Day 8 – A bits and pieces kind of day in Kaohsiung

Slow start today. Nearly half 11 and I have only gotten as far as Caffaina Gallery for breaky – and of course some cake! The coffee and mushroom quiche was actually yummy while the chocolate and lemon cake was a mouthful of exquisite delight.

After that I set off walking to find the Kaohsiung Zili Bus Station to try to locate a ticket for my trip to Kenting. As I walked I past a building that I had seen from a distance and that reminded me of Sleeping Beauty’s tower and I wasn’t disappointed – even if it wasn’t what I thought it might have been. The place was called Vigor Kobo Pineapple Palace and it was the place to buy their famous pineapple pie.

There I had the chance to try the different cakes and their famous original pineapple pie. I tasted the mung bean cake, the traditional pineapple pie and the original. It was all delicious. The saleswoman then went on to tell me that I could do a tour of the factory for free, have a cooking class where I would be taught how to make the pineapple pie for NT $200 (AUD $9) or on the top floor eat at the restaurant. If I had more time I would have stayed. The cooking class sounded like fun too.

Still I kept walking until I found the bus station. There I was told I could not purchase a ticket until the day I was travelling. He then went on to point at something and give me some instructions in Chinese. It must have been my blank look that gave it away when suddenly he asked, ‘Do you speak Chinese?’ – to which I answered no. So with that he took me across the road and showed me exactly where I needed to go.

With my travel to Hengchun, Kenting sorted, I wandered back to where I saw a series of stalls set up. They were selling jade and other precious and semi-precious stones. Many stall holders were working on pieces so I suspect most of it was hand made and carved. It was some of the most beautiful jade I have seen. I also spotted this cute dog and came across a beautiful shop filled with gems and water fountains.

After that, I walked until I could hail a taxi. I was heading back to Maggie’s to get some waxing done. When I arrived Maggie sat me down to a cup of tea and we chatted for a time. Then off to get my legs, underarm and brows done. It really is a beautiful environment to receive a treatment and Maggie is just beautiful.

After that I started walking towards the school where Gene teaches – Kaohsiung American School. I love walking in Kaohsiung. There is so much to see along the way.

Unfortunately every time I walk I rarely have time to wander in and out of the shops and this time was no different. I was hungry for lunch but my phone battery was running low and I only had an hour to get to the school.

As I get close to the lotus pond I realise that there is a bridge I have to walk over to get to the other side. Not only that though, the bridge winds all over the place. The view is fabulous and eventually I am on the other side.

Originally the plan was to spend time wandering around Lotus Pond and see the tiger and dragon that represent spring and autumn but somehow time had flown. I did manage to walk through a small section of the parkland – what a fabulous walk that would have been!

Then I came across a beautiful monument where my phone finally died.

Nevertheless with 15 minutes to spare I raced over to the nearby train station only to find that HSR tickets to Taipei can’t be bought there so I still have a job to do on Monday!

Finally I found Gene and off we went to check out the school. It’s beautiful! The classroom Gene teaches year six maths and science from is huge and an inviting environment to learn in. The student are so lucky. Apparently about 800 students attend this school from elementary (primary) school right through to the end of high school. The facilities are the best I have ever seen. It was also great to see the kids practising their soccer skills.

Tour done, it was time for a waffle kind of dessert treat that Gene insisted that I try. You can imagine her dragging me kicking and screaming…not! As we arrived to Gene’s horror the shop was no longer there. ‘Don’t worry,’ she said. ‘I know where another one is!’ But to her (and my) dismay it too was no longer there either.

In our way back to the apartment we saw a footpath vendor making something so we stopped and ordered what she was making. I will try to get some more so I can take a photo but these pancake-like things were in the shape of Hello Kitty, Snoopy, Pikatchu and another Pokemon that I can’t remember the name of. We ate them back at the apartment and they were delicious – especially dipped in yoghurt!

In the meantime time I wanted to try one of the shops near Gene’s place. So off I went to get my food. This place was like a smorgasbord of local food where you paid by the weight! I wish my camera had been charged – but I filled two boxes with meat, veggies and fried rice and it came to about NT $120 (about AUD $5.50). Like wow! No wonder people line up for it. And there’s a similar one for vegetarians across the road.

Needless to say I enjoyed a magnificent feast. After which I packed my bags for Hengchun, wrote some of my blog and went to bed.

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