Fog, fog, fog and rain, rain, rain ~ but at least it wasn’t too cold – in fact, it was FUN!
Up yesterday into the clouds on the Maokong Gondola – and out of them to arrive in the tea-growing hills above Taipei… THE way to travel!
A ‘gondola’ will be forever associated in my mind with the boats and the singing boatmen of Venice (actually I haven’t been to Venice, but I have been to the Venetian Macao Hotel, where they also have real gondolas and singing boatmen!) ~ but a gondola lift is a type of cable car where the cables are up above – so Maokong Gondola is just that, and operates from near Taipei Zoo and up to Maokong. It’s very reasonably priced and a good way to travel, as long as you worry too much about heights…..
Yesterday one of our dear church members, Na Mama and her husband, who’ve both recently moved to a care home in Taipei City, kindly invited some of their old friends from Advent Church to lunch – and lunch was to be up in Maokong. So what better way than to travel up there than by cable car?!
To get there from here is very easy and very cheap, but oh, takes ages! Almost an hour on the bus from Sanzhi to Tamsui, then another hour to almost the end of the MRT Metro line, then a bus as it was raining. Then 30 minutes on the cable car – total over 3 hours!
It was fun to travel with our rector, Rev. Lennon Chang, his wife Hannah, and all our friends, and the food was completely delicious, and then followed by tea-drinking and fellowship time. 12 of us altogether, all smiling away!
And after the tea-drinking, back down by cable car – just don’t look down! You may just catch sight of an early blooming cherry blossom tree below, but also plenty of damage caused by the landslides during last year’s Typhoon Dujuan…
Chinese New Year is coming, it’s the end of term, and there’s a festive atmosphere as people connect up with old friends and family and enjoy food, tea-drinking and time together. Na Mama and her husband were in fine form. Na Mama is 17 years younger than her husband ~ he turns 90 this year, but he has a whole new lease of life since they moved to the care home, and their days are full of classes, meals, family, friends, and for Mr. Na – lots of mahjong games with his new neighbours ha ha! Na Mama now goes to St. John’s Cathedral for worship, and returns to Advent Church once a month to see all her old friends, and the rest of her time is taken up with lots of classes, learning all sorts of new things. There’s also regular Bible Studies and fellowship groups and even Sunday afternoon services at the home or nearby, so Na Mama is busy, and her husband goes with her to the Sunday afternoon services too. So it’s great to see them so well settled, and hear their stories of life in their new home and all their activities. Non-stop action!
A wonderful day ~ turned out to be a 10-hour round trip, just for lunch ha ha! But so good to spend time in a beautiful place, eating delicious food and drinking refreshing Taiwan tea with such lovely people ~ YES!