Monday, August 19, 2013

Co-workers retreat to Matsu Island - Day 1

The first night sleep was not the best sleep.  The kids slept kind of okay but I heard everyone walking around to go to the bathroom or snoring as they slept.  I woke up early in the morning and saw the first sights of the pink sun rise.  But we couldn't see the sun rising because the fog and clouds were in the way.  I quick ran upstairs to take some pictures and then quickly got ready.  I ruined our bag because somehow the zipper broke off our luggage and unfortunately we weren't able fix it right away. I woke up the two younger kids so that we could watch the sunrise.
We started hearing music which was the clue that we were supposed to be up and getting our stuff ready to leave to get off the island.   As were getting to the first island, which was called Dongyin, we saw the Ganen Pavilion in a shade of pink and haze because of the combination of sunrise and the fog.  It was absolutely stunning and I have a bunch of beautiful pictures during this time.  After we got off the boat we got onto buses so that we could put our luggage at our first hotel.  Then we went and got scooters because that was our means of transportation for most of our time on the islands. Thankfully traffic on these islands aren't very heavy so I wasn't as concerned about taking a scooter everywhere like I would be if we were back in Hsinchu.
We needed to wait some so that everyone could get a scooter.  Little N and Little M were able to drive around on the scooters with a couple from our church (actually it was the pastor and his wife that John went with on the Thailand mission trip) and John took Caristy and Little H.  It was a little nerve wracking but we all did a fine and the boys were so excited that they could ride on a scooter.  
 We started our scooter trip around the island looking at various sites.  We had fun checking out all the wonderful spots that our tour guides had to show us.
 We saw two rocks that made a crevice that the ocean water came into.  This area is called A Thread of Sky.  We were able to just take pictures by it but there is more to this area but in order to go further in the area you needed to have a special permit and have military security.  We just enjoyed the walk and the view.   
  We went to see a gorgeous lighthouse and the kids had fun running and climbing up the stairs to see the lighthouse. I was reminded of family as I stared at the lighthouse. It was so beautiful.  The lighthouse is located on the island of Dongyong so it is know as the Dongyong Lighthouse.  It reminds me of a Greek village with the white square buildings behind the lighthouse where people used to live.
 Some beautiful sites around Dongyin Island!
We went to the Dongyin Distillery and had the chance to see their products.  They call it "wine" even though it's not really wine and it's made from sorghum (which is a type of grass that they can make into flour, and also fermented to make a liquor). The bottle on left was worth over $33,000 US dollars.   Because Matsu is a small cluster of islands they don't have a lot of land for growing vegetables so we ate alot of seafood.  We ate more seafood then I have ever eaten.  I have no clue what type of seafood that was but I tried it and I succeeded in eating it!   
 We went into Andong Tunnel which was an underground bunker.  It was just interesting to see the history of what actually went on at Matsu Island.  Stuff that was still happening not to long ago.  As you can tell Little H was not a fan of the fake guard who was just there "telling us to be careful!"
 Tried to take a family picture but didn't go over very well with our oldest so we took a picture as a family of four instead.
 The gorgeous sunset at the northernmost tip of the Matsu Islands and ROC.  It was so pretty just to watch and taken in the sky!  The boys had fun taking pictures by the statue that declared we were at the northernmost frontier. (I had more fun taking pictures of the sky!)

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