Posted by: sea2stars | October 11, 2009

A Train, a Confucian Temple, and a Fort

My roommate Christine is taking an English classes at the University in Tainan. In her class she has a friend named David who wants to meet foreigners, so she invited him to Chaiyi to meet us (Kate, Sebastian, and I). We all went out for coffee and had a nice time. David invited us to Tainan to show us around. So, a few weeks ago we took the train to Tainan. On the way there we took the fast train (not the bullet train, just faster than the slow train).


Train Tracks


We went to a very old Confuscian Temple. It’s interesting to be in a country that has survived for centuries. America has few structures this old,  and most that are still around are not of the current culture. This temple feels like a living museum that has helped shape a culture and its people. It was very simple and plain, with faded sculpted pictures. There is a large Banyan tree in the center of the court yard that seemed to speak more of the age of this Temple than the faded paint. I can imagine it being planted hundreds of years ago, and if trees could talk, I would want to talk to this one. The canopy of the tree covers the entire courtyard, but no longer gives much shade. The tree is dying now, even with their best efforts to save it. The Banyan trees are beautiful they are winding and twisted and have long spindly branches that hang down. It reminds me of the moss hanging from the trees in the swamps of Alabama. In every entry way in the temple is a tall threshold that you have to step over. I’ve been told that this is to keep the ghost out. This temple is so different from the other ones I’ve been to and it’s beauty lies in it’s simplicity.








We continued on our adventure by going to Eternal Golden Fort. I had told our host that I wanted to get my picture by a cannon. I know it’s silly but I’ve decided that every country I go to I have to get a picture by a cannon. This started accidently when my friends noticed that every country I went to I had a picture of myself my a cannon, so David took us to a fort. While we were walking around he started to inquire why I liked cannons. I tried to explain to him that it was a joke, and something fun to try to do when I travel. I don’t know if it was the language barrier or what, but he didn’t really seem to understand this concept. So when he inquired again and asked what type of cannons are my favorite, I simply replied that I like French Revolutionary cannons.




(Trinidad and Tobago)

The Eternal Golden Fort is also know as the Anping Big Artillery Fort. It was built in 1874 to defend Taiwan’s shore against the Japanese. In 1975 it became a historic landmark and turned over to the city for tourism. We were lucky enough to be there for a cannon firing demonstration. The soldiers came out in period costumes, and I can only assume, told us about the forts history, through a non-period megaphone. Instead of firing blanks through the cannon they fired off fire crackers. After the demonstration we got our picture taken with the soldiers.




There was even a moat.


The funny part about the picture, that you can’t see, is that behind the camera is about 12 other random people taking pictures of us. They must have been supper excited to get a 2 in on shot; period soldiers and Americans.

David, me, Kate, Sebastian, Christine


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