The smaller galleries of Taipei were a hit or miss, a lot of the recommended places were closed or nowhere to be found, but still we managed to snag up a few gems along the way. Another artistic spot is Treasure Hill, a small settlement founded by Kuomintang veterans now turned into an artivist compound. Then of course, there are much more organized exhibitions of art such as the Taipei Fine Arts Museum.
Revisiting some places in Taipei – the view from Elephant Mountain was one worth returning to: This time around, the climb up was much more sweaty and mosquito-ridden. Still worth the spectacular view of Taipei 101. Nonetheless, Taipei had a lot more places for us to explore: Huashan 1914 Creative Park was a chill place to hang out and spend an afternoon.
The scenic North Coast of Taiwan is quite difficult to get to with public transport, so a tour by car was the way to go. Rock formations, colorful waterfalls and amazings views of the coast from the village of Jiufen.
Some impressions from Tainan – the oldest city in Taiwan.
Kaohsiung has some really awesome street and urban art to offer. The Hamasen Railway Cultural Park and Pier-2 Art Center are old industrial areas being transformed into new cultural spaces. Street artists created the largest mural village in Taiwan in Lingya District near Weiwuying, breathing new life into the blocks of houses – now bursting with color!
Taking the Gushan Ferry to Cijin ( 旗津 ) Island, walking along the long strip of beach, observing crabs moving on the rocks, hiking up to the lighthouse, walking to the Rainbow Church, looking over to Kaohsiung, exploring Cihou Fort and searching for the Mazu temple…
Impressions of Kaohsiung the metropolis of South Taiwan.
It would be a shame to miss out on a night stroll in Valletta or the Three Cities – once everything turned a mysterious dark, colorful lights illuminate hidden spots of the city, bringing new features to life.
The Three Cities lie opposite of the capital of Malta, divided by the Grand Harbour, hence offering a perfect view of the city. The naming of the Three Cities can be quite confusing: The Three Cities together can also be called Cottonera, and each of the individual cities has two names it can go by: Il-Birgu (Vittoriosa), Senglea (L-Isla) and Cospicua (Bormla) in between.
Go there for the amazing view of Valletta, go to Senglea for the best views from La Guardiola, for balconies galore and sandstone churches, go to Birgu for Fort St. Angelo and the yacht harbour, for good traditional food and religious decorations, go to Cospicua for exploring markets and peaceful promenades.
The Maltese Islands actually consist of multiple islands – Gozo being one of them. From Valletta, it takes quite some time to get there by public transport – the bus ride to the harbour of Ċirkewwa takes one and a half hours, the ferry then goes to Gozo every 45 minutes with another bus waiting at the Gozo harbour to take you further to the desired destination. Prepare for full busses and windy roads. So unfortunately, there is only so much that can be seen on a day trip. The Ġgantija megalithic temples are part of the Unesco World Heritage sites and the Cittadella of Victoria is also worth a visit. It is also possible to do boat rides to the Blue Lagoon or to visit the Azur Window (the GOT filming site that crashed into the sea).
The construction of the magnificent Saint John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta is deeply intertwined with Malta’s past and influence by the Order of St. John. Compared to an oyster because the plain exterior hides the lush interior baroque decorations, it tells the story of Malta’s religious history. Every one of the eight langues (sections) of the order is represented in a chapel, rich with its native symbolism and characteristics.
So is Valletta the monochrome city? The predominant color seems to be sandstone on which the city has been built. But looking closer, splashes of color seep through the cracks and crevasses of the architecture, infiltrating the built of the city – the greyish blue of the sky, the deep blue of the water surrounding it, the aquas and greens of the balconies, the reds of crosses and cars, the multicolored boats…