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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Yangming Shan Flower Season

Last Monday me and Jen decided that we would go to Yangmingshan Mountain to see the flower season.  It's a really popular time here when all the flowers come out to blossom on the mountain.  We decided that we would set of quite late in the afternoon because it is not so far, or difficult to get to.  On top of this there were special busses put on just specifically because it was the flower season on top of the mountain.

To get there we had to take the MRT from our home in Xiemen, to Shilin Station, and then from there we would take the special bus up the mountain.

When we got to the top of the mountain, I could see why it is so popular.  The scene was picturesque like a postcard.  Totally beautiful I know it sounds a little gay talking about flowers but it was truly amazing.

Flowers at Yangming Shan

When we arrived we wondered around looking at all the flowers and the trees where the cherry blossoms were growing.  First we just looked around where the bus dropped us off, there was loads and loads of people there and it was really crowded.  Jen grabbed us a couple of corn dogs and a drink as I walked around and took some photos.

When she came back, we ate the corn dogs and then we walked over to take a look at the flower clock.  It was a big working clock that was made totally from flowers, apart from the hands.  It was working too because the time on it was correct.  Jen bought this thing for taking pictures called a magic stick.  It works a little bit like a tripod, but it is for taking pictures of your self, when you can't stand your camera on the tripod I guess.  Anyway we tested out the magic stick here, and it was a little more difficult than I first thought it would be to use, you really have to imagine your self standing behind the camera taking the picture of yourself.  Anyway, after a few attempts we managed to get some decent shots of us and the flower clock.

Then when we started to walk up the mountain looking around and all the pretty flowers, I walked past three phone boxes that were made from wooden trees, kind of like our red phone boxes back home but with trees instead of red.  I thought they were pretty good, so took a quick snap of them, when I seen there was no people around, which is pretty much a miracle for Taiwan.

Phone boxes, designed to match the feel of the mountain
We headed up the steps, and on either side of the steps their were trees with cherry blossoms growing from them.  It was a complete beautiful scene, but there was people anywhere, I was imagining at the time what it would be like to be in a place like that which looks so pretty but to have it all to yourself.  It would be picturesque, idyllic and peaceful above a city that is busy, crowded and noisy.  Would be perfect to go there to relax if there was not so many people around.

The bright pink colours stood out perfectly and they were a brilliant contrast to the dull browns of the trees, I think the fact the trees looked so dull made the flowers stand out even more, and made them look even more beautiful.

Cherry Blossoms, Yang Ming Shan

We walked across a bridge, and there was different kind of flowers growing out of the water.  These flower were long and green, and their reflection on the water looked splendid.  Above them, on a tree were the wonderful cherry blossoms on a tree looking impressivley over the yellow flowers coming from out of the water.  Also in the water there was a lot of lillypads (at least I think they were lillypads.)  All the bright colours were not over whelming they were good contrasts and it seems like it was making everyone there very happy to be around all the bright colours, and breathe in the fresh air that you could feel up on the mountain.  You don't get that kind of air in Taipei City thats for sure.

Different flowers, and the cherry blossoms
Jen and the flowers 

After this Jen couldn't find her phone and thought she had lost on the way there, phoned the phone company saying that she had lost it.  Then she phoned our flat mate to see if she had left it at home, and she had which turned out to be a relief because we worried about it.  Everyone knows what it feels like to lose a phone so it was good it was just left at home.

We then took some more pictures of us, with the cherry blossom trees, before we decided to make our way further up the mountain to a place where you could pick your own flowers, in a lake.  We managed to take loads more pictures of the cherry blossom trees in this one part of the mountain where there were loads there.  It was great seeing them all together and the scene looked superb.

Some pictures of us, from Yangming Shan
There was a fountain too, and I think we just caught the end of the fountain spraying out water before they turned it off for the day, because just as we got there and took a few pictures they turned off the water.

Then we went to look for the bus to take us even further up into the mountain.  There was a lot of different busses to choose from so I really really needed Jens help with which bus to take.  As if I managed to take the wrong bus, there was a big chance I could of ended up back at the bottom of the mountain.  It was starting to get late too, and I wanted to make sure I had time to pick the flowers and get some decent pictures of it too.

On the bus

When we got to the top of the mountain the first thing I noticed is, it was rather quite cold on the top.  Ha I knew its cold on the top of mountains but when you feel the difference it is quite big compared to what it was like near the bottom.

Then we walked into the lake where they grow the flowers.  There was loads of people picking their flowers, ranging from couples, kids, and familes all in their together looking for which flowers they wanted.  At first I was not bothered about picking flowers for us, but then when I seen everyone else doing it and the price I thought I would give it a go.

Looking for our own flowers
The cost of each flower was only 10NT each, so off I went in search of my choice.  I wondered about in the lake looking for ones that were well grown, and then when I found mine, I ripped them out, and then thought, hmm Jen should pick one too ha.  So Jen picked one out too.  It was actually fun looking for your own flowers rather than just buying them in the shop.

After that, on the way back to the bus stop.  I seen a big waffle machine in a coffee shop and told Jen I wanted one, after we ordered it, it took them ages to make it for us.  I am sure we waited around 10 minutes for this waffle.  They didn't even start to make it straight away when we ordered it, then they said oh sorry you have to wait a bit, then started making it!!

We had to change bus when we came down the mountain we had to change bus.  Then when we changed the bus, at the stop there was a small kid.  He was staring at me, so I said hello little friend in Chinese and then he started speaking to me loads in Chinese.  Jen had to translate but he said I say "when he waits for a long time, and the bus doesn't come he says OH MY GOD!" and then he said when "something goes wrong I say OH NO!" Ha that made me and Jen both laugh a lot on the way home.

Then when we got back we went to the night market to get some food, we ended up buying loads and loads of snacks.  Then we watched a movie when we got home.  All in all we had a very good day out.

Some other pictures from the day