Getaway Part I: Hong Part 5/5

THE STREETS/LES RUES

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Getaway Part I : Hong Kong Part 2/5

THE PEAK

From blue and grey to green, from glass and metal to wood and leaves. Escaping the oppressing city, slide and go high, high, higher. All with a simple tramway ticket, that’s the magic of The Peak. Did I tell you about the view. Aaaah, the view…

 

Pour fuir la ville et se retrouver au vert, un ticket et un vieux tram restauré suffisent. Et soudain, tout est calme, tout est vert. C’est la magie de “The Peak”. Vous avez vu cette vue ?

 

Once up there, you could just stay inside and shop your wallet away. You could spend 10 minutes taking pictures of the city, there on the roof, flashing to your heart’s content along with the other tourists. You could do all the cliché activities in an hour and get back down in an hour’s time. But why go all the way up there if not to fill your lungs with fresh air and get lost in the abundant vegetation? Just for one afternoon, get away, floating in all that green.

 

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The Peak… I love you.

Getaway Part I: Hong Kong Part 1/5

I spent a few days traveling with my mom and sister during my Christmas vacation. First stop: Hong Kong!

J’ai passé quelques jours à voyager pendant les vacances de Noël, avec ma mère et ma soeur. Premier arrêt : Hong Kong!

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Taoyuan Airport/À l’aéroport de Taoyuan

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The Hello Kitty self check-in booth… Why didn’t I get to use it?!

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Ready to go!
Prête à partir !

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Getting ready to board the plane. In two hours I’ll get to see my mommy!
Presque embarquée. Plus que deux heures avant de revoir ma maman !

 

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First contact with Hong Kong notes. The $10 bill is made of plastic.
Premier contact avec la monnaie hong-kongaise.  Les billets de $10 sont en plastique.

After meeting with my mom & sis’, commuting to the city and getting to the studio we rented for those few days, and timidly choosing a place to have dinner, we were exhausted! Time to rest and prepare for Day 1.

Après les retrouvailles, le trajet aéroport/centre-ville, l’arrivée au studio que ma soeur a loué avec nos grosses valises et la galère pour trouver un restaurant dans lequel on ose entrer, on était bien fatiguées. Repos obligatoire pour se préparer pour le lendemain !

DAY ONE/PREMIER JOUR
THE CITY 

First real contact with the city, under a beautiful sun. It was quite a shock to get out the door and find myself in a jungle of skyscrapers, glass and metal. But I was soon going to discover that the city can offer beautiful landscapes too. Follow me!
Premier contact avec la ville, et me voilà transportée dans une mer de verre et de métal. Je me sens toute, toute petite. Mais cette jungle me révèle bientôt ses secrets de beauté, et je vois tout d’un autre oeil. Levez les yeux ! 

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In Part 2, we’ll go from blue and grey to green! Stay tuned.
Dans la deuxième partie, on découvrira les trésors verts de l’île de Hong Kong.

Joy on the Bike Trail | Après-midi sur la piste cyclable

 

If there’s something that I really enjoy in my neighbourhood, it’s the bike trail. Build along the Danshui river, this little road connects Danshui to Taipei, and allows everyone to enjoy a little bit of nature while still being in the city. One afternoon, some friends and I decided to rent some bikes and cross the river to visit Bali, the city on the other shore. It was a glorious day! Below are some of the pictures I took that day. Can’t wait for Spring!

S’il y bien quelque chose que j’apprécie dans mon quartier, c’est bien la proximité de la piste cyclable aménagée, qui serpente de Danshui jusqu’à Taipei et au delà, le long du fleuve Danshui. C’est un bon moyen de s’évader, les jours de beaux temps, sans sortir de la ville. Mais que dis-je, ça, c’est une des caractéristiques de Taïwan : la nature n’est jamais loin ! Voici quelques photos que j’ai prises ce jour-là. J’ai hâte que le printemps arrive et qu’on reparte sur les routes !

IMG_2206On est parties à six, deux vélos et deux tandem ! À la station de Danshui, plusieurs magasins louent des vélos. $100 (2,50€) pour un après-midi, qui dit mieux ?P1070497P1070500 P1070501 P1070503 P1070504 P1070507 P1070510Renée, Nancy, Angèle et la petite Lucie
P1070513 P1070514We made a little friend!

P1070516 P1070518 P1070522 P1070527 P1070531 P1070538 P1070539We took that bridge to cross the river.

P1070541 P1070543 P1070545 P1070548That grandpa was so funny! We stopped to try the machines and he showed us how to be a boss, almost did a split and rode the thing with no hands. Boss, I tell you!
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P1070558 P1070560The shore shops in Bali.
Les échoppes au bord du fleuve, à Bali.
P1070561 P1070565 P1070572Un après-midi entre amis à Taïwan n’est pas complet tant qu’on a pas mangé !

IMG_2203 P1070571Oyster omelet : so good!
La spécialité du resto : l’omelette aux huîtres. Délicieux !
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P1070579Doggies chilling on the beach.
P1070582The sun is setting, time to go back!
Le soleil se couche, il est temps de rentrer.P1070580Vue sur Danshui.P1070585 IMG_2200By the time we got to the bridge, it was already dark. But riding on the trail by night is a very fun experience. Totally safe, too!
Le temps qu’on retourne au pont, il faisait déjà nuit. Mais la piste cyclable la nuit, c’est assez drôle, et pas dangereux du tout.

 

Questions pour un champion à Kaohsiung

Mon travail à l’Association des professeurs de français de Taïwan, autre les questions administratives (ô joie) consiste à aider à l’organisation d’activités pour les professeurs et les étudiants de français. En décembre, nous avons ainsi participé au Francoquiz, un concours de culture générale française à l’université Wenzao, à Kaohsiung, dans le Sud de Taïwan. Des étudiants de tout Taïwan étaient invités à participer. Nous sommes donc partis très tôt le matin de Taipei afin d’aller chercher les étudiants et d’emmener tout ce petit monde à Kaohsiung.

J’ai été très impressionné par le niveau de connaissances des étudiants. Certaines questions, qu’elles soient de grammaire ou de géographie, étaient très pointues !

C’était un vrai plaisir de sortir de mon bureau et de pouvoir rencontrer des étudiants, même si ça m’obligeait à faire 10 h de minibus dans la journée…

J’ai hâte que le programme continue !

There’s a New Mall In Town! Meito In Danshui

My friends and I were very excited to hear that a new mall was going to open in Danshui. It sprung up from the ground at the speed o light, and before we even had time to notice the construction site, it was already time for the opening. Opening Day = sale, right? So we decided to give Meito a chance, eager to find some deals for us fashion deprived girls. Let’s go!

IMG_1789The busy entrance. Employees were busy distributing flyers and people were lining up to get in.

IMG_1799On the first floor, a shoe store, some beauty stores, a The Body Shop and… A giant bottle of cosmetics. Guess where I went first?

IMG_1790Elsa raving in fornt of the nail polish. So many to choose from!

IMG_1802We were particularly excited about the Uniqlo and the Ladies’ floor.
IMG_1801The jewelry floor. Nothing to do here if you’re less than 50 years old…

IMG_1805The layout was pretty standard, but it was nice to walk in a brand-new building.

IMG_1809I just HAD to stop at the Nike store. Just looking guys!

IMG_1812French brand alert! Pierre Cardin is in the building, s’il-vous-plaît.
IMG_1813In the book store, I couldn’t even navigate the kids section. It’s good to see that all those kids still like to read.
IMG_1814On the novelty floor, there were a lot of useless stuff with super cute designs. I think they were trying to emulate the Muji style, only edgier.

IMG_1815The colorful products gives the floor some warmth.

Overall, it was a nice 2-hour tour, but I don’t think I will visit Meito anytime soon. Most of the stuff was very overpriced and/or not what I usually go for when shopping. The fashion had a strong Chinese feel to it, it’s very different from the clothes we see elsewhere in Taipei. I guess it caters to middle-aged rich women more than anything.

I’d still go back for the Uniqlo and the restaurants on the higher floors, some of them looked very nice and the decoration was stunning. I was very disappointed by the bookstore, though.
Guess that’ll save me some money!

Random Post of the Month

IMG_1860I always see doggies chilling in packs on the street at night. Don’t they have owners?!

IMG_1909Cutest latte art I’ve seen so far! And this cup is so cute! Love the color! Want!

IMG_1910 Nice café, weird bathrooms, crazy prices!

IMG_1911 So yummy and cheap!

IMG_1912 IMG_1913Huge Muji store in a very cool mall in Taipei.

IMG_1932Very nice side street in Zhongxiao Dunhua. Taipei can be awesomely cosy!

IMG_1943Wut?
Heu ?

IMG_1950I swear, Taipei has the cutest accessories!

IMG_2044Can you spot what’s funny about this picture?

IMG_2049Grandma is so stylish!

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IMG_2051$99 of goodness.

IMG_2065On the way back to Taipei from Kaohsiung.

IMG_2078Christmas lights are up in my apartment complex…

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… and there’s a cute Christmas tree in the lobby!

IMG_2109One fine day in between bouts of rain. (Picture taken in front of my building. I love the view on the mountains of Bali!)

IMG_2131Doggy is taking a nap on campus. Daily occurrence.

IMG_2139IMG_1807My Christmas gift? One or the other? Pretty please, Mom?
Mon cadeau de Noël ? L’une ou l’autre ? S’il-te-plaît, Maman ?