We have finally arrived in Taiwan and Erin has survived here first 14 hour plane ride. It is definitely not a trip for the faint of heart. With the dry air, cramped space, and the smell of hundreds of other humans it is a feat to be reckoned with. We even made it through smiling!
After landing and waiting what seemed like a lifetime for our luggage to make it’s own trip through the carousel we were on to the next task of securing a ride from Tayouan to Taipei. There are limo drivers, private drivers, and taxi drivers all competing for your business. They can be very aggressive in their salesmanship as well. After bartering with a private driver we secured our ride for $1200 NT (About 38 bucks). We were lucky enough to ride in style the whole way as the car we rode in was a Mercedes S500. Much better than the typical stinky Toyota Corolla VVT’s that you find all over the city. Here is a cool picture of a weird temple that Erin snapped off on the way to the hotel.
Our hotel is very cool, clean, and modern. Unfortunately we have not taken any pics yet. I will try and get some up later.
After a couple of showers and a quick nap we headed off to the 101 building. Erin did not think the building was that big until she was right underneath it.
Ain’t no one in Taipei going to mess with this tough guy.
Here is another photo Erin snapped, it is the 101 building about two blocks away from the cab window.
This was my first time up to the observatory level. It happens to be on the 89th floor of the 101 building. The building holds quite a few world records at the moment. It not only is the tallest, but it has the fastest elevator as well as the heaviest tuned mass damper (I will explain this in a minute). This is a model of the elevator, it travels at 1010 meters a minute, that means you go from the 5th floor to the 89th floor in 37 seconds.
Unfortunately the weather is overcast and the windows were not the cleanest for great pictures so this is what I got. The building immediately below is the convention center where the bike show is held.
This photo is of the Ssu-Shou Mountains, apparently there are some great nature trails all throughout.
From the 91st floor down to the 87th floor hangs the worlds largest tuned mass damper. There are three dampers in the 101 and this is the largest weighing in at 660 metric tons. It decreases the building from swaying caused by earthquakes and strong winds by 40%.
Here is a closeup of the cables that support that weight.
From the 89th floor we walked up the 92nd floor which is the outdoor observatory. The view is not that great as there is a fairly tall cement wall with iron bars going up to about nine feet that kind of obstruct the view. This angered Erin so much that she through caution to the wind and tried her hardest to topple the 101.
Until tomorrow, we want to let everyone know that we love you all and miss you already.