Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Tree

This tree was in the garden of Marty's Shrine. It is interesting how even in Taipai they are using Japanese influences with the shaping of their trees.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Changing of The Guards

We were at Marty's Shrine for only a little while, but we were lucky enough to see the changing of the guards. Black boots with white laces, gold braids and trims, white uniforms an white metal hats. These marching guards were to replace the guards that we had seen on duty back at the gate.

I believe the changing of the guards is done on the hour by active military personnel. Standing for an hour and not moving would be terribly boring, though I guess they get to look at all us tourists walking past.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Marty's Shrine Gateway

This is the view of the Marty's Shrine Gateway from inside the grounds. Certainly very impressive.

As a stitcher and lace maker, I can see all kinds of inspiration here.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Marty's Shrine - A Closer View

This was about as close as we got to the shrine at the end of the roadway. If we look closely, we can see the guards that were marching down. We were about to witness the changing of the guards at the gateway

Sunday, November 29, 2015


As an embroiderer and stitcher, pattern has always fascinated me. The thing that I found in Japan was that there was so much pattern in the decorating of the structures. These patterns were found at the base of the gateway to Marty's Shrine

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Long View

This was the view through the gateway up the roadway to the shrine. We had very little time here, so we only walked a little way up towards the shrine. Besides, something biggish was about to happen and we would have been in the way.

The lady in the yellow dress (whose face I have blotted out), is one of the reasons that we only had a short amount of time here.

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Guard

Life has been getting in the way and I've been neglecting my holiday pics so I will try to start again. There are still more to come.

This is one of the guards that was on duty at Marty's Shrine. Standing very still, on his post in the gateway, I wonder what he would have done if one of us had done something we were not supposed to.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Windy Weather

Spring in Sydney brings very changeable and unpredictable weather. Yesterday was supposed to be a hot day, ending with thunderstorms in the late afternoon. As days went, it was warm and cloudy, but not hot. The storms, when they came, brought us a little rain, but not much else. It looked menacing on the way home, but a few drops of rain and a little wind was all we got.

Later in the night it was a different story. The wind howled around as it rattled everything in it's path, and the rain came tumbling down. Everything was safe though, or so I thought.

This morning when I went to go out, I found this birds nest on my back lawn. There were three nests  in the neighbour's gum tree, and on closer inspection it was the kurrawong's nest that was missing. The two crow's nests at the very top of the tree were both still there.

On close inspection again, I could see two baby kurrawongs sitting in the tree. Babies because their tail feathers are not very long. I only managed to get one baby in the photo though, and he is being protected very well by one of his parents. I am not sure how well they can fly yet, I will watch and observe.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Marty's Shrine

Marty's Shrine was the next stop on our shortened tour, and this was the impressive gateway into the grounds. We were only here for a short while, so we were going to make the most of out time.

Roof Decoration

This was a roof of one of the buildings we passed on our way to the next part of our tour. We have to remember that we are now in Taiwan, and the roof decorations are so similar, if not the same, as those that we saw in Japan. I have found it interesting how details can carry from one country to another, and have been doing so for thousands of years.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Another Gusrdhouse

This building would have told me what this complex was all about. There were signs, notices and badges all depicting what this area was, it was such a shame I couldn't read them. We were still behind on our tour so no time to stop and ask anyone either. There were still lots of guards present so my theory of something important still stands.

Friday, October 9, 2015


This structure was in the same vicinity as the guardhouse and the monument of my previous posts. The fact that it contains planes, leads me to believe that the area is military of some kind. It could have been a museum of some kind, but we had just come from one of those, and there were no people around except for our tour. Not an air base either, as there wasn't enough space for an air field, nor were there any full sized planes in view. Still at a loss as to what the are is, but this structure is interesting.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Guardhouse?

We were still on our way to our next stop of our tour when we passed this building. I have a funny feeling it was a guardhouse to something important, though to what, I am not quite sure

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Taipei - Street Monument

We were on our way to our next stop on our tour of Taipei, and passed this monument along the way. I would have liked to stop and get a closer view, but we were already running way behind schedule.

I am also not sure what the monument is, something to do with war I think.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Taipei, A Street View

A street view of Taipei out of our bus window as we travelled along. This part of town looked a little old and also busy.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

A Signs and Artwork

How is this for a sign? Found on a street in Taipei, Taiwan, as we travelled on the tour bus to our next destination. I guess it means that motor bikes can either park at 90 degrees or parallel to the curb.

There is also some interesting artwork in the shop front windows, though it is hard to decipher what it actually is. The pic was taken through the bus window as we travelled along, and that artwork is behind another layer of glass, so it is a little hard to see. I would have liked to have a close look though.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Wood Patterns

This wooden panel was also in the foyer of the National Palace Museum in Taipei. I am sure you would all agree with me that is is very Chinese looking. It was somewhere near the floor from memory, but that's all I can remember. It's still a nice pattern to try to interpret into stitch.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Glass Pattern

This is a close up now of the pattern in the glass of the door at the National Palace Museum. Are they little bones do you think? Interesting though, and I would love to execute it in blackwork some time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


This door was in the foyer of the National Palace Museum. A beautiful door that was full of pattern. Patterns that I could include in my needlework somewhere. It's screaming blackwork.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Memorial

This memorial was in the foyer of the National palace Museum. There were signs and notices as to who this was and what it was all about, but with all the people around and being short on time, I was very grateful for getting this pic. It would be nice to know though.

Monday, August 31, 2015

National Palace Museum - Taipei

Our first stop on our tour today was the National Palace Museum. At this point, let me say that this museum is definitely one of those places that  I would like to go again. I would pick my day though, and do research into what days have the least number of people. The museum itself was just fabulous, full of treasures! It was just such a shame that we couldn't get to see them as I would like. 

The day had already started late because our tour guide had stuffed up. As a result of this, our timing was out, and we had arrived at the museum along with lots of other tours and tour guides, so the queues were like sardines packed in a tin. We were given instructions about leaving pack packs at the front desk. We didn't have one, but others did, including two Asian girls who clearly couldn't follow instructions. We were at the door of the lift , ready to go up when security spotted the back packs. As a result, we were all pulled aside to wait until the girls did what they were told. More time wasted!

Our guide had a red flag that he held up for us to follow. Nothing new here, but why would two tour guides in the same building be allowed to carry the same flag? This just made for more confusion and more time wasted waiting for people to find the correct tour guide.

Once inside and on our way, I was stunned at such beauty. There were scrolls in coloured inks, one approx 10 feet long which was on loan from China. There was a whole room of jade, where I learned that it came in different colours. The jade carvings and jewellery were nothing short of stunning. Then there was whole room on bronze, where there were tools, carved mirrors, vessels, flasks plates and so much more. All were beautiful.

There were people everywhere, and I mean everywhere! I was lucky to get a short glimpse at the beautiful treasures on display, and of course there were no photographs allowed.

Walking back to the entrance, someone spotted a poster about a porcelain display, and asked if we were going to see that? The answer was no, we were running late for out next stop. After making such a fuss, the guide gave this person 10 minutes to have a quick look, so then a few more jumped on the bandwagon and went for a look too. I would have loved to go have a look, but we were following instructions. The remainder of us were allowed rest stops and to look in the museum shop.

Needless to say, we were all still waiting for these people 30 minutes later, and everyone was getting a little stroppy, and the search party went out.

The photograph at the top of this post is a view of the rafters in the front foyer of the museum. I was just fascinated by the pattern.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Taipei - A First Look

Travelling on the bus from Keelung into Taipei was pretty uneventful. There were a few interesting things along the way, but taking photos out of the windows of a bus while it is moving is a little difficult. Arriving in Taipei, it really was just like any other city. Lots of high rise, traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, and lots and lots of motor bikes. Going into the buildings though is where it all changed, but more on that tomorrow.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

On the Road to Taipei Pt 4

Just some of the roof tops that we saw for the bus on our way to Taipei. This was over the barriers of the main road that we were travelling on, looking towards the mountains.

Friday, August 28, 2015

On The Road to Taipei Pt 3

Just another view out of the bus window on our way to Taipei. Just your typical high rise buildings, even with roof top gardens, and potted plants on balconies if we look closely. Nothing to much different from home.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

On the Road to Taipei Pt 2

Another of the buildings that we saw out the bus window on our way into Taipei. This one had roof decoration to the max, and there was an elaborate gate down in the grounds. Possibly a school or a hospital perhaps? I am not sure, but it is different than the last one I showed you and more Asian to look at.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

On the Road to Taipei

This is just one of the many buildings that we saw from the bus window as we drove into Taipei. I am assuming it is multi story housing.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


A view of Keelung as taken from the bus we were travelling in. We were finally on the bus and on our way into Taipei for our tour.

Although we were the first bus in the queue, we were the last to leave, many thanks to our dreadful tour guide. Although all of the seats on the bus were full, he still had names on his list that were not marked off, and he was on a search to find them. After waiting for quite some time for these names to show in person, our guide then decided to check his list against the passengers seated on the bus. More time wasted as he struggled to pronounce passengers names. After much ta doing, we were finally on our way, with a full bus, and over 30 minutes late in leaving.

As a result of this fiasco by our tour guide, we lost stops on our tour, and didn't get to see everything.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Dining Room Art

How is this for ding room art? Slightly different to the artwork that I have in my own dining room at home. I had spotted this fellow a few times on the way to breakfast, so this morning I would capture him. Not quite sure what he is though, some creature out of Greek Mythology pehaps.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Ready For Our Tour

Still standing on our private balcony on board our cruise ship, we could see all the buses lined up on the dock, ready to take passengers off on tour for the day. We were going on tour today, and I was looking forward to seeing the museum, along with other things listed on the tour description.

This was the day though that I learnt about tour guides, that we  just have to take what we get. We had been on guided tours heaps of times, most of which were fine and very informative. I had also learnt to ask questions over time, this way we got more information.

Today was different though, but more of that after breakfast.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A View

This was another view of Keelung that we had we had from our ship. We were on a tour today, and I had hoped that we would visit this temple (or whatever) high on this hill. Unfortunately not, but more about that later. At the moment, I was just enjoying this view before breakfast.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Standing high on hill above Keelung harbour, is the Buddhist statue of Kuanyin. Kuanyin is the Buddhist god of mercy. This particular statue stands at 22 meters high, and is well within that layer of smog

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Bridge

As we sailed further into the harbour at the Port of Keelung, I spotted this bridge rossing a narrow river of some kind that emptied out into the harbour. I am not sure what the river is, all I know is that it is covered in the eternal smog coming from China.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Port of Keelung

All I can say is this must be a busy port! Check out the number of cranes! There were a few ships in port, but not too many. The size of the ships are dwarfed by those cranes.

Also note that never ending haze, believed to be smog coming all the way from China.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Port of Keelung - First Glipmses

We had been travelling along the coast of Taiwan, and were now entering into the Port of Keelung. This boat was leading the way. Taiwan was certainly an interesting island, but lots more of that to come in later posts.

Friday, August 14, 2015

A working Harbour

A view of the harbour for you all, at least one section of it. Those cranes are massive, and we can see all the shipping containers all lined up on the dock ready to be lifted onto ships to be taken wherever. I guess they could fit quite a few ships along that dock at one time.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Another Lighthouse

A closer view of the lighthouse for you now. It doesn't look that big, but remember we were on cruise ship which had about 15 stories, and we were close to the top. Interesting being red an blue, a lot of the lighthouses I have seen have been white. They are all different though and I am sure that this one certainly did it's job

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Harbour Entrance

Believe it or not we were entering a harbour entrance. Not quit like the entrance to Sydney harbour, but it was still a harbour, and a working one at that. A few ships being loaded or unloaded with overhead cranes, the power station, and another lighthouse. This one was very different to the one leaving Okinawa.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Sea Wall

 We spotted this sea wall as we sailed along the coast. It does have a light at the end but I would not call it a lighthouse. On the coast we can see more settlement and what could be another power station.

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Power Station?

As well as all the boats, towns and villages, we spotted this construction. I am tipping it is a power station, though I am not sure. A big eyesore on the edge of a pretty coastline spoiling the view. Though the inhabitants of this island do require power. That haze from China is still noticeable.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Hilly Coastline

Just some of the hills that we saw as we travelled along the coast. If we look close we can see little villages nestled right on the coastline.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Coastal Sailing

We were sailing along the coast to our next port of call. Along the way we spotted little towns hugging the coast, reaching up into the hillsides. There were also many boats going about their business, and that eternal smog coming from China.

Friday, August 7, 2015


We were back on the seas again sailing along the coast towards our next port of call. This is just one of the many boats that we saw in the late afternoon sun. Notice all the haze too. That haze, so I found out later, was all coming from China.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Okinawa, A Final Goodbye

This is the final view of Okinawa as we left the lighthouse, harbour, and city behind. Tomorrow would be a new day with another adventure.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

An Escort

An escort boat leading our cruise ship out of the harbour.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Sea Wall

This is the view of the light house at the end of a very long sea wall. It looks like it may be connected to land at the other end, but I think that land is another island. At the other end of the wall is a red lighthouse, and why would they put a light house there if it was connected to land?

I am not sure of the purpose of the wall is. Obviously it serves as a breaker to the waves coming in from the East China Sea, but there could be another purpose. It is one of the longest sea walls that I have seen.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Harbour Lighting

A close view now of the light house in the harbour at Okinawa as we sailed past it. 

I am a fan of light houses, and find them all so different, even though they serve the same function the world over. This is just one photo of an ever growing collection that I have. One day I am going to use them as inspiration for my stitching.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Lighthouse

The fist view of the lighthouse has we sailed past it leaving the harbour.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Leaving Okinawa

Our view of Okinawa as we left the harbour heading for the next part of our adventure.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Another Shisa

Another Shisa for you now. I spotted this one in the customs hall in Okinawa as we made our way back to our cruise ship.

It had been another long and busy day, and I was looking forward to putting my feet up with a drink in hand as we sailed out of the harbour.