Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand (Taipei 101)

My entry for this week’s photo challenge, “Grand,” is this photo of Taipei 101 stretching into the clouds.

View of Taipei 101 from belowTaipei 101 is one of the tallest buildings in the world. When it was initially built 10 years ago, it was the tallest, but currently sits in third place after being surpassed in 2010. It was the first building ever to break the 1/2 kilometer mark – at 508 meters (1,667 feet). It also boasts the fastest elevator in the world: it took less than 50 seconds for us to travel 90 floors.

From the vantage point of this photo, we cannot even see the top 10 floors of the tower or the spire. We were able to go as high as the observation deck on the 91st floor; the top 10 floors are inaccessible to the general public. To get to the 101st floor, you have to be someone really important, like probably Tom Cruise. Here are a few more photos that illustrate what makes this structure so grand:

the top of Taipei 101

The top 10 floors of Taipei 101, as seen from the observatory on the 91st floor. We were literally in the clouds up there.

taipei skyline from 101

This is a view of the Taipei skyline from the observation deck. As you can see, there’s… not much to see. There are only a handful of remotely tall buildings surrounding Taipei 101, everything else is pretty flat. This only serves to accentuate just how tall Taipei 101 is when you see it from across the city.

taipei 101 balance

Taipei 101 is a grand feat of engineering. This massive damper ball rests on a pendulum in the center of the tower between the 87th-92nd floors, and sways back and forth in wind and typhoons to counter-balance the lateral movement of the tower.

taipei 101 damper baby mascot santa

The mascots of Taipei 101 are called “damper babies,” characters with large round heads designed to emulate the building’s massive damper pendulum. This guy was all dressed up for Christmas!

That’s all for now, I just got back and have loads of photos to sort through, so stay tuned for a more comprehesive post about my amazing trip to Taiwan. “Merry 101-mas!”

What is the grandest thing you’ve seen recently?

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