Thursday, June 21, 2012

Taipei to Paris

I've come to accept over the years that travel and life away from home requires flexibility.  For instance, we had planned to stay an extra week in Kaohsiung to make sure we had plenty of time to pack, see friends, and relax.  Unfortunately, after much back and forth, the shipping company informed us that we had to have our boxes mostly packed by Monday and ready to be picked up on Wednesday.  That left us until Saturday when we left without our household goods.  An unusually wet week in Taiwan also meant that we spent much of that time inside.  At least we got to have a few more outings with friends.

It was great to finally get on the train and go to Taipei to start our trip.  On Sunday, with the rain finally letting up, we went out to Guandu to see a magnificent temple built on the side of a cliff.  It gave some great views of the city.  Even though the sun made it much hotter we went for a bike ride along the river as well.  We finished the day with a dinner of soup dumplings at Ding Tai Fung.  On Monday we made our way out to airport where we again had to be flexible.  Our bags were overweight at the counter so we had to move some stuff into our carry-on bags to meet the requirements.  Cramped in an airline seat for 12 hours required a different kind of flexibility.

Finally in Paris things started going smoothly again.  Arriving at 6:30 in the morning we were able to find the shuttle bus to our hotel and they let us check in without a problem.  After a delicious (though expensive) breakfast and a little nap we were ready to see Paris.  Having both been to Paris before we decided to get lunch at a cafe for some people watching and then take a walk along the river.  It was much cooler out than we were used to, and the diversity of people was fun to see.  After walking around for several hours and drinks at a bar for more people watching we decided to get some food at the store for dinner and breakfast the next day.  It was a long ride on the train back to our hotel as our fatigue caught up to us.  We waited in the wrong place for our shuttle bus forcing us to wait longer.  Then back at our hotel we had to deal with an urgent matter with our household goods shipment and also extra charges for our luggage on the next leg of our trip.

Tomorrow: Paris to Trieste - The difficulties of travel

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