May 21-22, 2016
Conor and I went down to Kaohsiung for a race that we signed up for, but we had time to wander around Kaohsiung before and after the actual race.
On Saturday morning, we took the train down to Kaohsiung and got set-up in our hostel. We ate noodles at a stall around the corner. They were delicious and I was a little embarrassed at how much better Conor’s Chinese had gotten compared to mine (opps!).
We went back to Kaohsiung Main Station to catch a bus to the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Center. The information center there informed us that we had to go all the way up to Zuoying Station and catch a bus there. We did and caught the “Buddha” bus to Fo Guang. Thankfully, it was wayyyy easier to get there than I thought it would be. At Fo Guang we got offered a free tour. Lisa showed us around and explained why the center was opened. Even though neither Conor or I said we were Buddhist they were still okay with us being interactive through the whole process. I don’t know about Conor, but I loved it. The area was so calm that it was making me feel calm. It was an overcast and rainy day, which just added coolness in the temperature and atmosphere of the area. A lot of the blessings and words of wisdom I was receiving all had to do with being strong through tough times and bringing more calm into my life. I couldn’t agree more!
Once we were finished walking around Fo Guang we took the Eda Bus back to Zouying and ate dinner in the department store. We had some bomb Tom Yam Noodles! I insisted on having Coldstone Ice Cream after dinner. Poor Conor followed me around as I looked for it for a good 10-15 minutes. He probably thinks I’m obsessed with ice cream now….which I kind of am, so it’s okay.
We took a walk around the Formosa Boulevard and then settled down for the evening. We had a really early morning ahead of us.
Sunday, after our race, we took showers and ate some more noodles from the shop around the corner. Then we sat down for some coffee and tea. Let me tell you…post-running coffee is the best! We then went down to the harbor area and walked around Pier-2.0. It’s an outdoor art gallery with different sections. I thought it was pretty neat until my feet started hurting. We walked to a cafe/restaurant called MARS. Alex and I were going to go there the first time we went to Kaohsiung, but it was closed, so I was excited to go there and chill out.
Eventually, we started moving again. We took a walk around the nearby park and then watched some dragon boats practice in the Love River.
Kristen once told me that it is always an adventure whenever someone travels with me. (Still not sure if that is good or bad…)
Well things got interesting for Conor and I when we arrived at the train station. A lot of people were wandering around or standing when they should be moving. Imagine a sort of organized chaos. The train station board showed all of the trains with unknown arrival and departure times. I thought it was kind of strange so I pulled up my train app and translated the news report section. I found out that there had been an earthquake south of Kaohsiung that morning. It wasn’t close enough for us to feel it so we had no idea. It had affected the train schedule for that day. All of a sudden our train came up on the screen as On Time, so we went to our platform. That was when the sky decided to let all hell break loose. It started pouring! The roof of the platform was kind of covering us, but I was still getting splashed with a little water. We waited for our train, but it didn’t come. Then the time switched to Unknown. We waited and waited and waited some more. 90 minutes later our train showed up. We were both so grateful to sit down. Our legs and feet were aching. It was a 3-hour train ride and I was really antsy because I just wanted to be home. We got home at 11 o’clock that evening.
Even though we had a little delay I still enjoyed my weekend spent in Kaohsiung. Conor was a great travel companion and I got to see new things I hadn’t seen before! Maybe next time I won’t visit Kaohsiung when the weather forecast is rainy the whole weekend (lol).