So we have set our alarm for 8am everyday in an attempt to get out of our slacker lifestyle. We are up and out by 9.10am and notice that the bakery, Mr Mark, opposite is closed as is Watson’s (Boots equivalent) which is odd.
We have a plan for today, we are off to Dihua street for a gourmet coffee, then the main temple Ba’on, then lunch then a walking tour of Taipei, this should ensure we have seen enough of this amazing city to satisfy our inner traveller.
As we are caffeine lightweights we can only have 1 coffee per day and it has to be before 12 noon. The only deviation to this rule is if we have enough antidote to coffee, the best antidote is red wine, which is unaffordable here.
On the way to the tube we pass a number of excellant looking coffee shops, we ignore them all as we know we have more coming up.
We get to Dihau Street, we see one gourmet coffee place that is actually open and the coffee is 5 quid, each. There are not hundreds of little cafes selling gourmet coffee, the Lonely Planet has lied.
However the street is filled with Chinese medicine stores which are fascinating in themselves, albeit the foot high antlers we saw in one shop window were a little shocking.
Thoroughly dispirited we were also hungry so went to Family Mart for an onigiri, it was minging. Tourism was not going well.
We get the tube to Ba’on temple, it is ace, more chanting, more incense and more beautiful decorations on pagoda roof tops.
We also go to the much quieter Confucius temple over the road, it was similiar to the ones in China, nice but not new to us. The park istastefully decorsted eith staues though.
Both these temples are right under the flight path of Taipei airport so every 20 mins or so you have the feeling of a plane landing on top of you. Quite unique!
Hungry, Guy (with the help of Maps.Me) navigates us to Addiction Aquatic Development, which has to be one of our best experiences so far. It is a massive aircraft hanger building, on entry we get hand sanitized. We are in a hall filled with large tanks full of live seafood, a market, food stalls. Basically you seafood, then eat it, boom!
There was a whole counter serving crabs and white wine, we stood and waited for our hairy crab and glass of Chardonnay. The wine was delicious, our first white wine for 3 months. The crab was sweet and tasty, we spent ages getting all the meat out, it was worth every second.
There was an outside charcoal grilling Spanish mackerel on offer and although we were tempted we chose cooked fish from the counter, picking out braised sweet fish, roasted salmon and grilled mackerel and a couple of grilled prawns. We also gave in and bought a bottle of white wine.
Guy loved the mackerel, it was the biggest mackerel I have ever seen, it was soft, oily and delicious. I loved the salmon, we chose a piece that included the fatty part near the gills, it was tender and yielding. ….. yum. The sweet fish was new to us and was sweet, really nice and the prawns were o.k.as well.
We had a lovely couple of hours in a world of fish and white wine.
Tourism is over for today. We make our way home, consider a craft ale bar but won’t pay £5 a beer (bearing in mind we have just blown a days budget on the fish and wine!!!).
I decide that whisky will help my throat so buy a small bottle and have a few hot whisky and honeys. Guy decided a flavoured beer test is required so buys the following:
- Mango beer
- Pineapple beer
- Grape beer
- Normal (coz he has never tasted that before!!!!)
- Asahi Dark (pudding)
I loved the mango one, he loved pineapple. It is the closest we get to fruit today.
We watch English tv for the first-time in ages. Jamie’s 30 min meals and then a documentary on Stella McCartney.
We go to our local Irish bar for happy hour beers and are happy.
Now, who does this remind me of ……..