Monday, March 31, 2014

Taiwan - Juming Museum

I feel his work also well observes people.

Away from his military series, the other figures are quite humorous. His work has been exhibited  at the art museum in Singapore and some figures similar to these sat on Orchard road for some time.

 Men in suits.

A 'selfie',  but didn't quite get the angle right, darn it

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Taiwan - Juming Museum

Juming, the sculptor of note, set up this park to display his works.

He needed to.  Juming works on a large scale.  These are part of his military series.

His Taiji series is the one that made him famous.
Juming creates in polystyrene foam with the final works in bronze.  All very big.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Taiwan - Yeliu Geo Park

To the north east Taipei.

The waves have washed some weird shapes into the stone.

but for me the most fascinating stuff was under foot, fossil urchins.

Thousands of people visit this park.  The challenge is to take a photograph with no one in it!!!

Taiwan - Keelung

Keelung harbour and the Costa Victoria, which we are told plies between here and Japan.

A working port, although there a fair few tourists here for the trips up into the hills and coast either side of the city.

The Goddess of Mercy, guarded by lions playing with balls over looking the port.

Distant hills separated with valleys full of houses, or so it seems.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Taipei - Five Dime eating house cum art place.

 Really, this is a restaurant but MacDonald's this is not. 

 At first it is difficult to sort out where you actually sit to eat.  Oops, sorry, am I sitting on your art piece?

 And with distorted, often grotesquely so, naked female forms all over the place it could put you off your grub.

Picasso meets Gaudi and Dali for tea, one perhaps trying to out outrage the other?  An acquired taste me thinks, no pun intended

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Taipei - River Cruise, Taipei to Danshui

 We took a 90 min cruise down the Danshui River passing the odd fishermen.

a rather large  temple complex.  There seem to be a lot of these structures in Taiwan.

I did get a city sky line from the river boat to include the Taipei 101 tower which  at  0.5 km was the highest building on the planet until 2004.

 Dusk was gathering soon after our landing in Danshui.

Time to find a cafe atop the Red Castle built in 1899.  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Taipei - Chiang Kai Shek Memorial

 The gate to the memorial grounds. The Gate of Great Centrality and Perfect Uprightness

The day we  visited, 1600 pandas also decided to put on a display.  Children all over the place.

 The Memorial Hall itself is very imposing.

 From the top of the 84 steps you can view the National Theatre  and the National Concert Hall.

Inside the Hall, CKS seated in a very Chinese way, reminding me of Chingis Khan's memorial chair in UB.  The guard is changed every hour on the hour.  This guy was almost as still as the seated CKS.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Taipei - The National Museum.

 The home of the larger part of the Chinese national treasures.  I wasn't allowed to take any photographs inside the building.

 But, I tell you, it was packed with visitors.  This couple adequately demonstrate how I felt as we left the place.  Head spinning and done in!!!
Opposite the museum a Frenchified building looking a little out of place in the forest.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Taiwan - Taipei

 A large river flows through Taipei, a sprawling industrial city.

But there are tradition Chinese sites littered around.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Taiwan - The Doll House Museum

The first day and the required visit to the miniature museum.

 A real treasure house of 1/12 house,

 and room boxes.

The detailing and craftsmanship is extraordinary.  Makes my own efforts look pathetic.  But I will persist and try to match this level of modelling and presentation.  

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Taiwan - Arrival

There was an alien to greet us in our hotel room on our first night in Taipei,  a giant soft toy.  This at 11 o'clock at night.  He looked quite ticked off, perhaps because we were late in getting in, who knows.

Penang Life - sPICE Developments

 The revamped PISA now know as SPICE.

The hole in the ground we used to see from our Relau condo, the one on the right in the photos background, is slowly filling up with concrete.  Interesting. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Penang Life - Womens Squash Tournament

SPICE, the sports arena next to our place here in 1-Sky is host to the 29th Women's World Squash Championships this week.  This means fireworks at the opening ceremony, of course.

After 5 mins of bangs and flashes we were getting a bit smoked out.   Very entertaining.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Penang Live - Head Case

Sometimes you have to wonder if some people still have the brains they were born with.  Who in their right mind would power glide less than 2 km from the take off flight path of an international airport?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Penang Life - After the Dry

After 10 weeks without rain or without any clouds in the sky come to that, it is relief to see the black monsters back and unloading their lovely wet stuff on us.  10 weeks is a new record of dryness for the Malaysian Peninsular.   We want this record to stand for ever.  It has been unusually hot and humid over the 10 weeks, something I can live without, thank you very much!!!

It was still raining last night when we revisited the fish restaurant down on the beach at Gertak Sanggal which is as far as you can get with a car driving towards the south west of the island, and further from the madding crowds in urban Penang than you can imagine. Long may it remain so.

A tranquil spot to feast on steamed fish, crabs and prawns. Love these majestic trees that reach out over the beach towards the sea.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Penang Life - The Pallada Visit.

This is the photograph I would love to have taken.  To explain.  Whilst Gek and I were taking a stroll along the Esplanade a couple of days ago, we fell into a brief conversation, as is our want, with some young Russian sailors.  They were on a brief shore leave from the Vladivostok based Pallada training sail ship, the fastest in the world mark you at 18.7 knots, which was making an unscheduled stop over in Penang from a tour of SE Asia.  The Saturday newspaper said there would be an open day on the ship come Sunday but when we turned up at the quay to board, the Pallada had already sailed away.  So sadly, no photo of the ship and we didn't see the Russian lads again either.

And this was the reason for the unexpected stop over, the Russian cruiser Zhemchuk which was sunk in Penang harbour on the 28th September 1914, a few months after the outbreak of WW 1.  Ninety of the Zhemchuk's crew died in the sinking and are buried in the Western Road cemetery on the island. The Pallada's crew were calling in Penang to pay their respects to their fallen country men on their way past the island to Singapore.

The sinking of the Zhemchuk was the result of a series of blunders by the allies.  The German cruiser Emden gained entrance at sunrise to the Penang inner harbour by feigning the silhouette of a British cruiser, adding  a fake fourth  funnel to her set of three.

Once inside the harbour it was show time, with the allied ships crews still recovering for a nights partying they didn't stand a chance.  After escaping Penang without a scratch, the Emden was subsequently beached after an encounter with HMAS Sydney in  the Battle of Cocos on the 9th November 1914.  During her two month raiding period in the Indian Ocean, the Emden had sunk a further 25 civilian vessels in addition to the two allied warships sunk in Penang. No lady this one.