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The Accidental Round the World Trip


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#81 v v

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 08:40 PM

Day 14 - Saturday or Sunday 11 or 12 March arrival Vladivostok   ~   Train Day 6, 7 or 8

 

Our train the Rossiya 002 arrives within a minute or so of on-time, quite remarkable considering the distance ( 9288 km ) the climate varying in the week we travelled from + 20 oC ( 68 oF ) to - 20 oC ( -4 oF ) , the remoteness across sometimes very difficult terrain, or that we humans can easily make mistakes to add to the other difficulties.

 

Two things stood out when compared to the Amtrak rail system. The passenger trains rarely have to wait for freight trains, please don't ask why as I don't have the answer. There is quite a lot of freight traffic but not to the level we saw last week in the USA (which alone was responsible to make us 2 hours  and 30 or 40 minutes late into New York Penn), in particular not as much shipping container traffic by a long way.

 

The machinery and materials required to repair and improve the track was never far from any given point, simply vast resources were constantly visible. In general Russia appears more willing to maintain infrastructure than some other countries.

 

No idea if RZD is publically or privately funded, do know Amtrak struggles to find serious public investment for improvements and future projects.

 

At the end of the line, Lenin is there to welcome us and point back towards Moskva

 

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A plaque with the kilometres travelled from Moscow

 

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​The front of Vladivostok Station, looks as though it came out of a Fairy Tale

 

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Anatoly was first off the train, a warm goodbye to us all. Stepping off the train there are many hugs from Helena, she has looked after us as though we were her own. We are told she loves us and wants us to visit her in Moscow, we will probably try to do that one day.

Having been warned by Gemuser that the stairs at the end of the platform are monstrous, we head for the station building in the hope that we can get up to street level by a lift maybe. Through security as we pass through the doors at platform level, but only stairs are available. The saving grace is the internal stairs come in short bursts with landings between them, it does make for easier progress and the stairs are shallower than the steep platform ones.

The station is very decorative inside too, in a Russian way of course.

 

Inside of Vladivostok station

 

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The track side of Vladivostok station, it reminded Rosie and I of Chenonceau Chateau in the French Loire Valley. The Chateau has water passing under the arches, the station has trains

 

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As we exit the station at street level we must pass through a second security check, this has now become second nature all over Russia. The hotel Moryak is not too far away from the station but there is snow and ice on the pavements and the hills are just like San Francisco, pretty steep in places. A cab it is but Moryak is on a one way street so we have to detour a fair way to enter from the right direction. Cab driver undercharges us and explains it is not our fault that the one way system adds about 2 miles to the journey, he's charges us only for the direct walking route, quite amazing. 

 

Moryak was a former seaman's mission and was part way through being converted to a hotel. It had nautical murals painted all over including sea creatures and mermaids, felt like a Russian version of a Disney themed attraction. Staff were very good, excellent English and very helpful. Apologised a few times that there was no lift and we were on the 3rd floor. There was also a café restaurant in the hotel, the menu was comprehensive and odd to us, but on trying a few things for breakfast we were happily surprised that we liked the various concoctions.

 

We all scrambled for the showers after breakfast, it's been 8 days since we last saw one and it was sorely needed (if only by me).

 

At this point I am not very well, a Siberian cold or flu that I have had for 3 days has now become more powerful. I elect to go to bed until the afternoon, Rosie and Ruth are off to discover Vladivostok.

 

So we have completed journey, it did feel momentous. 7 days on a train without a break becomes an endurance test, mentally and physically, but for us it was not boring or unpleasant, the time passed rapidly and although there were rarely any spectacular sights to be seen everything from the smallest detail was new to us. We all agreed we felt fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel this great railway, admired that fact it worked completely from end to end, and particularly admired the Provodniks and Provodnitsas maintaining the cars in very good clean condition until the very end. 

 

Would we do it again? no is the agreed answer.

 

Is it a once in a lifetime experience? you bet and one not to be missed if you like an adventure and particularly if you are a rail fan.

 

Would we visit Russia again? certainly as it's a fascinating country coming out of a difficult period. The people we met were energetic and forward looking, at some time they would like to be accepted into the wider world but know it will take time.

 

Photos of Vladivostok

 

 

The frozen Pacific Ocean...

 

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​with people walking on it...

 

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​a long way out

 

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​Just a short distance away the deep-water harbour inlet, apparently rarely freezes

 

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Edited by v v, 01 April 2017 - 07:49 PM.


#82 v v

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 08:27 PM

Photos of Vladivostok continued ~ at night

 

We decided to walk  out to the Funicular Railway to get a look of Vlad by night, it was a 30 minute brisk walk past the Golden Bridge. The Funicular didn't start at water level but a short climb up the hill. It was quite a short ride but only cost about £ 0.15 GBP / 18 Cents USD each. There were 2 cars, one up, one down, each had a lady cashier/conductor/driver.

 

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and a view of the Golden Bridge

 

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A couple of buildings on one of the waterside main streets

 

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Back to the hotel as it has started to at first rain and then snow, it would still be snowing as we leave Vladivostok for Kaohsiung City, Taiwan in the morning and felt quite fitting.


Edited by v v, 01 April 2017 - 09:04 PM.


#83 v v

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 09:00 PM

Day 15 - Monday 13 March ~ Vladivostok, Russia to Kaohsiung City, Taiwan via Hong Kong

 

Up early, re-pack...  again. Breakfast, call a cab as there is now ice and snow on the pavements and roads, we could have slid down to the station. Main station to catch the Electric Train that gives us an express service to Vladivostok Airport (about 50 minutes).

Train leaves from platform 2 which just so happens is not in the main station but about 60m uphill of the station entrance. Down 2 levels and there is our train (check frequency before hand as it doesn't run so often).

 

We're seated and away we go, quite happy to be off to another country which happens to be Ruth's home. The Electric train is clean and modern, works again exactly to timetable and soon we are inside the Airport. Although it's an international airport it is small medium in size, feels so much more like a human scale compared to Hong Kong, Beijing Capital and JFK.

We have to be exited from Russia and our visas checked, very simple and without any drama, we are flying a budget airline, S7 (Siberia Airlines). We none of us are very attracted to the whole process of flying, but this flight down to Hong Kong was almost a pleasure. Hong Kong airport in the bay is still expanding, the the internal space is already enormous and felt massively spacious.

 

A view of the bay side of Hong Kong airport with expansion works ongoing

 

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This is less than half the width of this section of the terminal, enormous space

 

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Take off for Kaohsiung City with Cathay Pacific, another almost pleasant experience, soon arrive in Taiwan.

 

Arrive at Ruth's home around 9pm, spacious top floor apartment with views across the city, very nice to arrive plus we are not moving on for 4 days, Ruth makes us feel very welcome and explains some things about Taiwan and it's people, she's a very interesting woman.

 

Our first close-up of Kaohsiung City

 

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Edited by v v, 01 April 2017 - 09:10 PM.


#84 Bob Dylan

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 09:10 PM

Really great pics Jamie!

More!More!😎
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#85 v v

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 06:58 PM

Days 15-18  -  Monday 13 to Thursday 16 March ~ Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

 

 

​1st Night Market - Kaohsiung City

 

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Not sure what some of these delicases are

 

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Sights of Kaohsiung

 

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Temples

 

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2nd Night Market (for young people) - Kaohsiung City

 

​Motor Rickshaw used as the base for a mobile child's ride. You have to look closely to see the cars run around an oval track sited on a platform behind the bike. A substantial fairground ride with total mobility, wonder what it's like riding and steering the bike?

 

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Have never seen this type of Fairground game of skill offer an insect as a prize

 

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Lots and lots of bikes in Taiwan

 

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Love River

 

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Edited by v v, 02 April 2017 - 08:09 PM.


#86 v v

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 08:14 PM

Day 19  -  Friday 17 March ~ Kaohsiung City to Taipei with High Speed Train

 

 

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#87 caravanman

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 03:13 PM

Interesting pics of the night markets. Only spotted one sign in English, would you say it could be hard to get around without someone like Ruth to help? I am wondering if it is more or less "traditional" than the Chinese mainland... I imagine a wish to preserve old customs from the mainland and on the other hand a modern "western looking" economy?

I guess a lot of the buildings and statues there are fairly modern, built after Chiang Kai Shek arrived?

 

Funny to think you are probably back home soon if not already...

 

Great report and pics.

 

Ed.


Edited by caravanman, 03 April 2017 - 03:14 PM.


#88 v v

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 01:57 PM

Good questions Ed, but only have a few answers for you.

 

Yes we are in France now, and haven't a clue who we are any more. Bit like when you are a kid and you spin round and round and then stop, you know where you are but not too much makes a lot of sense.

 

Ruth is very knowledgeable about her country and China mainland, she is a business woman and meets people from many countries and understood how it was new for us. Having her explain things and show us her home city Kaohsiung and it's surrounds made life easy. Learning some of the ways of Taiwan from her gave us a head start. When we left Kaohsiung for Taipei we travelled from her local metro station to the high speed train station and on to Taipei alone, and spent 3 days there without Ruth before getting to Taipei International airport on our own.

 

So part one was easy thanks to Ruth. Could we have done it without her? of course but we would have missed a fair amount and not understood different nuances so easily.  

 

Travelling to, staying in and leaving Taipei wasn't so difficult, there was a little English signage in shops, less in the markets. I'll post a photo later of a Chinese / English sign in a night market, it was fairly typical. We stayed at the YMCA in central Tapei, one of the best hotels (hostel) we have ever stayed in. Room was a little small but the equipment level was superb and very hi-tech, and everything worked. The staff were unbelievably good, friendly and helpful.

Example. I go down to the front desk to ask for an extra pillow, straight back to the lift and back to the 7th floor. Before I could get back to our room a smiling lady was standing outside our door holding out the pillow, it felt like magic. There were other instances too this wasn't isolated. It was the first hotel with more than enough plug sockets where they were wanted, plus it was the first hotel anywhere that accepted 4 types of plug in a single socket - UK/USA/European/Australian. No adapters required.

 

Taipei was more international than Kaohsiung, Ruth told us Taiwan was more laid back than mainland China

 

The people appear to have the latest of everything and plenty of money to spend judging by the amount of them eating out and the number of department stores. Every evening the streets in central Taipei and to an extent in Kaohsiung too were very crowded with people (almost no non Chinese) out enjoying themselves, and Rosie has just mentioned there are a lot, and that's really a lot of Chinese tourists to Taiwan for varying reasons. 

 

Did we manage after leaving Ruth, yes it wasn't too difficult and not intimidating at all, but we probably missed things that she would have known. People are very friendly and will be helpful if asked, often they looked pleased to be asked but are maybe reserved as they don't offer without us asking.

 

It's an ultra modern society that appeared to us in our short stay there to want to hold on to all things Chinese that are important, can't think of another way of saying that.

 

We have only visited Beijing Capital Airport and not China, that was a mixture of exacting efficiency and strange systems but that's not a lot to base a comparison on.

 

I think the radical change in lifestyle and commercial expansion since the arrival of Chiang Kai Shek must have altered a lot of the flat plains on the side of the island facing the mainland, but maybe the mountainous side is still traditional but we didn't get there. What we saw was a real mixture of what looked like old/traditional and modern.

 

The photos of the temples had modern (plastic?) artefacts in front of 2 of them, but one temple in that area looked ancient as did one in the centre of the big night market in Taipei, but we're not able to give you a definitive answer to your question as to the age of it all.

 

Taiwan is probably a gentle version of mainland China as we have been told, we felt at ease in all the places we spent time in. But would say if you don't like crowds it may be difficult to visit sights without being overwhelmed?  We rarely visit sights but just wander around looking and sometimes asking questions but we did take a hop on - hop-off bus tour of Taipei and did see the famed crowds at various tourist hot spots.

 

 

A couple of market stall English language translations, there are a few but not many. The third info board is at Taipei Main Station, all quite clear with directions all the way to each destination.

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Edited by v v, 04 April 2017 - 06:12 PM.


#89 v v

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 07:26 PM

Day 19 - Friday 17 March - Kaohsiung City to Taipei with High Speed Train  ~  continued ...

 

Ruth walks us to the nearby Metro station, helps us buy tickets to the High Speed Rail (HSR) station and points out which platform for us to catch the right Metro. We say our goodbyes and wonder will we ever meet again. This travelling has a lot of goodbyes.

Down to the metro, short wait and are zooming off to the HSR station. Find our way up to the ticket offices, there are 5 or 6 windows open and all are busy, we choose the line for the direct (limited stops) train. While waiting look at the frequency of these HSR trains up to Taipei, it confirms what we saw on the internet, they run about every 15 to 20 minutes, amazing.

 

The line between Kaohsiung and Taipei is 350 km (217 miles), our express train will make the journey in around 1 1/2 hours. For the technical the train has a maximum operating speed of 300 km/h (186 mph).

 

Train looks pretty busy and it is by the time we leave, the seats give good leg room and are comfortable too. The train from outside looks quite low in comparison with HSR trains we have seen or used, the German ICE, the UK/French Eurostar, the French TGV and the Spanish AVE. The engines most looks like one of the Spanish versions which is called the Duck.

 

We travel at times close to maximum speed, it's thrilling as there is a sense of speed with this train that we haven't found with any of the other HSR trains, That may be due to a screech from an axle in front of us or that it mainly runs on a track raised on stilts, but I am no rail expert.

 

It feels a little incredible that we arrive in Taipei so quickly, a little like Eurostar that leaves London, runs to the coast, under the channel and then a run to Paris. Having driven to Paris hundreds of times it feels impossible to arrive in Paris so quickly, this train felt the same.

 

It's a unique experience, on a turn up and buy a ticket basis it cost around £42 GBP each (c. $ 50) which we felt was good value for such a high tech ride.

 

Easy exit from Taipei Main Station, across the road, round the corner and we were at the YMCA 'Y Hotel' in very central Taipei that Ruth had pre-booked for us, she's a good girl.

 

 

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Arrival in Taipei, Chinese style Taipei Main Railway Station

 

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​Two minute walk to our hostel, the Y Hotel

 

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Edited by v v, 05 April 2017 - 03:16 PM.


#90 caravanman

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 02:40 AM

Thanks for the feedback on the Taiwan vibe, together with ease of getting around, and the signage.

 

I have sometimes been given folks addresses when traveling, with an invite to visit, but have never felt confident enough to follow through...

 

You guys seem to make real friends with your travel companions, do any of them come to stay with you?

 

With the train to Taipei, are seats assigned, or do you just grab whichever seats are free?

 

Which were the most "different" or "unexpectedly enjoyable" foods you ate on your trip? Sadly I have a few food allergies, so tend to miss out trying many unknown new dishes.

 

Thanks again!

 

Ed.


Edited by caravanman, 05 April 2017 - 02:42 AM.


#91 v v

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 08:01 AM

An Amtrak carriage with a car attendant, other people in varying poses, what's going on?

 

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Edited by v v, 05 April 2017 - 08:18 AM.


#92 v v

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 08:23 AM

Thanks for the feedback on the Taiwan vibe, together with ease of getting around, and the signage.

 

I have sometimes been given folks addresses when traveling, with an invite to visit, but have never felt confident enough to follow through...

 

You guys seem to make real friends with your travel companions, do any of them come to stay with you?

 

With the train to Taipei, are seats assigned, or do you just grab whichever seats are free?

 

Which were the most "different" or "unexpectedly enjoyable" foods you ate on your trip? Sadly I have a few food allergies, so tend to miss out trying many unknown new dishes.

 

Thanks again!

 

Ed.

 

Ed, you ask some pretty big questions which is a good thing in my mind, but not sure that I can give a full answer here so here's the short version.

 

I think most people who invite do so in a genuine way, unless alcohol is involved maybe. So is that for you to take up and see if it works out?

 

We make a lot of acquaintances, but friends take years to make in our book. We do offer many people whatever hospitality we have but not all. Some take our offer up and some don't, this is more to do with the fact we live much of the year in a 1 bedroom ancient cottage with a bit of land around it. We also have a camper that up until recently we used as guest accommodation but the last 5 visitors each managed to damage something, more the delicate nature of modern campers (this is a German camper too) than our visitors being destructive.

 

So we can offer any one of 3 fields if they want to camp, our sofa, or we have friends locally who have B&B's they can go to.

In France we live in a very rural area 'France Profonde' is the exact description, it's solitude and lack of local amenities makes this a very attractive area for some (usually busy people), and a nightmare for others, 9km to any form of commerce including shops or bars.

We were born and raised in London, then families moved out. We love our 2 or 3 day visits to all major cities and London takes some beating, but we treasure our solitude in short bursts of a month or two.

 

We still work part time, or we are semi retired? Our work takes us to 2 or 3 neighbouring countries and back to the UK, plus we travel for pleasure as you know. Co-ordinating timings is important for a visit to happen.

 

So some come to visit for a few hours, we'll cook a meal and spend a few hours together sitting under our old Oak tree. Some will arrive with their own camper or sometimes tent, stay 2 or 3 days and then be gone, that works for everybody. Some we will book into a local B&B and we'll often give them breakfast and other meals here.

 

When in England we live in a Granny annex of my brothers house, but as it isn't ours to offer we never have visitors in the UK.

 

So there, you know our life history.

 

The train seats on the Taiwan HSR are allocated, we asked for two forward facing with one window seat and got it. That was something left out from the HSR description, there are ticket agents who speak good English, and as said, very helpful when asked. 

 

Food. Different to us was Chinese food, it bears no relationship to Chinese food bought outside of China in our experience. Have to say genuine Chinese food didn't suit either of our palates, we did struggle sometimes but without trying you don't know.

For Rosie the traditional Papaya Milk in Kaohsiung Night Market was the most unexpected and delicious. For me it was the King Prawns eaten in an extremely unusual Pizza Parlour in a shopping Mall in central Moscow, best I've ever eaten and worth the price of a ticket to go back again.

 

Hope this helps, but please don't ask " what's the meaning of life" next as I'm struggling with that. A mate of ours has suggested it's 42 ...

 

ps: We are intending to be here all of September this year, if you are passing why not call in and get the long answer?  


Edited by v v, 06 April 2017 - 05:43 AM.


#93 v v

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 03:29 PM

Day 20 - Saturday 18 March - Taipei

 

 

​The largest and busiest Night Market in Taipei and Taiwan, exiting the Metro

 

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The whole family on a scooter, memories of Italy

 

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Very busy and miles of market to visit

 

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The odd quiet corner

 

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Who would want to be an electrician?

 

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Temple at the centre of the market

 

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Edited by v v, 05 April 2017 - 03:47 PM.


#94 v v

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 07:19 PM

Day 21 - Sunday 19 March - Taipei

 

Decided to have an easy day as tomorrow is a long one with 2 flights totalling 15 1/2 hours, plus a 4 hour layover in the middle. I wrote some of this report and Rosie went to a nearby department store to check something out, we intended to take a Hop-On ~ Hop-Off bus tour in the afternoon.

 

The store is open from 11am to 11pm, Rosie is there at 10:50 before the doors open. At 10:55 a couple of young ladies open the doors and thank everyone for waiting and explained the customers are allowed in in 5 minutes, they said this in unison.

On the hour they bowed and let everyone in, there were only a handful of people waiting.

Rosie knew she wanted to get to the ninth floor and only saw an escalator, up she goes, the first person on the 1st floor. Near the top she sees one girl on the right hand side, and five girls on the left. As she steps off the escalator they welcome her in unison and bow, this happened 8 more times until she reached the ninth floor. Rosie is fairly shy and was embarrassed, but she did say it made her feel a little special.

Shame is she didn't buy anything, but after was pleased to have seen this very formal ceremony nine times.

 

We spent some of the afternoon on a Hop-On bus and viewed the sights from the bus. The most outstanding from a visual point of view was the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial buildings, there's a poor quality photo through the bus window below but this is only a small part of the whole.

 

The museum where many of China's treasures are held had 10's and 10's of buses outside, there were so many people around we didn't want to get off. It may be less busy mid-week?.

 

Back to the hotel and repack for flying tomorrow, why does each airline have to have differing baggage rules? A pleasant meal at the hotel restaurant (Ed, the menu is in English) and an early night for an early start.

 

Part of Chiang Kai Shek Memorial complex

 

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The person riding this scooter had 3 dogs on board, they all had pink ears. The one at the front on top while the bike was travelling faster than in the photo had it's ears swept back just like a cartoon character

 

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Taipei Main Station from our room window

 

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Edited by v v, 06 April 2017 - 05:34 AM.


#95 v v

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 07:42 PM

Day 22 - Monday 20 March - Taipei to Los Angeles via Beijing

 

 

Across the road, into the main station and then a long walk (10 - 12 minutes) from the Main Station entrance via a number of wide corridors to a floor at the top of an enormous hall, down one of the escalators one level to where the ticket machines are sited for the new express train to Taipei Taoyuan Airport, the Taoyuan Airport MRT.

The photo shows stairs and escalator descending one level to the ticket machines, these are to the left against the wall. English language is an option and they are similar to most other modern ticket machines around the world, pretty easy to use.

With tickets take the lower escalator to the right of the pillar where a man is standing and there is a large white arrow pointing to the left, this takes you down to the second (train) level.

Make sure to take the express train with I think only 3 stops, the last is the airport, the other train stops everywhere and is really a local commuter train.

 

 

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The rest of the day was quite interesting. As far as we could see there were only Chinese only on the plane to Beijing and those around us were kindly, strange Transit formalities at Beijing Capital Airport, and a long flight into Los Angeles.

US border forces at LAX were more friendly than we have come to expect, one even cracked a joke which was a nice change.

 

Milton was there to meet us, as youthful as ever and with a big smile. We travel by bus to a transit centre at Van Nuys where he has parked his car, then across the San Fernando Valley to a diner near to his home, we were starving.

I'll add the address of the diner later as it's one of the very best we have ever eaten at. Great staff, enormous range of food very well prepared, they deserve a mention.

 

It's interesting to mention we left Taipei just after mid-day on Monday 20 March, arrived Los Angeles after 19 1/2 hours of travelling at 6pm the same day, no wonder we feel confused. 


Edited by v v, 06 April 2017 - 10:26 AM.


#96 caravanman

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 07:57 AM

I like the 3 dogs with pink ears on the scooter, my girlfriend has trouble coaxing her one terrier into her car!

(Yes, I expect her dog has seen her driving before... ;) )

 

Thanks for the September invite, may well take you up on that if my plan to be in India falls through.

Funny enough, some friends have just bought a place at Villefranche-de-Conflent, the Yellow Train runs behind their house.

 

Take a breather... I have no more questions. :D

 

Ed.



#97 v v

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 10:35 AM

Ed, your friends have bought in a very beautiful spot, great climate, mountains and not so far from two seas. Did Brexit not put them off with the unknowns that it's bringing?

 

We'll be down in Ceret near to your friends in mid May, already looking forward to it.

 

Please don't stop asking questions if you have any, it's just that we are travel weary at the moment but that will pass in a few days. Our whole purpose for travel is to meet, speak and listen to people, proper questions are a big part of that. Sometimes we see sights that amaze us but that is a bonus if it happens ...  like three pink eared dogs on a scooter 

 

The weather here is beautiful and the Oak forests are just coming into bud, makes us both glad to be alive.


Edited by v v, 06 April 2017 - 10:38 AM.


#98 caravanman

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 01:47 PM

They and I prefer to be citizens of Europe, rather than of "Little Britain", so maybe Brexit was their spur, albeit a more expensive one. Upcoming early retirement for her and a music industry background for him gives them a lot of flexibility.

 

Thanks again for including us on your amazing round the world adventure... Seems only yesterday you were boarding that bus at Shenfield station!

 

Ed.



#99 v v

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 07:47 PM

Days 23 - 25  ~  Tuesday to Thursday 21 - 23 March ~ back in the USSA

 

Now we are a little tired all the time, but Milton has a very comfortable apartment and we have time to rest. Today will be just be a short car ride up into the Santa Monica mountains to see an overview of the LA area, plus take a look at the old RocketDyne rocket motor test centre, one of Milton's former work places. 

 

 

Come to sunny southern California they said ...  ha ha ha 

 

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Good to use and great looking bendy bus, and it has it's own separate dedicated roadway so could call this a local express bus 

 

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Just love this photo of an LA Metro station, think it's the Red Line?

 

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Second to Milton it's the reason for us to come to Los Angeles

 

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An honour to be photographed with Milton, we're standing in front of the last rocket motor he worked on, a Space Shuttle main engine. He worked for RocketDyne for over 30 years, starting at the Atlas rockets through to the Shuttle and including the Saturn 5. We three toured the Los Angeles Science museum (excellent museum for young and old), in the main we concentrated on the Endeavour exhibits with Milton giving us lots of tid bits about how, why and when, totally fascinating for both Rosie and I. And as one of the worlds questioners, Milton was on hand to answer all my rocket questions, what a day!

 

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Santa Monica Beach, can only be California

 

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Right next door is the unusual and busy Venice beach

 

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We feel recovered having spent 3 gentle days in Milton's company with just the occasional excursion and plenty of time to sit and chat about the world. Tomorrow evening we are back on a train, the Texas Eagle for Milton to Chicago, the Sunset Limited for us to New Orleans. We are quite bewildered as to why we have really missed riding a train, it's only been a week since the last one.


Edited by v v, 07 April 2017 - 05:57 AM.


#100 oregon pioneer

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 01:17 PM

What wonderful stories! I am sorry you did not get to see the view from the mountains, but the days on the beach look just like they are supposed to in sunny southern CA.


Jennifer

 

I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.





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