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The Sunflower Movement

I visited Taiwan and learned of the Sunflower Movement in September 2016

‘Oh yeah,’ he said as I showed him the picture. ‘There is always some kind of protest going on now. Many people oppose the stance the government has taken towards China’ he continued. His English quite good for a Taiwanese. Sometimes he searched a little for what to say, sometimes he had to ask his girlfriend for a word in English, but most of the time he had no problem conversing.

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National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine in Taipei

I visited the National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine in Taipei in September 2016

The rain was pouring down as I approached the shrine. Rain like we never have in Norway, never downpours like this. A deluge of water coming from the skies, not a dry spot to be found. Except under my umbrella. Under here it was still nice and warm. The rain did not make the temperatures drop, it was still just over 30 degrees. The trepidation only increased the humidity, making it feel even warmer. I wasn’t 100% dry under my umbrella. I was sweating heavily.

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Beautiful Tamsui in Taiwan

I visited Tamsui outside Taipei in September 2016

One of the most popular things to do whe visiting Tamsui just north of Taipei is to watch the sunset. It is supposed to be very beautiful here, setting over New Taipei, the light creating a spectacular horizon. The day I was visiting had been a rainy day, massive rain showers all day followed by some minutes of sun and blue skies. The last hour it seemed as the rain had quieted down a bit. Quicker showers, not so intense. As the sunset approached I seriously thought it would clear up. Not just for some minutes but for the rest of the evening. As the sun started falling towards the horizon there was hardly a cloud in sight. But that would all change. Just as the sun touched the horizon you could not see it anymore, dark clouds were in the way. A few seconds later the rain started pouring again. I missed seeing the sunset in Tamsui.

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Night Markets in Taiwan

I visited several night markets in Taipei, Taiwan in September 2016

I started with the mussels. Perfectly cooked in a spicy sauce. They tasted amazing, and the whole portion for only TD 60. A scoop. They were so tasty I wanted to finish them all, but I couldn’t. There was so much to try here, for such a cheap price, I could not fill my stomach up on the first few dishes. I threw over half of my mussels away.

I followed up with Taiwanese sausage, oysters, various meat grilled on various sticks. Then a beef noodle soup. The stalls offering food were spread out all over the street. All the food looked delicious. Further down the street the stalls offered various games for kids. Shoot balloons, throw darts, fish for presents. I was mostly focused on all the delicious food.

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Jazz in Duketown

I went to the festival Jazz in Duketown in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in May, 2016

As we got to Parade, an open square in the city of ‘S-Hertogenbosch, the concert had already started. The square wasn’t full though, we could get quite close to the stage if we wanted. I fished out two beers from my bag, gave one to my friend, as we walked through the crowd. In the back were stands selling food, bars were placed on each side of the square. Most people had gathered close to the stage, but groups of people were standing further back as well. We found a place a bit from the stage to stand. We could see the stage just fine, the sound was great, and not too many people around.

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‘s-hertogenbosch

I visited ‘s-Hertogenbosch in May, 2016

The train should have taken about an hour and a half, but due to construction on the line we had to change for a bus from Utrecht to Geldermalsen. We arrived in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, also called Den Bosch,  a little over two hours after leaving Amsterdam. Apart from having to take the bus for a while, the journey went without incident.

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Ukrainian Beer at Beer Dream in Kyiv

I visited Beer Dream in Kyiv and tried some Ukrainian beer in January 2017

I am a big fan of beer, and love to try out the local brew when travelling. I was a bit disappointed about the beer in Ukraine, most places seemed to have imported beer, the normal boring stuff like Carlsberg and Heineken, I had not found many places serving local Ukrainian beer. Maybe I had simply been to the wrong places, I don’t know. But on my last day in Kyiv I found Beer Dream.

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A Christmas Market in Kyiv, Ukraine

I visited the Christmas Market in Kyiv during Orthodox Christmas in January 2017

I arrived in Kyiv thinking Christmas was over. It was the first weekend in January, I had returned to work after my Christmas holiday, presents were opened and forgotten, I was ready for a new year. But the first place I visited in Kyiv was the Christmas market. Suddenly I found my Christmas spirit again. Christmas decorations everywhere, glühwein, some delicious christmas food. All of a sudden Santa Claus would walk by. Russian Santa that is, dressed in blue but with an equally long beard. The market really conveyed christmas spirit, something I thought I had lost a week ago.

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The Caves of Pechersk Lavra

I visited the monastery Pechersk Lavra in Kyiv in January 2017

I had to crouch down as we walked through the caves. My guide walking in front of me, I was following with a small candle in my hand for light. My guide would usually walk at a speed fast enough to extinguish my candle if I tried to follow. I would shield the tiny flame with my hand, trying to keep up as best I could. Many other people were exploring the caves as well, a few with guides, most people on their own. I was glad I chose to hire a guide, the information she provided was worth the few Euros I paid many times over.

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