Museum Island

Nicole and I stopped by Museum Island for a quick walk around. Most of the museums were closing in less than an hour so we made plans to come back tomorrow. More on that tomorrow…

Dinner and a Movie

Movie in the park
Movie in the park

Nicole and I learned that Berlin is well known for its outdoor movies in the park.  Lucky for us there was a park
showing Nebraska, in English, right across from our apartment. I don’t mean that figuratively either. The park was literally across the street from us. We packed a small dinner of wine, cheese, hummus, olives, and french bread (German bread?) and enjoyed our meal. It started to rain about halfway through the movie so we sought shelter one of the large umbrellas in the back of the park with a bunch of other Germans. The movie was only a few euros each and the outdoor park/amphitheater was almost empty. It was a great experience.