I made it to Elephant Mountain today. I’ve been talking about going since the first week I got here as the pictures I saw of the city from the top of the climb inspired me. Despite someone telling me it was an easy 15 minute climb, I found the steepness a bit challenging. Stopping to take pictures along the way helped, but there were a lot of people all around me so I couldn’t stop for long. There was an older guy with a cane (I kid you not) who passed me and put me to shame on the climb up.
The people climbing with me were a diverse group. They were wearing everything from high heels to running shoes, had age differences from small children to older people, and I heard at least four different languages being spoken. There were locals there for a good workout, another older man running down backward (again, I kid not), and a lot of tourists there to take selfies as well as professional shots of the city from the top of the mountain or on top of rocks on top of the mountain.
One of my favorite climbers was a young woman wearing high heels, panty hose, dressy shorts, and a lacy blouse. I thought she was crazy to be dressed that way, and I could tell she was struggling on the stairs. At the top, I saw her boyfriend and her taking selfies with Taipei 101 in the background, and she looked beautiful. No one would know from the pictures how humid it was or that she had hiked up 300 steep stairs a few minutes before.
I also got to eavesdrop on several interesting conversations. One guy who was from South Africa suggested they put in a slide to get down the mountain (which would be awesome). I had to laugh when I heard his idea – especially when he said it could be a water slide when it rained. It was fun to be able to eavesdrop as most of the conversations around me these days are incomprehensible to me.
Since I had barely eaten all day, I went for food at the nearby shopping center – ATT4Fun. I found a Chili’s – one of my favorite restaurants from home – and got the comfortable feeling of the familiar when I saw the menu and ordered the avocado burger. It was excellent – and so was the service there. Then I followed it up with something new – popcorn ice cream from a company called Unicorn. I’d never heard of the company or the dessert, but the display and presentation of their products was very classy and pretty. I had to try it. Wouldn’t you?