Monday, July 30, 2007

Photographic Journey [Episode 2]

Here's Episode 2. Although all my Taiwan photos are already hosted on Flickr, if I don't post them here on the blog, they'll all vanish as I upload my Japan pictures. In this post, I'm enlarging the thumbnails slightly so readers can enjoy the photos without having to click on each one (you still can, if you insist, and you WILL get a slightly larger version).

Locations: Xiduowu Japanese Seafood Buffet and Danshui (again).

Entrance to Xiduowu Japanese Seafood Buffet. My second grandaunt (I think that's correct) was kind enough to treat my mother, aunt, and I to lunch.

I'll tell you right now, the selection of items here is more than anything I've encountered in Vancouver. There's hand-rolls; sushi; various selections of udon; fresh seafood (fresh being raw, but some are cooked...I think); tempura (not your usual fare, either, they've got chicken, fish, squid, sweet yams, and a few others that I can't even discern); and several other items. It would seem that the owner opted to include any foods that were even remotely Japanese.

Yeah, couldn't help myself but to help myself to some desert.

OK, here's something that I did not dare to touch, so I photographed it instead. Don't ask me what it is - you don't want to know, and I'm not telling you...actually, your guess is as good as mine.

Heading off to Danshui again via the sky-train. One thing I must say about them - they're a lot cleaner (and more comfortable!) than the ones here in Vancouver; I've never considered Taiwanese to be particularly concerned with the environment (just look at the plethora of air conditioners sticking out of literally every household window, all running at the same time, as well as the garbages on the sidewalk), but in this case, I was pleasantly surprised.

Here we're outside Danshui Station. I didn't get to photograph the building itself the last time I was here (which is about 3 days ago), so this time I'm pointing my L glass at the red bricks and firing away.

Here's the same building from a different standpoint.

Thought I'd take a picture of the signpost. This one says: cars obey direction of traffic; apparently drivers in Taiwan hate to follow the flow (I can be completely wrong about what this sign actually means...but hey, I was out of the country for 13 years, what did you all expect!)

Street of Danshui. Apparently the scooters in Taiwan ride on the sidewalk instead of on the road.

Felt kind of hungry at this point (having walked for about an hour now as I recall), so I dropped by this fish-ball restaurant for some Danshui fish-ball soup.

Well I had to have dessert after the soup, and I picked up this string of sugared-tomatoes on a stick (this is a very literal translation).

My, that's a whole lot of eggs...(why am I posting this? I have no idea).

Dropped by Dante's Coffee Shop for a brief respite after a long walk (carrying my 7kg camera bag and my 2.5kg Manfrotto tripod - not an easy task), and decided to share a slice of this cake with my family.

That was a really, REALLY good cake.

Again, I have no idea why I'm showing you this - it's a wall in the coffee shop!

Yes, even in Taiwan there are Starbucks, one every 2 blocks down (as opposed to McDonald's, which is on EVERY BLOCK).

Could not help but to take a picture of this cute puppy (I'm sure some dog-lover will probably email me to tell me that THAT is a fully-grown adult).

OK, that's more than one picture for the dog, and I didn't mean to get the owner as well. What can I say, I love dogs!

Not sure what to say about this's an alley!

Yet another sign post. I'm reasonably sure that this one says STOP!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Photographic Journey [Episode 1]

In this post, I included pictures taken during the very first few days of my trip to Taiwan.

For those who want to know more about Taiwan, I refer you to here.

Locations: Vancouver International Airport/Grandparent's House (Taipei)/Danshui

[Wikipedia] Danshui is a sea-side town in Taipei County, Taiwan. It is named after a river whose name means "Freshwater". The town is also popular as a site for viewing the sun setting into the Taiwan Strait. There are three universities in this small town (population 130 105): Aletheia University, Tamkang University, and St. John's University.

Click on the photos to view larger versions.

Vancouver International Airport - International Boarding Level.

Vancouver International Airport - International Boarding Level

Vancouver International Airport - Boarding Gate

Onboard China Airlines 747 - Looks...not so delicious; tastes even worse.

Onboard China Airlines 747 - Looks...not so delicious; tastes even worse.

Onboard China Airlines 747 - Looks...not so delicious; tastes even worse.

In Grandparent's House in Taipei, Taiwan - Flowers given to my mother from my aunt.

A Delicious Meal Prepared by Grandmother - there's vegetarian sausage, eggs, silk melon (?), and rice.

This is the sky-train station in Taipei - here I'm heading off to Danshui.

Outside Danshui Sky-Train Station.

Street in Danshui.

A small, local temple in Danshui

Danshui waterfront.

Danshui waterfront.

Danshui waterfront.

Danshui waterfront.

Danshui waterfront.

Danshui waterfront.

Danshui waterfront night scene (hand-held!)

Danshui street night scene

Danshui street night scene

Danshui tofu pudding store.

Sticking With Flickr

Well, after an entire morning of testing, I've decided to stick with my Flickr gallery. Picasa employs a level of image compression that I find unacceptable; otherwise it would've been a good image host considering that it doesn't limit the number of photos that I can have shown (note: Flickr doesn't actually delete photos past the 200-limit, rather it hides them from view).

Anyway, I'll continue to upload my pictures to my flickr account, which you can find here. As for older photos beyond the 200-limit, I'll try to post the more important ones on my blog at some point in the future.

Furthermore, there will soon be a wallpaper section, featuring backgrounds that I've created myself using photos taken by myself. Keep watching this blog for updates!

That's it for now. Some time tonight I'll start posting my trip photos.

Solemn Observer
28 July 2007

New Gallery - Picasa Web Albums

Testing out a new gallery right now that will hopefully replace my Flickr account.
The Solemn Observer in Canada (from Taiwan)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Updates Coming Soon (Sooner than never)

OK, I promise, with all my heart, that this blog WILL BE UPDATED...soon...I hope. As fellow photographers may have discerned for themselves, editing my trip photos is turning out more time-consuming than I had previously envisioned, and as a result I have not had time to update this blog.

However, my post-processing has come nearly to an end, and within the next few days I'll begin posting the photos of my journey.

So, check back soon!

27 May 2007
The Solemn Observer