Monday, December 25, 2006
Christmas Eve クリスマスイブ
It's only Christmas Eve today, but tomorrow isn't a holiday in Taiwan, so we celebrated Christmas a day early. This was Amber's first Christmas, and we gave her several gifts. She was very serious about the whole matter, until she heard the first notes from her music maker, and was all smiles after that for the rest of the day.
In the afternoon we drove to a section of the Tanyashen Bicycle Trail here in Shenkang (Shengang かみおか 神岡). Originally a Sugar Railway line, it has been converted into a popular bike trail linking Tantzu (Tanzih), Taya (Daya) and Shenkang. Amber, of course, is too young to go cycling, but the road is also good for strollers (as long as you're careful to stay to the side of the trail). A segment of Taiwan's high-speed rail line, aka the "Bullet Train" 新幹線, crosses the trail at the section we visited today. It was originally supposed to have started operations in 2003, but as of today (December 24, 2006) this boondoggle still hasn't received final approval from the government to go into service (though we did hear or see several test runs of the train go by while we were there).
(in the background is the bullet train tracks)
(if you build it in Taiwan, the vendors will come)
The day wouldn't be complete without the obligatory panorama shot, this one taken at dusk and showing the elevated bullet train line