For our first hike in Taipei this month, we decided to climb the mountain that we can see from the window of our back bedroom. It has two temples on it, and several ancestral burial sites.
The path up to the larger temple was typical of many Chinese mountain paths; it had an entrance gate and steps leading up the mountain. Mountains here do not have hard trails with roots and obstacles, or rock scrambles like many trails that I have climbed in the US. They have steps, many, many steps, so climbing up a trail is like taking the stairs up a very tall building.
This temple had an elaborate three-dimensional wall sculpture on it bottom level.
The temple was very busy, with many people there to pray and make offerings. In this way, it was similar to what you would find in a temple or church in the US on a weekend.
This temple looked prosperous and well maintained.
There were many carvings on the temple roof. This temple was even more beautiful up close than it appeared from our window.
I thought this water buffalo statue was amazingly lifelike. After we were done visiting the temple, we hiked up to the top of the mountain. Then we headed over towards a valley between the mountains. It had a very interesting bridge.
This suspension bridge was engineered so that it would not sway much when people were crossing it. it was fun crossing it, but there was not much on the other side. Except passion fruit!
Just when I was wondering why you would want to walk across the bridge, we came upon a farm stand selling fresh passion fruit! The farmer lady selling the passion fruit gave me a sample to test. It was delicious! So we bought some.
I always thought that passion fruit on trees. Apparently, it does not. It grows on vines, and we passed many of these passion fruit vines along the trail.
On on way back down the mountain, we took a different trail. this trail had two large shoe; statues similar to the shoes designed by a local government official who liked to climb up mountain trails. He designed a shoe that could be used on slippery trails to make hiking easier.
The trail also had many small models alongside the trail. These were built by a retired man and were of the many attractions of Taiwan. It made the trail very interesting to walk down.
It was a good hike on a mountain trail very near our apartment!