[ 平溪線 ] The Old Railway Romance of Jingtong 1/4

[ 這也是我的願望嗎? ] (笑)
The writing on the wishing bamboo (one of the hundreds) by the old railroad reads: Find a man who treats me well (p.s. & got $$$).

On the last day of the first month of 2009, we traveled (or rather moved ourselves) to a small mining town called Jingtong (菁桐) in the Taipei County for one of the major events of the annual Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival (平溪天燈節). More on the story of the festival in later posts. Some say a small town like Jingtong or Pingxi will bore you after 2-3 hours. When we were there, we wonder how this could possibly be true? There’s so much things to experience and see. They must be missing out on what these small towns are about. We planned on…

visiting 2 towns (Jingtong and Pingxi) but only ended up spending all of our time in Jingtong). It could’ve taken longer too I think.

We took the festival bus from the Taipei Zoo (where it was crowded with people wanting to see the new pandas from China). The journey on the road into the mountains took about 40 mins (that is without stopping or traffic jam).

 

  
We ate lunch at a random restaurant between the Taiepi Zoo and the Maokong Gondola. The food was not something you’d expect to be superb but we thought all these stuffed items in the restaurant was fun to play with.

I like the feel of this photo of me walking on the rail track by the old street of Jingtong. Photo credit: WZM. :p


The tiny Jingtong Elementary School (菁桐國小).


童話故事中的小小城堡.
It’s like the tiny houses where you’d find little kids having their own “afternoon tea” in.

Wall art in the elementary school – train seems to be their main thing. After all, it was one of the only ways for them to connect with the other worlds back in the even earlier days.

 Lining up for the free sky lanterns distributed at night to be flown with the crowd. The other line is for the souvenirs (limited quantity) for those who came here by rail.


菁桐鐵路旁的老房子 //  Houses by the old street of Jingtong.

The only train station in Jingtong. It was also the film location for the Taiwanese film: Keeping Watch (沉睡的青春). More info. about the film on my previous post on the film on: http://blog.yam.com/perladipace/article/17187668

 

脫軌?  // This kid was sitting on the rail track and was called by his/her (sorry I couldn’t tell) parents.
I somehow thought this photo was kinda cute.

We went up the hill by the rail track and passed by this huge brick building. It looked like ruins but there was a relatively new sign that calls for some coffee lovers and made us expect to see some kind of cafe or bistro around there. But there was none! The place is just a ruins as it appears.

[ 選洗煤場 ]
This scary looking architecture was used to wash and collect coals from the mines.


The entrance into the mine? It was too dark and scary although many other visitors went closer in. We didn’t dare to go. :p


Back down to the ground where the train runs. The building to the left (smoky one) was part of the system of the coal washing architecture up the hill. We speculated the coals were collected down here with the trolleys/train and shipped elsewhere from there. There are still trains running on this rail track although you see a lot of people walking and playing around here. The thing is there’s only 1 train that comes here in an hour and it’s one of those old, nostalgic trains that you would associate with the old romance with railway travel.


Hence people flooded the platform, not necessarily to board the train, but to take photos of it coming in.


By the track, there were hundreds of these bamboos hanging from the fence. I’m not sure whether there are stories behind this practice or just something people came up with to earn some cash. But when you take a look at the wishes written on these bamboos, you’d find some heart-warming, or funny, or silly, or… all kinds of you-name-it kind of wishes.

Related Posts:
1. Sky Lantern – Memories of Yesterdays 2/4
2. Sky Lantern – Jingtong Palace: Tempo Lento 3/4
3. Sky Lantern – Launchings for the New Year 4/4

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