I'll get to it eventually, but I want to write about things in order, so I'm writing about this trip I took to "Cigu Salt Mountain", "The Salt Museum", and "Eternal Golden Fortress" instead.
First stop! Salt Mountain! It's what it sounds like. It's a big pile of salt. I heard that it used to be whiter. It's kind of a kitchy idea for a tourist attraction, but it is fun to visit because you get a nice view of the area. It's near the coast to the northwest of central Tainan.
The area has historically been a major salt producing area, and they still have salt fields, so going up on the salt pile let's you see them nicely.
Brace yourselves. This next section is truly incredible. You thought you knew salt, but you didn't know anything. Salt is more wonderful than you would ever have believed. With the proper talent salt can even be:
To get the water from one salt field to another, higher one, people used to use these devices. As you can see, it's powered by one's feet, so it must have been awful out in the blazing sun. They used them until surprisingly recently. There were some photos in the Salt Museum from the 50's, with women wearing long, flower pattern dresses like women wore in the 50's while they worked these machines. These were later replaced by windmills and then by diesel or electric motors.
There was nowhere high enough for me to get a good photo, but someone has arranged this field so that it reads:
You can see the "ng" at the end of "blessing" in this photo.
A young girl and her very patient, very cooperative cat.
After visiting the museum, then missing the bus, then visiting the salt fields next to the museum, then waiting in the hot sun for half an hour so that I definitely wouldn't miss the next bus, then taking the bus down back to Tainan, I visited "Eternal Golden Fortress". It's an impressively named fort that was built by the Qing to help repel naval invasions of the Tainan coast. It was built in 1874, near the end of the Qing control of Taiwan, around the time when they finally started to care about the island a little bit. It saw some action in the war with Japan, but then the Japanese took over Taiwan and the fort was disarmed.
Next up: More Japanese Era buildings in Tainan, and, eventually, Sun Moon Lake.