Thursday, February 12, 2015

Day 8: The Yoshino Cherry Blossom Craze...

~ 21st March 2014 ~
I know I'm almost one year late in this posting. I can't find any extra time in hand. When I'm free, I'm doing something else or I'm just too tired to even switch on the computer. Now that I'm writing a few essays, I just squeeze in some time to do it while staring at my one more pile of work. The work keeps piling up. So, let's enjoy some beautiful flowers created by God... God, the Creator of everything, surely has a taste in beautiful things.
Fancy staring at blobs and blobs of pink of different shades? The striking shade of pink is my favourite colour. You know when we wrote down what we wanted to really see in Taiwan, we had the word 'cherry blossoms' written most of the time. Like our trip up to Yangmingshan, our main agenda was to look at cherry blossoms and when we got what we wanted, we left the place with no regrets. I think we even managed to catch a glimpse of plum blossoms which was a winter bloom but since we were at the end of winter and the beginning of spring, we managed to catch the best of both seasons. But if you were to ask me to differentiate between cherry blossoms and plum blossoms, I don't think I can tell you much except that plum blossoms are white in colour. And I thought cherry blossoms come in shades of pink only until I saw these...
White with a tinge of light pink. What the heck. Okay, I need an encyclopedia or maybe Google them up. This is what happens when one lacks of knowledge regarding an issue. I have flower issue. I can't see the real difference but I just know they are beautifully made. Even the dead flowers look beautiful. What else can I say?
Of course we started taking photos with the cherry blossoms as the backdrop. Whenever you look at a photo and really think that there's really nobody surrounding you but only you and the tree, you are dead wrong. The whole place was thronged by humans of sorts. It was simply a skill to take photo without any other humans standing behind you making monkey faces. You see that man behind? That's a sight to behold. That must be an avid photographer or a paid photographer taking a photo of the cherry blossom up close maybe for some cover of magazines to attract tourists. That camera with extended lens of a somewhat weight of 3 kilo, I would throw everything downhill if I have to carry that. I don't mind if there's someone helping me carry the camera everywhere when not in use. Can you feel the chill of the place? It's really nice at 11-degree Celsius.
Actually, we were loitering around the place outside the train station. We were waiting for our tour guide. Why do we need a tour guide when we would rather explore the place on our own? The reason was very simple. We called up every single hotel that's available in Alishan and all hotels were fully booked. We called a month ahead. Maybe you should call a year ahead. Mind you if you really need to go to Alishan, thou shalt not pick a weekend. We arranged in such a way that we would be there on a Friday to avoid human traffic. Still, we couldn't get a hotel room. We thought of sleeping on the bench of the train station but we could not imagine how cold it would be. Pinky managed to get the contact of another Mr. Chen in the red jacket. Hotels will usually allocate a portion of their rooms to tour guides so it would be a win-win situation among the tour guides and the hoteliers. He got a room but we needed to pay for a package which included a guide for the jungle trail. The other two flanked on both sides were members in our small tour group. I thank God that our group was insignificantly small. Other groups were so huge I think I would dig a hole and bury myself there.
There were at least 5 different trails to move around in Alishan. I've planned to march on the Erwanping trail to see what I want to see. But I was so disappointed when I see the signage that would be our trail and everybody else's trail. We would be marching along with other tourists who are loud mouth and they were real people with no manners or ethics. Our small group always made way for them loud-mouthed people to walk first. I think the cypress trees cried hearing them. Well, when you are already assigned to follow a trail which you did not want at all * I cancelled this trail the moment I read about it* you just have to make the most out of it. March along with a broad smile and eventually you will come to enjoy it. Our guide is a good one.
I love this photo in particular. It's the most beautiful mistake I've made. It has nothing to do with any photography skill it's just a plain mistake I made when combining them photos. 

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