Thursday, May 31, 2012

Guam: Memorial Day Weekend

by Pa Rock
Car window decal respecting the native Chamorro culture.
Your humble photographer can be seen in the reflection!
World Traveler

We arrived on Guam at 3:30 in the morning on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.  After sleeping a few hours at our hotel, the Hilton on Tumon Bay, Valerie and I headed south in a car we borrowed from a friend.  Here are just a few of the scenes that we encountered that first day.

Unlike Bank of America, the Bank of Guam is good for
A patriotic roadside attraction for Memorial Day
Guam and US flags on display at the park
Storm clouds gathering in the south
The display was beautiful!
Further south, rain on the ocean
Holiday swimmers
Desiree, a young Chamorran who talked to
us about fishing

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Leaving Taiwan

What do you mean I have to walk!
by Pa Rock
World Traveler

Murphy headed out earlier than Valerie and I the next morning because his flight was to the United States and we were returning to Okinawa.  I snapped a few final pictures as Valerie and I walked along to the subway station.  The subway took us to another station where we were able to catch a high-speed train to the airport.

It had been an interesting, and yet relaxing, trip.

And I have to keep up with her!
Window washer
There was a bit of a morning chill in the air!
This is what happens when cultures collide!
Another Taipei street scene
And another
And one more
Bull shopping!

Other Pictures from the Temple

The main entrance
by Pa Rock
World Traveler

After leaving the beautiful lotus pond, we ventured on inside of the Buddhist temple where we encountered offerings, works of art, and many beautiful things.  This was our last night in Taiwan, and certainly a grand way to end our trip.

Smell the incense!
Floral and fruit offerings
A war mural
Drum and art
Definitely citrus, probably tangerines
More artwork, chimes I believe
Buddhists love their gigantic brass bells
Another interior shot of the Buddhist temple
Ceiling-to-floor art banner
And another
And one more
And the last!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Magical Lotus Pond

by Pa Rock
World Traveler

Murphy and I went walking the streets of Taiwan on his last evening in the city.  (He was flying out early the next morning on a trip to the United States to see a terminally ill friend.)  Our evening trek through the city was a search for two particular temples that he wanted to see.  We found the first and were able to spend some time there, but the second was closed and locked by the time we located it.

As we were entering the first temple complex, we came across this beautiful lotus pond that was home to some Chinese animals and characters.  It was a serene and almost magical setting.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

National Palace Museum of the Republic of China

One of the buildings of the museum as seen from the
2nd-story landing of the main building
by Pa Rock
World Traveler

When Chiang Kai-shek figured out shortly after World War II that the communists were going to take over his country, the wily old politician began crating up many of China's cultural treasures and shipping them off to Taiwan.  Today much of what he stole is on display at the beautiful National Palace Museum.  Attached are a few shots of the exterior of the two main buildings of the museum.  We were there for a couple of hours, but it would take days to properly see and appreciate all that the museum has to offer.

Unfortunately, indoor photography was limited.

View directly from the front of the main building
2nd-story view of main building
Another view of the museum grounds
Murphy and Valerie heading into the museum
One more exterior shot of 2nd-story landing
We enjoyed a pot of local tea in the museum snack bar

Taiwan Museum of Contemporary Art

"Pop" Culture in the Year of the Dragon
by Pa Rock
World Traveler

At some point around lunchtime in our walkabout of the river district hunger took over.  Our next planned stop was at the Museum of Contemporary Art.  We took a cab there, had lunch in their snack bar, and then walked through the two-story building looking at the exhibits.  The beautiful old building was built in 1921 and originally served at the Taipei City Hall.

Two dragons guarding the museum
I got a few pictures of the outdoor exhibits, including some fanciful dragons constructed of plastic drink bottles and held aloft by wires, but my picture-taking inside ended the first time my camera's flash went off.  That was a definite no-no.  One of the indoor exhibits was a large photo and video collection from the Australian Outback.  It was very well done and highly interesting.

It's the heels that really make the outfit!
A beautiful young lady captured in oils

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Scenes Near the River

by Pa Rock
What the hell?
World Traveler

After leaving the riverfront we strolled through the adjoining neighborhoods, absorbing the local color and making a few small purchases.  We also discovered an interesting local park.  Later we hailed a cab and made a side trip to the Taipei Modern Art Museum.

An open-air shop - foodstuffs
There were lots of narrow streets and alleys
Bowls and stuff
A happy camper
We were in a poor part of the city
Entryway to a nice park
Valerie and Murphy chat with an alien
But the alien had his own work to do
And one more neighborhood shrine