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Climbing the turtle

posted by Martin Rubli at 03:46

All good things come to an end. This is especially and unfortunately true for vacations.

If you think that vacations are relaxing then you should try coming back from one of my vacations. Hundreds of photos and dozens of GPS traces are waiting to be combined and put online.

Luckily, I finally found a working program that does this job quite well: Geotag. It loads pictures from different directories and multiple GPS tracks and with a little bit of magic you'll have coordinates in your pictures in no time. The result of this can be seen here:

Turtle Island album

Turtle Island (龜山島, Gui shan dao) is a small, uninhabited island on the west coast of Taiwan. Unfortunately it's still under military control and visiting involves going with a rather large tour group or a lot of paperwork (If you have the choice, go with the paperwork! :-), but it's worthwile in spite of that. See for yourself.

Oh, and pictures from Okinawa are coming up soon. At least some of them; turns out my camera is allergic to water. ;-)


Advertisement of the special kind

posted by Martin Rubli at 15:58

While buying some long-needed DIY accessories to get a network cable out of the way we saw some an amazing ad for garden furniture:

Also notice the woman relaxing in the furniture set behind him, playing with her cell phone. Possibly his girlfriend/wife? :-)


Five steep fingers

posted by Martin Rubli at 13:08

Now that the rainy season is coming to an end and we've just narrowly escaped the Wind God (the name of the last Typhoon in the area), it's a good time to go biking. Slightly hot with 30 °C and more but the temperature is not the biggest problem. It's the legs.

We were planning to climb 五指山 (Five finger mountain) after a little warm-up trip to 關西 (Guanxi) and back but it turns out the 50 km I had already done were a little too much to attack one of the steepest mountains in the area.

Anyway, we'll try again soon, and with a little luck one of these days there will be pictures of a nice view on my website. In the meantime, you can check out two photos I took while waiting for my friend and the map to go with it. :-)

Five Finger Mountain album


A university to die for

posted by Martin Rubli at 15:01

Many Taiwanese universities have small lakes on their campus, which is really nice cause you can go for a relaxing walk during your classes or in your spare time.

And then there's the National Chiao Tung University in Hsinchu where a walk around the lake is more like an obstacle course around dead animals:

   

Theories as to the reason of this animal battle ground include "bored to death by professors" and "university graduate designed aeration system". ;-)

All jokes aside, apart from the lake the university is quite nice. Take a look by visiting my Taiwanese Universities album.


Love Switzerland?

posted by Martin Rubli at 15:03

It's fun, after living abroad for a while, to go back to your home country to see what has changed and what hasn't. Some things never seem to change:

  • Mother's cooking is still the best
  • Shops close over lunch time
  • The amount of snow
  • The challenge of getting food after 22h!

And some things are not quite what they used to be:

  • I can walk through my parents' home town largely incognito
  • I feel weird going to a Chinese restaurant (especially accompanied by a Taiwanese)
  • My ability to speak my mother tongue (it's embarrassing trying to order something in a bakery and not remembering its name ;-)

Together with Ivy I traveled through Switzerland in what can be described as a mixture between Swiss retiree style (i.e. sitting in the train a lo-o-ot) and Japanese city hopping. In three days we went from Chur to Lausanne in the Glacier Express, from there to Basel and Bern, and via Zürich back to Chur. Our vacation also included a Snow Show in Arosa and a one-day trip to St. Moritz, one of the most expensive (and, if it wasn't for the scenery, most boring) towns in Switzerland.

But Chinese food (not my idea, I swear) was not the only thing that reminded us of Taiwan. See for yourself:

Love Sculpture in front of Taipei 101 Love Sculpture in an art gallery window in St. Moritz

Apparently, the Love sculpture in front of Taipei's 101 is not the only one of its kind. Turns out that there are more instances of Robert Indiana's art piece than you'd think as a quick Internet search reveals. :-)

My gallery has more pictures from our trip. Enjoy!


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