Taiwan for the Holidays - A Walk in the Park

As we ventured from our apartment on Friday morning, gorgeous weather greeted us. It was an ideal morning to explore the park at the top of Tianmu. A short walk sounded perfect since our feet were still a bit sore from the previous day’s adventures. But would our excursion merely be “a walk in the park?”

Because we didn’t want to wear out our muscles before reaching our destination, we hopped onto a city bus. The route ended at the top of the hill.

Crossing the street, we found stairs descending from the concrete jungle to lovely greenspace.

“Wow!” one twin exclaimed as she approached the tropical plants lining the path. None of us were used to seeing such large leaves.

Continuing past a group of people practicing Tai Chi, we followed concrete stepping stones to the edge of a creek.

The girls excitedly explored the rocks by the stream.

After enjoying the peaceful flow of water for a few minutes, we rediscovered the paved path.

Following it, we approached two camel statues I remembered from my previous visit to Taiwan eighteen years ago. Of course, we all climbed up and snapped pictures for posterity.

Mere steps away, one of the twins spotted a small worm. She couldn’t resist picking it up.

Was it time to explore another new place? On the map, my husband had noticed a nearby historic trail. Confidently, he led the family through the steep streets to the trailhead.

Whereas we usually hike on dirt paths in the US, trails in Taiwan involve stairs—lots of them.

We were not yet prepared to climb all of the steep steps which confronted us. About halfway up the “Monkey Trail,” my feet, knees, and hips were screaming for us to stop.

Pausing to take in a view of the city, we left the trail in search of an easier way down. After wandering down steep streets for a few minutes, we found another path that led us toward the bus stop. Of course, it was all stairs as well!

At a local shop, we grabbed some drinks, then rested by a water buffalo statue. We could only guess that the food below its belly was for some nearby cats, which eluded our detection.

Worn out from our morning excursion, we reached the bus stop and gladly rode the rest of the way home. Someday soon, we will conquer the Monkey Trail and enjoy the beautiful views from the top of the mountain—just not yet.

For up-to-date pics of our adventures, follow the #taiwan4theholidays hashtag on Instagram.