Sunday, 16 February 2014
While I was walking in Petra, Jordan, last weekend,
I had flashbacks of another awesome (in the true sense of the word) place.
A place which nestles high in mountains made of solid marble.
Where a shrine with crystal-clear pure water commemorates the men who lost their lives building the dangerous roads, blasting their way through high gorges and treacherous mountains, prone to earthquakes, mudslides and floods.
The name Taroko means "magnificent and beautiful" in the Truku language of the Truku indigenous tribe. Long ago a Truku tribesman saw the beauty of the azure Pacific when he walked out of the gorge. On seeing the magnificent scene, he cried "Taroko!". And so it became the name of the place, in a fashion not dissimilar to how the island, Formosa, got its name.
The gorge itself was carved into the marble by the erosive power of the Liwu River.
The force behind the steep valleys and narrow canyons is a (geologically speaking) relatively fast rate of uplift combined with ample water. Over the last 70 million years, these two forces collaborated to form the world's deepest marble canyon. The slot canyons here are remarkable with narrows sections a thousand feet high and only a dozen yards apart.
The Jade found in these mountains is the only Jade in Taiwan, and I bought a beautiful Jade pendant which is not green, but purple! The sweet potatoes that grow in the area are also a luminous purple.
The roar of the mighty river can be heard for many miles, but where it collects in pools it becomes quiet and the most beautiful turquoise colour imaginable.
The Bridge of Motherly Devotion, with its shrine. The bridge is made entirely of marble.
My mother on The Bridge of Motherly Devotion - dedicated to the sons who lost their lives during the construction of the pass.
The Shrine. You do not want to be there during a land slide.
Tuesday, 28 January 2014
To make the perfect Sunday,
have a slow breakfast of
Greek yoghurt so thick you can slice it
tomatoes from Crete
honey from Santorini
creamy eggs laid by happy Greek hens
Greek cheese pastries
a double espresso
Then stroll down to the square and feast your eyes on the STUFF and the interesting people ogling it.
Resist the temptation to buy anything,
and don't give the gypsy children playing the accordion any money.
Take stealth photos.
Then grab a seat at the street cafe, order a Greek coffee thick and sweet and watch the sun set over the Acropolis.
Salep - a drink made from Orchids!
|also for me!|
|me me me!|
|the graffiti on the bench reads "rebel"|