In my Tainan post I mentioned Zhongshan Park and said I would have a separate post dedicated to it. Here it is!
The very first day we were in Tainan, we drove by this park on the way to a Thai food restaurant where we were going to have lunch/dinner with the other teachers. I remember being amazed at how beautiful it was! It's also, actually, quite large. We've now been to it several times and it's one of our favorite spots. It's probably the largest and certainly the prettiest park in the city and not very far from our apartment. It has lots of big beautiful trees. The type with vines climbing up their trunks that look like they've been around for centuries. There's a library on one end of it and a playground too. One of my favorite aspects is that there are lots of (unconventional) recreational areas. Basically, there are these areas where there is just hard packed dirt where (usually old) people get together and do tai chi, ballroom dancing and this exercise where you just smack yourself a lot. Below is a picture of one of these areas. This particular one is used for tennis or something:
The park also has some beautiful Chinese stone arches and sculptures and many, many more great things. But the thing that makes the park so stunning is it's lake. The lake is quite a good size, with a walkway leading to a pagoda in the middle, where there are usually old men playing chess (another VERY popular activity at all the parks here). In the water are hundreds of lilypads and on the banks are fishermen. It's all very quaint.
When we first got here, the lilies weren't in bloom. Then, one day we were driving past and I looked over and I saw one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. All of the lilies were open and the sun was shining down on them. The image was stunning. I wanted to take pictures so badly, but we didn't have time right then. It took me a little while to get back over there and I was really paranoid that they'd be gone, but I finally succeeded. The pictures don't NEARLY do it justice, but they're something. Enjoy!
As I was on my way out of the park I came across this guy:
He saw there eying me warily, but let me get pretty close and take a zillion pictures of him. He was pretty neat in person - or maybe I just get more excited about simple things than most people do.
Next post: Thanksgiving!!! We're gettin there!