Today I got a late and lazy start to the day. Sometimes that happens when you travel. Everyday there is something new to see and experience, so it can be more draining than work. I know that may be hard for some to believe who never get a vacation.
So when I finally finished my fourth cup of coffee and was done chatting with friends on Skype, Kakao Talk, and FaceTime, I headed to Lotus Lake to walk around and check out the sights there. This lake is man made and created in 1952. Most of the temples were all build after the lake was made. The first place I was trying to go to was a Confucius Temple, but it was unfortunately under construction and closed. You all know how I love my temples!! I moved around to the next place around the lake after I picked up some smokes and a can of Coke. I then popped in the headphones and turned on The Dead’s Bonnaroo show I was at. Nothing like singing to The Dead jamming away while sightseeing!!
The first stop was the statue of the Taoist god Bei-Ji Shien-Tien. This statue was very cool and inside was a shrine for him on two different levels. One of the things that strike me is the color and detail that goes into these shrines. They are so colorful!!
Across from the Wuli Pavilion, which I will be showing you next, was the Chi Ming Palace. I didn’t go inside, but just gazed with amazement outside of it. This was the coolest temple I passd as I walked around the lake.
But, directly in front of the pavilion is The Spring and Autumn Pavilions built in 1953 as a landmark commemorating ‘The Martial Saint, Lord Kua’ and the champion of Taiwan towers. There are tons of turtles in a little half-moon pond the dragon statue hovers above. The Guanyin statue riding the dragon in front of the pavilions is the Goddess of Mercy, and according to legend instructed followers to build this icon between the two pavilions.
The next stop on this side of the lake was the Dragon & Tiger Pagodas. The Dragon is the entrance and the Tiger is the exit. This is a symbol of auspicious. This building represents Kaohsiung traditional culture.
At this point I finally made it to one end of the lake and it started getting really windy. I thought a storm was going to roll in as the clouds got really dark and the beautiful sun disappeared. I did get to see some police on horseback!! Children were waving and the police were all smiles and waving back. I joined in with the kids and gave them a wave and nod.
My last place to visit for the day was the Chingshui Temple. This was one of the first temples I was able to see as I started around the lake. It seemed so much smaller when I was standing right in front of it!!
After a nice walk around Lotus Lake I headed back to my hostel, hung out, and did some laundry at a 24-hour laundry mat. I also seem to be the only white guy that comes to this place ;-). Most of the guests are Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, and Korean. This is an environment of people I enjoy being around. I tell my students that learning English will give them the opportunity to talk to people from many different countries and cultures. This is a clear example. I do feel like a dumb-ass though, because out of everyone I am the only person who is not bi/ tri-lingual. I guess it does inspire me to learn Korean more, or at least some other language.
So tomorrow, I am planning on maybe staying another night here and go off for a hike at some mountain with monkeys. I need to go mingle with my own kind.