27 July 2014

Veitshöchheim is a municipality of Würzburg, Bavaria in Germany.  Schloss Veitshöchheim is the most important tourist spot in the area.  It was built as the summer palace for Prince Bishop of Würzburg between 1680 and 1682 and expanded between 1806 and 1814. The palace itself is quite small but the Rococo (late Baroque style, 18th-century artistic movement and style) garden is immense, beautified with lakes, waterworks, grotto, nice gardens with flowers and hundreds of sandstone sculpture.




The garden was very green and large.   Neat paths lead to every corner.   Lakes dotted with waterworks (starts 1pm and ends 5pm).  At the far end is a grotto.   You can see animals made with shells.  They are exotic and beautiful.

Schloss Veitshöchheim is opened between April and October, from 9am to 6pm.  Mondays closed.   Rooms are opened for visit but can only be viewed through a guided tour.   It is every hour and lasts 30 minutes. Price: €4.5.  Visiting the garden is free.

Veitshöchheim is 6 km northwest of Würzburg.   You can reach it from Würzburg in 6 minutes by train.  But the service is not frequent, one every hour or still longer.   Check Deutsche Bahn for the time table.  Alternatively, you can take a bus to reach it.   Every half hour is a bus to the Kirchplatz of Veitshöchheim.  The journey lasts about 19 minutes.

At the back of the palace, there is a path to the main town, a layback and beautiful village offering good food and wine.   At time, chanterelle was in season.   It was featured a lot with pairing wine.  Unfortunately, we still needed to visit Würzburg.  No time for lunch in the lovely town.  Strolling the main street with colourful houses, town hall and church is a joy.


Mui Tsz Lam 梅子林, Ngong Ping 昂平

1 July 2016 is the 19th anniversary of returning the sovereignty of Hong Kong to China.  19 years ago I went to Spain alone.  This year I hiked alone to Ngong Ping.  I had some fear.  Would there be illegal immigrant trying to rob, rain, flood, snake.......?  But I till packed up to take the adventure. Yup, I don't want to be a couch potato. Today I strengthen myself, the days of the elderly will be nicer to stay in a better shape.

I found the spot of Ngong Ping from our pastor's Facebook page.  From there one can have a gorgeous panoramic view of the islands at Sai Kung.  It worth the walk, sweat and breath. And one will not climb the way only once.  I am sure I will go again one day, two days......  Ha ha!

It was raining in the morning.   I left home after 12pm and took a min-bus to Chevalier Garden in Ma On Shan. The trip started with a path passing Tsung Tsin Secondary School, turn left and follow the cemented street as shown above, from top left to right, then bottom left to right until a street for cars.

Walking upward on the gentle slope until you see the fourth rain shelter. Still go a bit upward. You then see a dam with blue railing. but go for the path with green railing.  There is a signage to Mui Tsz Lam Village.

The walk is always under tree shades and streams are often next. When you need to cool yourself down, it is always nice to sit next to the water, listen the sound and see the butterflies around.

Starting from the way up, it took about half hour to see the signs of Mau Ping 茅坪 and Tai Shui Hang 大水坑 (where I started the walk).  Go for Mau Ping.

Continue the upward path.  In about 20 minutes, you will see a few blocks of ruin stone houses which have been abandoned for a long time.  One is left with the structure and windows only.  If it is on a cold and cloudy day, then the scene will be quite scary.

The next 20 minutes walk was also under tree shades.  I won't say it cool in the hot summer. Still it is a pleasant walk in the green and streams around.  It will lead to an open area.  A big grassland with some shelters. And it is a cross road to Sai Kung (Pak Koung), MacLehose Trail, and Ngong Ping.

Facing this grassland, turn to the left and keep ascending.  Now, this path is direct under the sun. No tree shades anymore.  But you will be rewarded with unforgettable views.

Along the way, I got caught by an isolated lily standing admirably next to the stone staircase. Life is powerful! Soon you will start to see the sea, islands, yachts..... Amazing scenes!   I could not walk further but stopped and shot the beautiful moments.   Bravo!

Yeah!  It's the plateau!  Some people were around and enjoying the breathtaking panoramic views there.  So relaxed!


But the plateau is not yet the highest point.   See, the beautiful hill top in a range!   In the front is Pyramid Hill. It surges up with great aura. Further out are the rolling ranges of Ma On Shan and Tiu Shau Ngam. As I was not well prepared for the hike and I still had an appointment, I had to head down the hill. The direction is to Hang On Estate.

I was very tired after another hour of walking and could not walk up to Hang On Estate but a closer one, Kam Ying Court.  It was a nice day with big achievement, big for one seldom go for hiking and the fantastic views!


Maokong 貓空

6 May 2016

Maokong is a famous for drinking quality tea and has breathtaking views of Taipei City.  One can hike up to the mountain.  But in hot summer, gondola is more preferred. And the journey is composed of nice spots of the surrounding and far.

It was already after 4 pm when we arrived.  We first headed to the right and walked along the Camphor and Zhanghu Circular Trails. The path is dotted with old farm houses, ponds, wooden bridge/terrace and pubic art of an ox cart and a granary.  These recall the old days of agricultural villages.


There are still other spots such as Zhangzhan Temple, Chang Naimiao Memorial Tea Museum, Sanzuan Temple Path, etc.   Click here for more information.

We returned to the gondola station and continued to the left.  Along the way are many tea houses and snack carts. We settled down to enjoy cold tea and a green tea smoothie.  And of course, the gorgeous views over Taipei City and the beautiful evening light.

To reach Maokong you can take MRT (the brown line) to the terminus station Taipei Zoo (動物園). Transfer to the Maokong Gondola which runs between 8.30am to 9.00 pm (10 pm on Friday and Saturday).