This day was definitely not the best. To be honest, it was probably the worst day of my life and I’m not being overly dramatic, it was horrible.
The day started really well! It was still rather grey and rainy, but it was meant to clear up during the day! We headed to the Maokong Gondola and I was rather excited as I love cable cars of all sorts and was really pleased when there was one in Taiwan too!! Definitely the cheapest cable car ride I’ve ever been on at only $50 for a return journey! There was also a glass bottomed option, but mum wasn’t so keen, but as it was so foggy, I doubt we would have seen very much anyway!
We managed to get a gondola to ourselves until the first stop, when two rather cute young boys got on with their mum. They provided good entertainment for the rest of the journey as one of them was clearly quite scared whilst the other was just loving life.
Since it was raining, we couldn’t see too much out of the glass, but thankfully there were windows at the top of the gondola that opened, so I managed to get some decent photos without bleary windows in the way! There were several patches during the journey when we went through some very thick fog and we couldn’t see anything or where we were going – it literally felt like I was in a horror movie and anything could have jumped out at me! So glad I was wasn’t on my own!!
We soon reached the top and it was just so drizzly! It wasn’t heavy rain (thankfully!) but I think we must have been in loads of clouds as the air was just so damp. I’d read online that there were loads of amazing street food vendors at the top of the mountain and was really keen to try one item which was a pancake with peanut brittle and ice cream, but due to the rain, it was pretty deserted :( We weren’t too sure where to go so just followed some signs along the road towards a tea museum. It was quite interesting to see all the different teapots and methods of making tea and we could even try some if we wanted!
Afterwards, we decided to make our way back down as we’d planned to have lunch at a restaurant in the skyscraper Taipei 101 which I was very excited about! Gondolas and dining at a restaurant with an amazing view – the day couldn’t get any better! Definitely a case of speaking too soon here!
We got a table in Diamond Tony’s Italian restaurant as my mum and auntie came the last time they visited and I was keen to go too. The restaurant was on the 85th floor and the lift whizzed us up there in no time. Unfortunately, we initially weren’t able to get a window seat, but were soon moved after our soup when a table was cleared :) It was just really strange looking out of the window, as I’m used to views in London being littered with skyscrapers and cranes everywhere, whereas here, we were in the tallest building and everything else was very flat and low! Quite surreal in a way!
We opted for the set menu which provided us with a massive amount of choice! We had a choice from two soups, then a million starters, and then a large selection of delicious looking main courses. Both mum and I had the mushroom soup which was lovely and we got some really soft focaccia bread and dip too which was plus! For starter I chose the calamari rings and mum had an aubergine and courgette dish in a cheesy tomato sauce. For the main course, I was highly tempted by the lobster or duck, but after much deliberation, opted for the fettucine pasta with seafood and mum had the pasta with crab.
We had just about began eating our starters when mum really wasn’t looking well at all. To be honest, I’m not really up for reliving it here, let’s just say she ended up passing out several times and was rushed to hospital. Scared doesn’t even begin to describe how I was feeling. You never really think things like that would ever really happen to you, so when it does, it’s even more terrifying. Being in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language made it even scarier as it made it harder to communicate with the staff at the hospital and to understand fully what was going on. Thankfully a waiter from the restaurant came with us and he did a great job of making sure I was alright and stayed with us for hours! So thank you Mr Waiter, whoever you are! After a ridiculously long 6 hours of being monitored in hospital and a few more horrible episodes, the doctors thought mum would be okay to head back to the hotel to rest. They thought it was vertigo, but it seemed a hell of a lot more severe than that! So yeah, not the best day I’ve ever had!