Some days are just for adventuring. That is until you arrive at your destination at 10 AM, instantly break into a full-blown sweat, and shrivel up before you make it to water. With that being said, some mini adventures are totally worth it.
At the end of the Xindian MRT line (green) at the Xindian MRT stop, a wanderer will find Bitan scenic route along the Xindian River. It might not seem like much (in fact, the wiki pages are quite slim on it), but to one thirsting for some green in a big city, this was perfect.
Just outside the MRT station, one turns left and heads down the stairs. Of course this is still the city of Taipei and a highway will be overhead. However, the highway has a graphic design and little to no noise floats to the scene below. On a cooler evening or on the weekends, this little river spot would be bustling with vendors, musicians, lovers, and families enjoying this spot of green.
But at this unwelcoming hour, the sun reflected angrily off the whimsical paddle boats, which also looked like they were desperately making an attempt for the shore. Besides this crazy American (whose hair was by this point refusing to stay sleek and straight), only a few scatter souls entered into this scenic sauna.
Near the paddle boats were the ticket vendors, lazily smoking a cigarette in the shade of their pavilion. Their eyes tiredly watched me as I sprinted about, attempting not to burn my butt when I needed to take a low shot of the river. Every now and then, a biker would zoom past as if in a hurry to sweat it out (and I do mean ALL of it). A bit up the trail and in the only other shaded part of the walk was a woman fishing off the side of the river. She was set up with a colored umbrella, a cooler, and a tan to prove that this day was like any other.
I finally found a small embankment that would suit for a few hot, but absolutely glorious minutes of solitude. Traveling and living abroad isn’t always a holiday and sometimes, you just need a moment to sit down, stare at the water, and do nothing but breathe (followed by hurriedly lumbering back up the stairs to the nearest water bottle).