A cheese-eating rat floating over a cat, a 5 minute dash around cherry blossoms, and a perfect Valentine’s Day dinner.

Day 261: Taipei, Taiwan. We had an easy day today; no long walks or climbing up hills or steps. We worked on finalising our travel insurance for Europe (some things take way longer than they should), read our books for a bit, then headed out to visit a cherry blossom festival.

Walking to the MRT, we spotted a giant fluffy cat statue, which is part of the Taipei City 2020 Lantern Festival. It’s titled ‘Hike and Seek’ and depicts a rat munching on cheese floating over a dreaming cat.

In an online article, the designer for the cat and rat duo explains that the holes in the cheese represent the underground passages between Ximending and Nangang MRT stations. And the cheese is circular to reflect the tapioca pearls found in Taiwan bubble tea. We were also pleased to read that the cat and the rat are good friends.

Afterwards we caught the MRT to Donghu to view the 2020 Cherry Blossom Festival at Lohas Park. A local news article indicated that it’s a pretty major event, which lasts for the entire month of February. Our expectations were perhaps a little high; it turned out to be a small park with a strip of cherry blossom trees, a wicker statue and a mini flower garden with wooden houses. It was also raining, which didn’t help the ambiance. It took us about 5 minutes to see the entire thing, including posing for a couple of pics. It was lovely, but probably not worth the MRT trip.

A couple of fluffy pooches in a pram seemed to be getting more out of the festival more than us.

Then we headed back towards home, sitting at the front of the brown MRT line, which is the driverless train that we still get way too excited about.

Our Valentine’s Dinner was big bowls of noodle soup with bean sprouts and leeks, with some Taiwan beer. And it was absolutely perfect.

Tomorrow we’ll see what the weather is doing – if it’s dry we may have a wander about the zoo. And we’ll keep our expectations low, just in case.

More then.