The Gathering

Last weekend, my bf’s department held a leisure gathering started with hiking to 象山 (Elephant Mountain) and having lunch together. It was a rainy day, even the weather forecast report for that day showed a 90% rain probability in the morning but we persisted to go hiking. It was good that by the time we begun the hike the rain got lighter.

象山is very famous because it is just in the city center; its altitude is quite low so the entire hike to the top will not be too long and of course the 101 building view from here is very appealing.

Hiking is not one of my hobbies, but because I joined several hiking activities endured for 4-6 hours, now I am quite used to it. I remember the first time I hiked Elephant Mountain, due to its numerous staircases, I just could not stand to ask “When will we reach the top” for every 5 minutes. But this time, after we finished the hike, I asked “Is this all?” so I considered myself (a little) level up.

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The PIC of this activity lives in Taipei so she is very familiar with the mountain map. We started the hike from the entrance and we went to 一線天 where there is a huge stone overlaps with other stone, creating a very slight gap between them, big enough just for one people to cross is. We took group photo before we entered it.

The next stop is the 六巨石, where there are six huge stones at the sideways of the hiking path. People will usually climb up to the stone and took photos with the far seen 101 building. Usually during a fine clear day, long queue shall be seen around this area where people can take awesome photo of 101 building from appropriate height. But it was a rainy day, the stones were slippery, no queue was seen around. We actually wanted to prolong hiking duration by going to 九五峰(95 peaks) and拇指山 (Thumb Mountain) but because the distance is quite far so we cancelled this idea and went back to Elephant Mountain entrance gate.

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We then went to Shin Kong mall 8th floor to eat lunch at a restaurant called ShinYeh Taiwanese cuisine. Because there were 13 people of us, we were seated in a big table inside a separated room which had cupboard inside for us to hang our coats and put our bags. We ordered around 10 dishes and opened 1 bottle of red wine. One thing I learnt from Taiwanese lunch/dinner gathering is that never let your glass (juice/wine) be empty, because you will just never know when the boss/senior will raise the glass and invite us all s to make a toast. The dishes were all very tasty, pork and beef were very tender, the taste of each menu was rich. Some of the dishes we ate: braised pork belly, fried fish, pig feet, beef spring roll, stir fried cabbage, stir fried lettuce, sweet sour shrimp, fried oyster, salted chicken, double-boiled Shark’s Fin with Pork-Chicken-Taro in Casserole (Buddha jump over the wall), pig intestine, peanut mochi. We all felt full afterwards that we decided a short walk at nearby park could help our digestion system.

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Again the rain has not ceased by the time we ended our lunch and going to a park for a walk did not seem like a good idea. We then just wandered around the shopping mall until one of the member persisted that he must have dessert. The bad news was that every dessert shop nearby needed early reservation especially for a big group like us. Finally we just went to Krispy Kreme to buy a box of doughnuts. I found the limited edition doughnuts were so cute: bee and ladybug. I never tried this brand before but I thought the flavor was so-so and it was a little bit too sweet. I was wondering why a lot of Taiwanese still buy that doughnut despite its high sweetness. After everyone finished his doughnut, we then separated and went home.

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