Situated on the northern coast of Taiwan, Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China. With a population of nearly 3 million people, Taipei is the political, economic and cultural center of Taiwan.
Taipei was founded in the 18th century and has been the center of government for China during various periods. Following World War II, Chiang Kai-shek lead his nationalist forces to Taiwan after suffering defeat at the hands of the communists in China’s civil war. Today, Taiwan has a democratically elected national government.
To reach this viewpoint where I took this picture, we had to hike some pretty steep steps. It was a good workout, and worth it. Taipei is a beautiful, clean and stunningly beautiful city.
Two sets of stairs, each with 89 steps representing Chaing Kai-shek’s age when he died, lead to the main entrance of the Memorial Hall. Rising 289 feet above ground and covered in glazed tile, the structure and surrounding flower beds represent the colors of the flag of the Republic of China.
Chaing Kai-shek retreated from China to Taiwan with his army in 1946 following defeat at the hands of the Communists. He had been ruling China for nearly twenty-two years. After arriving in Taiwan, he served as President of the Republic of Taiwan until his death in 1975. During the period of his rule, he continued to develop plans to retake mainland China from the Communists. Following his death, the Memorial Hall was erected in his honor and has become a natural gathering place, landmark and tourist attraction. If you visit Taiwan, don’t miss it. I was impressed.
Because I am traveling so much, it is taking longer than I hoped to get things launched. It always takes longer than you hope, anyway. I return from travel in March and we will get serious–really serious–about kickstarter, casting and production. Stay tuned.
In case you want to catch up on previous episodes:
Gold Coast. I want to feel the sand and surf before I die.
Brisbane. The Brisbane River snaking through the city leaves the marks of flood waters on the stone foundations of downtown high-rises.
An Aboriginal street performer plays a didgeridoo concert for some coins; the deep, rich, mysterious, mournful sound vibrating my bones. After playing, he tells us the story of how his father, European, fell in love with his Aboriginal mother deep in the bush.
Driving away, a Kangaroo stands and stares at us, watching us go with sad eyes. Why are you leaving?
From Kangaroo Point, the spectacular setting sun gives way, too soon, to the sparkling stars of the Southern Cross. I’m far from home and longing to see my family.
The good news, for me, is that spending such a short time down under means that I will go back. I must.
Dusk settles on Brisbane, Australia and the Brisbane River
The Brisbane River flows beneath the Goodwill Bridge at dusk in Brisbane, Australia.
The sun sets over Brisbane and Goodwill Bridge as seen from Kangaroo Point.
This street performer, half aborigine, was a most excellent didgeridoo player.
On a visit to Brisbane, it doesn’t take long to leave the city behind and get lost is the Beautiful, Australian bush.
This young Kangaroo stood up to pose for pictures not far from Brisbane, Australia.
Not my best photo ever. When I got to close for comfort Kanga took off with amazing speed.
The Koala Bear is actually not a bear at all, but a marsupial native to Australia.
The sub-tropical climate near Brisbane, Australia is perfect for beautiful wild flowers.
No matter how much I want it to last, the day always comes to an end. I try to make it last. I try to hold it in my hands. I try to capture the moment, to remember the brilliance, to savor the beauty. No such luck–but wait–my camera…
Leaving New Zealand I couldn’t resist the sunset. Perhaps, the HDR shots are a little much; however, the actual brilliance was indescribable. Would I go back to New Zealand? Will I go back? In a Kiwi second.
First settled by the Maoris nearly 700 years ago, Captain James Cook discovered and mapped New Zealand in 1769.
Known as Paradise of the Pacific, New Zealand is a land of stunning natural beauty and diversity.
On average, there are 137 rainy days in Auckland each year, guaranteeing more sunny days than not.
Auckland has a vibrant and colorful Mauri population, the largest of any city in the world.
Climate conditions in New Zealand make for spectacular sunsets, nearly every evening.
With cool breezes, sunny weather and friendly people, if not paradise, New Zealand can’t be far from it.
The traditional Maori name for New Zealand is Aotearoa, or “Land of the Long White Cloud.” Ocean currents, weather patterns and South Pacific moisture combine for spectacular cloud formations which brood above the mountains, valleys and fjords, of New Zealand and bear witness to the truth of the ancient Maori name.
With the brilliant clouds and sparkling waters, New Zealanders love to sail. Auckland, New Zealand is known as ‘the city of sails’. Some reports boast that there are more boats per capita in New Zealand than anywhere else in the world. Check any international yachting crew and you’ll probably find a New Zealander.
From my perspective, I could feel pleasant breezes, blue water and plenty of sunshine. Now that I’ve been there, If I had to choose, I’d rather be sailing–in New Zealand.
Clouds, sunshine and rain and clear water.
Can you hear the sea calling to you?
Even if you could sail around the world, why would you ever leave New Zealand?
We’re calling everyone to ride along, to another shore.
At home in the harbor.
Nearly one in every three New Zealanders owns a boat.
With a population of approximately 1.5 million, Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand.
At 1,076 feet tall, or 328 meters, the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand is the highest structure in the Southern Hemisphere.
If it looks idyllic, that could be because it is. Not too hot. Not too cold. Clear air. Friendly people. Thriving economy. And, incredible scenery.
Talking with the locals in Auckland and Wellington the apocryphal claims went something like this:
“There are more sheep in New Zealand than people.”
“There are more boats in New Zealand than people.”
“The Garden of Eden was actually in New Zealand.”
I couldn’t verify any of these claims; although, I hope to return to New Zealand in search of the Garden of Eden. In any case, I hope to return to New Zealand to explore more of ‘Middle Earth’. Thanks to Peter Jackson, the world has enjoyed the striking beauty of a pristine southwestern Pacific island paradise.
It was a blustery day when we arrived in Wellington, New Zealand. As usual, we only had a short time to shoot b-roll for our documentary assignment. However, we knew we were close to Weta Studios. You can’t, you just can’t come to Middle Earth and not stop by Weta. By the time we got there, the studio was closed. No tours available. But, the light was right, the scenery was incredible and this lighthouse led the way.