Riding a bicycle could never be easier than it is in Taipei. It's easy to pick up a bicycle, swipe your pre-paid Easy Card card and off you go. We received the card in a delightful visitor package and it allowed us a few rides on the MRT before we had to add some money at any one of the booths. The first ½ hr is free, thereafter 30 NT$ (99cents) for each ½ hr. There's a basket on the front, an integral lock and the saddles are really comfortable.
The side walks have special lanes for bicycles as do the roads crossings and there are hundreds of alley ways to keep you off the main roads. In such a busy city but we never had to cycle on the road and we never felt at risk.
We cycle by the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial.
On this particular day the Presidential buildings are open. Mark and Juju have never been it open before so we lock up the bikes and head into the buildings. By this time we are thinking coffee. There are hundreds of wonderful coffee shops in Taipei but we choose Starbucks because the building has some history.
On this same spot 100 years ago stood a tea house.
We are always sure to check out the markets when we travel. This one is the dry market.
The displays of dried foods are a feast for the eyes. Occasionally we stop for s sample.
You have never seen such a variety of dried sweet meats.
This stall keeper is proud to show us his dried eels!
Then we cycle to the Botanic Garden, leaving our bicycles outside. They come with their own locks.
Taiwan enjoys a mild sub-tropical climate but winter days can be chilly. Rather like California some trees lose their leaves which give the garden a wintry look.
The glass houses protect many of the cactus from winter rains but there is a good selection of more tolerant agaves and aloes.
We return the bicycles and head for home.
Vivian needs to practice her cello before our planned evening visit the to the night markets. We'll be heading out on foot this time.