Samstag, 21. November 2015

If life gives you lemons make lemonade!

On our first day of the tour we arrived our destination Jiaoxi in pouring rain and thanks to my weak immune system I was kicked out or better to say kicked off from my bike two days later. 

What a bummer! My body was shutting down, only the minimum systems were running anymore. Never felt so sick in my life for a very, very long time! 
But not only this made me sick, especially the fact that I couldn't bike the whole 900 km of the Formosa900.

Even if it looks like I am relaxing in this photo, I was already fighting hard at the end of day 2. The last kilometers to our hotel were a nightmare and a grannie would have easily overtaken me at the end. I lost all my energy! 

My teamrider Moni from Germany, who lived in Taiwan and speaks pretty well Chinese and our tour leader Frank went to a pharmacie with me after the tour to get something to built me up. The drugs were cheap and gave me a sleepless night plus the perception that I won't survive another day in the saddle if I don't stop biking now.

But it was amazing how everyone took care of me. Romain, my roommate went to the supermarket in the middle of the night to get me a bottle of water and carried my luggage to the room. I've been nonstop asked if I need or want anything or how I am feeling. The whole team felt the pain with me and gave me the feeling even when I am not biking I am part of this team and this great experience! This is how to connect people!

I participated in the stages 
  • 11/16 Ruisui > Zhiben
  • 11/17 Zhiben > Checheng
on the bus, next to Frank. I don't know much about it anymore as I was tossing and turning, trying to find some sleep! I Zhiben I went to see a doctor and his diagnosis was pretty clear: High Fever including a severe flu. Equipped with prescription drugs we went back to the hotel and my fight against the illness started! I have absolutely no clue what I was taking the next few days but these little pills did a wonder! After another day on the bus to feel better (just being sick for not biking) I put on my bike gear in the morning and was able to continue!

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade! :)  

Samstag, 14. November 2015

Formosa 900 has begun!

5.30 in the morning is definitely (and never will be) my time to get up! Well, no chance to stay in bed if I want to participate in the bike event.
So I got up and after a quick breakfast our group headed to Taipei City hall. In the shade of the Taipei 101 we met all other bike groups and a great kick-off event took place. I got interviewed and after some speeches in Chinese we hit the road! #ErlebeTaiwan

We weaved our way through the Taipei road traffic, accompanied by the police to make sure we all left Taipei safely. It took us about an hour to leave the city but just before we started to explore the eastern part of Taiwan we made a short break. Moni and Verena showed us their energy with a funny dance interlude :)

The countryside is amazing. Just enjoy the photos!

As you can see on the photos the weather was pretty cloudy and we arrived the first stage of our bike tour soaked from the rain.

Luckily the first downhill part of the day was nice and dry. Enjoy the video :)

I am pretty tired now and we need to get up at 5.30 again. Still not my time! But there are 8 more stages to go. Next destination Ruisui!

Freitag, 13. November 2015

Another day in Tapei has flown by. Do you know these days when you think you haven't done a lot but don't know where time has gone? I call these the days you made most of it and I am in my holidays. Finally! 

This morning we spent at Xingtian Temple and followed a ceremony. Quite interesting! Actually it's been a day with a lot of interesting facts and figures. On the way to the temple I realised we were walking on the streets, cars and scooters passing by and it felt like a bit like living in an oversized anthill. Some streets just don't have pavements. But it looks like all participants of traffic can peacefully live together in Taipei.

Ceremony at Xingtian Temple

Xingtian Temple

Another must see in Taipei is the Chiang Kai-Chek Memorial Hall. To get there the easiest way is to take te underground. The train system in Taipei is modern, fast, on-time and cheap! Getting around for around 50 Cent is nothing to complain about. It's forbidden to eat or drink in the stations and on the trains and its clean. Really clean!

Underground train map Taipei
From the station to the memorial its only a puddle jump to reach a haven of tranquility in the middle of the city. A beautiful place!

Theater at Chiang Kai-Chek Memorial Hall

Gate at Chiang Kai-Chek Memorial Hall

Chiang Kai-Chek Memorial Hall

We got lucky to see the change of guards at the memorial hall. Watch the video. It's not taken in slo-mo, this is original! :)

Change of guards at Chiang Kai-Chek Memorial Hall

Back at the hotel our pick-up service to get us to the #Formosa900 briefing was a standard Mercedes Sprinter from the outside but inside we got surprised with luxury leather seats. We get treated very welll before we have to start using our own muscles to travel around Taiwan tomorrow morning :)

Pure Luxury!
At the briefing of our bike trip we met all the other bikers of the group. A total size of 35 people from all around the world, including the US, Scotland, Singapore, China, Malaysia and of course the three Germans Moni, Vanessa and myself. 

Frank, our tour leader explained in detail that our first challenge will be already on our first day as we need to cross the mountains to get to the east side of Taiwan. Gear on and lets get ready to bike!

Back at the hotel there we decided to go for dinner before having an early night. The street life in Taiwan is fascinating, not only because of the small shops everywhere but also for daily things like the post service, litter service (they come around, playing music and people swarm to the place of the litter truck and start to trash and recycle on the street. This was the time I realized they don't have any public trash bins. Pretty weird, especially you get rubbish everywhere, even when you buy a tea it comes in a plastic bag. #ErlebeTaiwan

Post Service

Litter Service

Litter Service

Recycling on the street

After dinner we decided to go back to the hotel. My alarm wakes me up at 5.30 in the morning. Have a good night guys. :)

Donnerstag, 12. November 2015

欢迎 (Huānyíng / Welcome) to Taiwan!

What a journey! I met my fellow travellers Moni and Vanessa at the Airport in Frankfurt yesterday morning.
It took us only a few seconds to start nonstop chit-chatting about the trip, our lives and doing big small things :)
The Flight with China Airlines onboard a brand new Boeing 777-300 ER was very comfy!
Good seats, good food and a high quality and wide range of the latest movies to choose from. We tried to sleep a bit as well and after 11.5 hrs we finally arrived in Taipei, Taiwan!

After picking up our luggage we made our way outside the airport where we met Lily Chuang who surprised us with a flowerbomb of good humour and excitement of welcoming us to Taiwan :)

This was the first time in my life I had someone waiting with my name for me #FeelingVIP!

A bit jetlagged but full of energy to explore the city of Taipei after breakfast we decided to start with a biking tour even before the 900 km of the official #Formosa900 event. Just to get us in the mood :)
YouBike offers convenient and environmentally friendly transit and weaves a friendly, smart green network all over the city. Beside of this its a great experience! 

Original Post:

Fortune Teller Taste in Taiwan

We went on a mini tour which included visiting the Mengjia Longshan-Temple, the Smoothie House, famous for Taiwan's Most Famous Mango Snowflake Ice and a melting pot for sugar junkies and young people and finally to enjoy the view from Taipei's No.1 landmark, the world famous Taipei 101 Tower!

Mengjia Longshan Temple
The Taipei 101, formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, is a landmark skyscraper located in Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan. The building ranked officially as the world's tallest from 2004 until the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010. Taipei 101 comprises 101 floors above ground and 5 floors underground. The tower is designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes. The elevator is the world's fastest according to the Guinnes Book of Records.
My tip: Don't forget to take your passport and get a unique stamp on the 98th observation deck :)


Anther highlight was the visit of Shilin Night Market which was the final event of our first day in Taiwan! There are more than 10 night markets in the capital city alone! Endless rows of stalls, jam-packed with food, clothes and handicrafts line the streets. People in Taiwan just love buying and selling. Everywhere you look, food goods and money are changing hands! #ErlebeTaiwan


Freitag, 6. November 2015

Welcome to my next big adventure! 

A few weeks ago I received the amazing news that I've been chosen by the Taiwan Tourism Board for the Formosa 900! I am super-excited.

The Formosa 900 is one of the main events of Taiwan Cycling Festival, it is a round-island tour by several teams launching from different cities. Formosa 900 will take place from November 14 to 22, 2015, each team required to ride 900 kilometers in 9 days and ends up at its starting point, a certificate of cycling island will be awarded to the team members who have completed the challenge.
From 2012, there have been 35 teams, one thousand people came from America,Australia, England , Germany, Sweden, Spain, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macao, Mainland China and Taiwan participated in Formosa 900. Whether which city do the team start the round-island tour, it’s easy to find the different culture between the north and the south of Taiwan, also the scenery is various from the east and the west of Taiwan. The most difficult challenge in the tour is called Shouka. Keep a positive attitude and believe you can make it , then you’ll get to the top and enjoy the beautiful view, which make it worth for the hard work.

Formosa 900 is not a race in the proper sense, a leisurely pace will be maintained, and sightseeing is a primary goal, to experience the true beauty of Taiwan’s nature scenery, to try tasty cuisine along the way and to get warmhearted friendliness of local people.

Let the journey begin! :)