I was expecting the kind of bus that was standard in Singapore to take us to the Cijin Seaside Park, but it was no larger than the school ‘excursion’ buses that we used to take when we were young! A map was provided, but the route was difficult to comprehend! We were still figuring it out while the bus was zipping through the island. We pressed the bell just in time, and set foot on a slightly barren place. Making a right turn into a small alley, all we had to do to reach the Seaside Park was to cross another main road!
Before we allowed ourselves to free roam around the park, we planted ourselves on a bench and consumed the pan-fried quail eggs first! Cooked like that, they were just like small eggs, with a dash of spice! Ready to roam, we cut through a few lines of trees, ignoring the walking path! xD
We could see this structure from a distance, and we thought it was the seashell museum. As it turned out, it was just giant but empty seashell! An elderly man was limping his way around on a walking stick, and it pained us to watch him slowly amble forward. He then made his way onto the beach, and limped a great length of it, getting rather close to the water at times. We kept looking out for him, and wondered what was he was doing. Maybe he was feeling lonely, or was bored, and had all the time to marvel at the sea?
Clara picked up a seashell from the sandy ground, brushed particles off it and decided to keep it as a souvenir from the place. I promptly searched for another, and we finally found a suitable one that wasn’t broken or cracked! We have learned one thing while travelling – and it was that it is never the most expensive or rarest souvenirs that speak the most, but the ones with memories bonded to them (of course, being free helps a lot)!
There were people on 4-seater bicycles (they could be rented from shops near the pier) careening about, and palm trees swaying in the wind! It was such a carefree scene! I really like this photo of the doggies, too! Somehow, Dancer’s head-tilt turned out quite adorable! Typical Dancer!
Moving on from the seashell structure, we walked a long road towards the actual seashell museum! There was no shelter at all, and I just could feel my skin cooking even more! As evident from above, my arms looked almost exactly like Taiwanese sausages (yum)! The seaside museum was unfortunately closed that day (just our luck!) but at least it still provided shelter from the sun! I don’t know why, but I just kept getting reminded of a void deck under a HDB flat while walking through the … uh, void deck of the building. Maybe the sun was in a terribly bad mood that day, but the UV rays really turned up a notch! Walking to the back of the seashell museum, there was another structure – two seashells facing each other, a lot like the Kissing Rocks! Apparently, they could function as echo chambers, but we didn’t know and hence didn’t test it out!
We rounded another building (this one looked like a community club or something) and there it was, the Rainbow Church! We saw photos of these two structures all too often when researching on places to go in Kaohsiung – now we were seeing it in person! They were so tranquil – sitting there lightly on the shallow pond – and so colourful, but the sunlight was too bright and didn’t do the photos justice, I felt! There were also a lot of tourists queuing up for their turn, but for reasons unknown they tended to crowd around one structure only, so when they did that, we just went to the other! We did spend a lot of time there, and it was only when we left that I felt my raw skin stinging! We quickly rushed to an area with water taps to douse ourselves in the cool water! The sun in Kaohsiung was no joke, and we daresay much worse than what we get in sunny Singapore!
We quickly made our way back across the Seaside Park and across the road, then hid under whatever little shelter there was while we waited for the bus. We also ate another Oreo wafer stick while managing to apply sunblock and fan ourselves at the same time! I was in so much pain that when we got back to the pier, we popped into a 7-Eleven just to get sunblock (and a guava drink)! The cool aloe vera gel on my skin felt like heaven, and I think it did help a lot! Feeling prepared to head into the sun again, we crossed the road to the pier to board the ferry back to Sizihwan! This time, we stayed put inside the enclosed area, basking in the cool air and giving our legs a break. Clara started pointing out how red my neck was, and I panicked slightly haha. I think after that ordeal, sunblock will be on the top of our packing lists from now on!
We then made the decision to go to a very special ice-cream shop. One that, because it closed in Singapore, was the very first reason why we considered travelling to Kaohsiung. And it was not that we didn’t try it while it was still in Singapore – it was Spotty who didn’t manage to try it! So one can imagine how excited he got when we arrived at the entrance to the ice-cream shop!
Coolplay specialises in soft-serve ice-cream with a twist – literally, of two flavours! There were exclusive flavours of the day in addition to some basic flavours. On that day, they were earl grey and dark chocolate! We got a cone of both flavours, as well as a regular ice-cream. Spotty finally could have a taste of what he had been missing out on for more than a year!
One very special thing about Coolplay was that at every of their outlets, there would be props (especially moustaches) to pose with – I assume they expect customers to use them for photos, that is! Like in Singapore, that was what we did! The following is a effortful replica of a photo we had taken two years back!
Proffy also joined in, replicating an old photo as well, but this time adding her signature sunglasses to the mix! The perfect blend of cool and playful – Coolplay! The shop had air-conditioning and a fan switched on, so we stayed in there for a while to escape the heat. After all, we had come a long way from Singapore too, so might as well stay in this outlet for a longer while!
By the time we left the shop, we had already planned out our itinerary for the rest of the day. First, we were going to try to climb Shoushan (without knowing exactly how tiring it would be), then the Love River at night it is!