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Chuseok

One of the biggest holidays in Korea is Chuseok.  Everyone has days off to celebrate together.  Essentially it translates to Korean Thanksgiving and celebrates the Korean autumn harvest.  Everyone travels to see family and spends time eating with them.

There is a special type of dduk, a rice cake called songpyeon, that they during this time as well.  My kids were writing about it in their journals for weeks leading up to the holiday.  They all were excited about the special dduk.  I had some and it was quite good.  They do put it in bags with pine needles which was a bit strange, but definitely tasty. The link to Wikipedia tells you all the deliciousness inside.

I had the honor of being invited to spend the day at Eileen’s grandmother’s house with her family.  I have spent time with them before if you remember at her grandmother’s 90th birthday party.  Her family has been really kind to me this year, and I am really thankful for them letting me be a part of their celebrations.

So I woke up early and met Eileen and her mom for our journey down to Suwon.  We took the subway for over and hour and then a bus for about 40 minutes.  Finally we arrived.  There was so much food.  Kimchi, of course, jeons of all kinds, egg battered veggies, sides galore, and this delicious soup yukgaejang,  which I call six things soup because its name sounds similar to the number six.  Eileen laughs every time, but it totally makes sense to me.  Her grandmother made it with chicken and it was so tasty.  We ate and ate and I was so full, but then her grandmother kept bringing out fruit and snacks and she kept personally handing me things being the good Korean hostess, but I was so full.  It is rude to not accept things offered to you in Korea so I just kept eating until I finally just said I’m sorry but I am just too full. Saying I’m full is one of the things I learned early on in my year here.  Haha you hear people saying it all the time. Sadly, I didn’t take any pictures of the food because there weren’t many people there and I kind of wanted to just enjoy being there and not being the weird foreigner with a camera, so sorry about that, my words will just have to be enough.

Side note: The word for stomach in Korean is bai.  This word is also the word for sheep and pear.  So sometimes I just sit and giggle at all the ways you could get all three of these words mixed up in a sentence taken out of context in translation.

Anyway, so after so much eating, which was totally ok because it’s a holiday and those never count, plus the food was amazing, we were asked to go help pick some veggies.  Eileen’s grandma has small portions of these community gardens near her house.  It’s really interesting because these plots are on the sides of these hills almost up into the trees.  To get to one of them you have to climb up these makeshift dangerous rock stairs.  It was fine though I suppose because if her 90 year old grandma can climb them like a champ then we figured we should too.  Though I am still not sure how grandma did it, to be honest.

I did take pictures of this 🙂

Eileen borrowed some clothes from her grandma so that she wouldn’t mess up the nice clothes she was wearing.  Of course you can’t work in a garden without a hat, so we borrowed those too.

She totally looked like an ajumma, it was hilarious.

I was in charge of picking peppers in the first garden we went to.

Eileen and her grandma.

Then we went to the second garden, and there were so many mosquitoes it was crazy.  I think I ended up with 15 bites by the next morning.

Also, in the middle of the second garden there was this make shift sitting area.  I am pretty sure its where old men go to drink soju while they garden haha.

Again, we couldn’t stay long because of the mosquitoes. We did get some good veggies though.

After we were finished and had helped clean up her grandma start packing food bags for all of us. She even sent some left overs for me.  They were so delicious and I was surprised she even sent some for me.

Overall, it was a good day and I am really glad I got to experience my last holiday here properly.

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Seoul Forest

Eek I thought I had this post queued up to post, but apparently I messed that up somehow. oops.

During the last few days Andy was here the weather was beautiful.  On the Sunday before he left we decided to go to Seoul Forest.  Andy had been there on his own one day while I was at work, and he really liked it there.  I was excited to check it out.

We wore our couple shirts out and got a few looks and comments which I thought was super funny.  I got them kind of as pretty much a joke.  Koreans looooove their same-same and I just don’t get it, but these shirts were cute sooo we wore them out for a day in the park.

Seoul Forest is huge. Seriously so much green!

There is also a deer park, butterfly and insect houses, and tons of other things to do.  So we made the most of it, I think. First, we walked around for a while. Then we had been talking about getting a tandem bicycle so we went to the bike rental area and picked one up.  It was a rocky ride at first until we got smart and decided to adjust the seats.  much easier once that happened.

We rode over to the deer park and used the handy-dandy machine to get some food to feed them.

then ta-da deer feeding:

Normally, I am not a fan of caging animals in the middle of a huge city like this, but these guys really had a lot of nice forest land to roam around in.

Then we just rode around for a little half an hour looking at all the different parts of the park. After our bike ride we kept walking and headed to the butterfly house.  There were beautiful butterflies and squishy little caterpillars everywhere.

Sadly, the insect part was closing for the day when we tried to go in.

This place had a water treatment facilitation and eco forests as well.  It is huge. There were play grounds and sculptures.   It was so nice to see so much green.  There were so many people out enjoying the day. Families were camped out for the day playing games and having family time together.  I will say that Sunday is most assuredly still valued as a family day for Koreans and it is usually the day they spend fostering their relationships.

This was one of the huge sculptures and kids could climb inside and hang out.

Andy took me over to a bridge area that he had seen before.  It was really awesome.  It was nice to have the tables turned and have him showing me around.

Lots of pond area.

Also, there was that ever looming juxtaposition of the fact that this park is smack dab in the middle of this humungous city.

Then we headed to the small set of gardens we had seen that were set down at the this slope situation.  The flowers were beautiful and I really liked it…

but then I started noticing them.

looming

and it was not cool.

their spindly legs and huge creepiness. I really hate spiders. fact. and these were really big creepy things. I just imagined they were fast crazy guys and I just was itchy all over.  I made it through though.

ugh.

After this it was dinner time, but we weren’t ready to leave so we went to see if the guy who was selling pizzas he was making on the back of a truck was still there. Alas he totally was.  So we got a pizza for like 6 bucks and went back to the park to eat it while the sun was setting an end on the day.  We watched all the kids playing in the fountain and it was really nice.

 

DMZ

 

Sorry about the length between posts.  I didn’t want to spend hours of my last days with Andy blogging, and then I just spent a few days being really lazy.  No worries though there will be a couple posts showing up over this next week.

Andy and I took a trip to the DMZ.  Unfortunately, we didn’t take the trip with the USO.  We had a good experience but if I have time to go again I will definitely go with them. On this trip it was ridiculously hazy out.  We took the bus with our group.  When we arrived at the barricades we handed over our IDs and were registered.  Then a soldier got on the bus just to match IDs and people to make sure everyone had been cleared.

There were lots

It was a really hazy day.  This was taken at our first stop, Imjingak.  It was built to be a place where civilians that had lost their homes in the North could go and console their sorrows.  It is the farthest point people can go without permission.  It was the first stop that was full of good and somber parts as well as touristy ridiculousness, like the amusement park.

This is the Korean memorial for the United States.  Sadly, we didn’t have time to see it any closer.

This is an alter that is used by the displaced, especially during Lunar New Year and Chuesok, Korean Thanksgiving.

Ribbons hang all over the fencing of the bridge that was built to have an exchange of POWs.  They are messages to family members that were separated into the North.

One of the trains that was abandoned on the tracks when they were destroyed and split up during the war.

There are so many systems in place for security, and of course the most popular being barbed wire EVERYWHERE! Seriously, you couldn’t look in any direction without seeing this somewhere in your line of sight.

This is the Peace Bell that was installed in 2000 to hope for a United Korea during the new millenium.

of course there were these little photo points set up throughout everything.  They really wanted to make this into a place that should be enjoyed and almost celebrated instead of seeing it at a border that kept families apart and was created because a nation was being divided. A border that is still heavily guarded and at all times comes with some level of danger.

But back to the happy go lucky ventures of the day.  After this stop we went to this really good place for lunch.  Had some beanpaste soup and tofu something or another.  It was here that Andy and I tried some North Korean beer, and photographed our reactions.  It wasn’t terrible after the first initial sips, but definitely not something I expect to see on the shelves at a grocery store in NC anytime soon.

awesome sculpture near the third tunnel.  It is supposed to show the divide being bridged by the people and stuff, obviously, of course.

A map of the DMZ.  There is actually a village of people that live within its boundaries.  They farm and go to school and everything.  They have a curfew, and can’t roam freely because of undetonated mines.  I wouldn’t say it is my ideal life, but it’s what they have chosen to do.

and back to the cheesy touristy things like taking pictures with these little guys.

Apparently Andy decided to find himself a new girlfriend, but she was already taken.

These little statues were outside of the Third Tunnel. We weren’t allowed to take any pictures in the area.  It was really hard to navigate this tunnel because it seriously looks like it was built for children.  I hit my head numerous times and was glad for my helmet.  we walked bent over in half most of the time.

This is one of the lookout posts over into North Korea.  It was so hazy and the ‘photo zone’ was so far away that I didn’t really get any pictures…well I got some buuut I took them in a place Iwasn’t supposed to so they deleted them…oops. We also didn’t get to go into the information center because some US high ranking official was there.  I am not sure who, but it was a bummer that we couldn’t see everything, especially since it was hazy. The guards were nice though and answered a bunch of questions some others had.

Last we went to Dorasan Train Station. It is the last train stop in the northern parts of South Korea.  There is a train that runs south from this station every 2 hours through the middle of the day, I think.  There are tracks on both sides but only the one side is ever used.  All around the station is this almost movie set looking set-up.  There are cargo holds and immigration buildings and things that would be necessary during an opening of borders and a slow process reunification time.  It was just so strange to see everything there and waiting but never being used. The tracks were destroyed during the war and the picture above is a wall with names on it of people that donated in the project to rebuild the lines.

This is the front of the station.  It is way nice and clean and modern looking.  It is stationed with guards but they were kind of goofing around and answering questions, and of course posing for pictures.

There was a map showing how the Trans Siberian rail road would look and how if the North were open to the trains that it would take something like 15 days to take a train from Seoul to London.  Personally I would absolutely love to take a trip like that and see the landscapes of Russia.  Maybe one day.

Apparently George Bush did something with the tracks.

We had to pay like $.50 to go out onto the platform.  When we got there there was a train waiting to take people South.

This is the Korean’s main phrase used to describe this station.

Of course since there were no more trains for at least two hours and absolutely none on the other side we got to go down and hang out on the tracks.

and the way to North Korea is blocked and filled with red lights and stop signs.

Overall it was a very interesting experience and I learned a lot, but I also felt like I was in this kind of fun touristy learning spot and not in this kind of scary border that stretched 2km on each side of the border in countries that are still technically at war.  It was informational but hard to take it all as serious as I think we both would have liked to. So it goes. And there you have it, the DMZ trip with Adventure Korea.

War Memorial of Korea

Sunday, Andy and I decided to go check out the War Memorial of Korea and museum. It was raining of course, but we figured that since a majority of everything was inside it would be fine.  We weren’t planning on spending more than a couple of hours there but actually ended up spending the whole day pretty much because there was just so much to look at and see and do.

Outside there are a lot of memorials that represent different things.

This represented the sword and the tree of life…I totally thought it was two sides of a bullet buuuut I was wrong. It was really cool to see.

These face ball fountain pieces did not have any explanation in English.  It was kind of strange though to see all these little faces on several of these throughout the court yard area.

This is a replica of a monument built for a great king.  Sadly, the original stands in China on what was once part of Korea during a heightened and stronger period, but now is Chinese territory.

This was a really awesome piece to see and read about.  The English text explaining the monument called the Statue of Brothers says this:

“The Statue of Brothers is an 18 meter wide and 11-meter high symbol of the Korean War. It consists of the upper part, lower part and inner part. The upper part of the statue depicts a scene where a family’s older brother, an ROK officer, and his younger brother, a North Korean soldier, meet in a battlefield and express reconciliation, love, and forgiveness. The lower tomb-shaped dome was built with pieces of granite collected from nationwide locations symbolizing the sacrifices made by our patriots. The crack in the dome stands for the division of Korea and the hope for reunification. Objects inside the dome include a mosaic wall painting that expresses the spirit of the Korean people to overcome the national tragedy and a map plate of the 16 UN Allied Nations that dispatched troops to the war. The links of iron chain on the ceiling signify the unbreakable bonds of a unified Korea.”

Bronze statues like these that represent all types of people on both sides that were, and still are, effected by the war between North and South Korea.  They were big and detailed and to me that made them powerful.

Also, along the outside of the museum was an area that displayed various planes, vehicles, and artillery used during Korean history.

This ship is an exact replica.  The real one is housed at a different site and unfortunately we weren’t able to see the inside, but it was still cool.

Then to get out of the rain we decided to check out the inside of the museum. There was so much information about Korea’s history as a whole, not just the Korean war that divided the peninsula in two.

One of the interesting, funny little things about Korean museums is that they seriously love using dioramas. Seriously, they love them.

The swords that Korean’s used to fight with were crazy big and scary.

awesome fighting details.

Pretty much hoping I can find one of these awesome outfits around Halloween.

huge boat replicas.

A flag that was signed by a volunteer corps during the war in the 1950s.

Tear drop made of dog tags from the Korean War. It was a really cool piece to see.

On the bottom floor there was a really cool exhibit we didn’t get to see but it was kiiind of like our version of gingerbread houses only they were made out of toothpicks and this puffed Korean cereal and rice cake things.  It was really neat.

I didn’t take many pictures in the museum because there was just soooo much to see, and I was really focused on reading what I could and just trying to keep all the things that have happened in the long history of this country separated. I totally recommend this as a place to see if you ever visit Seoul, just make sure you have a good chunk of time you can spend taking it all in.

 

Interview with the Boyfriend

Andy isn’t the best person to make video blogs with buuuut he will get better…maybe. He just really likes to talk and tell lengthy stories.  The first video we tried to make was 12 minutes long…I talked for maybe 30 seconds….soooo after a couple of takes this was the shortest we got.

Tomorrow I will try and get blogs up about our weekend adventures to Yeouido and the Korean War Memorial.

N. Seoul Tower

After work on Friday Andy and I headed to the North Seoul Tower.  It is by far one of the most touristy things that can be done in Seoul.  We took a cable car up to the top because it was much, much too hot to climb the mountain.  However, I am not a fan of the cable car.  Just the idea of being suspended in a metal box hanging on a wire just isn’t something that makes me feel comfortable.  Plus on this one there is no good air circulation and they pack in the people.  It smelled weird and made me feel itchy.  Alas, we finally got to the top.  We got our tickets for the observatory and after finding a shop that sold some American goods we headed to the elevators.

The view was really something.  All around you could see the city, the apartment complexes, the river, the bridges, all of it.  They also had notes on the glass to tell you what you were looking at, and at other places it showed what direction you were facing and how far away you were from that point.  It was really neat, super super touristy, but really neat. Totally worth doing once while you’re here.

We picked a really good time to go, right before sunset, so I was able to get pictures during the day and at night.

you can see the moon in this one. ^_^

some of the lower parts of the city.

I love the mountains in the background.

Then it got darker and darker, and the lights got brighter and brighter.

It’s so big…so so so big.

awesome little signs that tell you what you are looking at.  and some fun bokeh in the background.

and the final view before we made our way back down on the cable cars.

Changdeokgung

Wednesday we decided to check out Changdeok Palace.  When we first left I was worried because I forgot to take my sunglasses.  Not that it mattered once we got there.  We arrived and bought our tickets and noticed it was getting cloudy.  Then we were waiting for our tour to start annnnd it started thundering.  So far no rain, so no big deal…then as we were ready to start our 2:30 tour of the beautiful and well known Secret Garden behind the palace it starts to rain…hard. Since I had been preoccupied with my sunglasses I definitely wasn’t worried about an umbrella. So, Andy and I were getting soaked but decided to keep on with the tour anyway.  Then a really nice lady offered us a spare umbrella she had to share.  So we weren’t quite so wet.  It stopped raining by the end and we decided that the rain, while annoying, was actually kind of nice in the garden setting.  It added something so the whole experience.

The garden really is the main draw in of this particular palace. It is built into the side of a mountain.  It was the gardens used for the king and royal women.  All of the buildings are situated in a way to make you gain new perspectives and think about all of the ways something can be viewed.    It was really peaceful.

This is a royal library.  Sadly, you can’t go inside and see that fact for yourself.

Little place on the pond.

rain, rain, rain. oh and more rain.

One of the servants quarters…I think.

pretty little gateway.

This was one of the buildings that really focused on perception.  From one angle you can tell it is a fan shaped roof, however if you stand in front of the other buildings you can’t tell the shape at all.

And unless you are looking at this building in this way you can’t tell that this building has a triangle shaped roof.

little pond guy. The other side of this showed a pond that is shaped like the Korean peninsula.

Koreans had this thought that fountains defy the natural law and flow of water.  Water flows downward not up, so there are no fountains in older settings, instead they would create waterfalls.

This thatch roof building has something to do with the harvest and the king’s involvement. Sadly, I couldn’t really hear our tour guide at this point.

As you leave the gardens you are directed to look at this tree.  It is a 700 year old tree that was given by the Chinese.  It is one of the oldest and original things on the grounds.

Since the rain had stopped we decided to take a gander around the palace.  It looked a lot like the other palaces.  It is a law in Korea that the buildings be repainted and maintained every 30 years.  Also, most of the buildings are put together in this lego style.  They do not use any nails, the wood supports itself.

This is the main coronation hall at this palace.

and the inside.

and then the rain came with a vengeance.  It was pouring soooo hard.  Andy and I were sitting on this ledge waiting it out and across the walkway was a Korean tour group. It was kind of awkward and funny.  Finally the rain let up and instead of pushing our chances we just went back to the subway station and headed home.

The gardens were really beautiful and I am pretty sure I will try and check them out again in the fall right before I leave.

Samcheok Part 2

On our second day in Samcheok we woke up to a little sun.  Hopeful about the situation we decided to head over to the bus terminal and buy our tickets for the bus to take us to the Hwanseon Cave.  It is the largest limestone cave in Korea, and one of the largest in Asia.

When we first got there it was just breath taking.  Everything was lush and the darkest greens.  The clouds were all low hanging and misty.

On the way up I was being quite whiny.  It is a really super steep 1.5km hike to the entrance of the cave.  I had hurt my knee the day before on our impromptu hike in the city, and this hike was not helping how it felt at all.

Along the way up we saw some gorgeous scenery and a waterfall that gave some relief in the heat and thick humidity that was hanging about.

This was a water weight situation.

There were river ways and little rapids everywhere.

The Fairy Waterfall.

Then we got to the top.


Inside the air was thick and misty.  The whole set up is made of these metal walkways that flow through the cave.  We just kept moving slowly through the caves.  There were so many shapes and textures inside.  I just kept wanting to touch everything to see how it felt, but only got up the courage to do it a few times.

The air was so misty, and because I didn’t want to wake any bats just in case they were lurking about I didn’t use my flash for 99% of the photos I took which was a serious challenge.

These formations that look like the nests made by a certain type of bee were my favorites.

The inside really was huge.  It took us over an hour to walk all the way through the tour.

The ceiling was full of huge holes and tunnels.  Some of them dripped water others were just being used by the bats as a shelter away from all of the people and lights.

There was a sign explaining how some formations were named after shapes people saw.  This one is supposed to be naturally carved into a heart cut out.

No really it was huge. So much so we spent much longer than intended inside and missed the bus that we wanted to take back down to the city.  At first, I was really bummed, but as the afternoon went on I was really glad we were forced to stay a bit longer.

The reason I had wanted to get back to the city was because I had ridiculous hope that the sun would last all day and I would be able to sit on the beach.  Instead at the bottom of the hill we enjoyed this sunflower patch and lunch.  We went to this Korean place right at the entrance of the park.  We were the only foreigners and I did pretty well with reading the menu.  Andy liked everything I picked.  We shared a Korean pancake and some bibimbap.  A really nice little family next to us gave Andy some makkali and cornbread.  It was all really good.

Once we got back to the city we had about an hour before we had to catch a bus home.  So we took a cab to the beach and sat for about half an hour.  The water was cold and it was completely overcast so I was glad that we had been able to enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery instead.


All of the Koreans looking like New Englanders in the ridiculously cold water.  I immediately told Andy it was freezing and then when we felt it himself he said it was fine.  I prefer my warm southern water any day of the week for sure.

And of course like every post so far this one will include a cute picture of us at the beach. I keep forgetting that finally there is someone taller than me in the pictures.  I keep cutting off Andy’s head on accident. oops.

The bus ride home was only supposed to take about 3.5 hours but due to rain, traffic, and finally a detour we didn’t arrive home until 5 hours later.  We were both comatose sitting on the subway ride home from the bus station.  We definitely fell into bed and slept like rocks.  Our two day trip felt like it had been four.  All in all, it was definitely an adventure and I learned a lot about planning and researching, and not leaving it all up to fate.  And even with the ridiculous weather we definitely made the best of it.

 

Samcheok Part 1

Andy (The Boyfriend) and I had planned to take a trip with my friend Eileen and her boyfriend, Matt to Samcheok because we had a work holiday during the first part of this week.

We woke up at 5am on Saturday morning and started our adventure eastward.  We had a basic plan and itinerary. Though I must admit it was the most I had ever  been unprepared for a trip and already I can say lesson learned.  I am just not the type of person who can buy a ticket and it all magically work out for me when I get there.  No, life is not as awesome as it is in the movies when people travel on a whim, or at least it definitely wasn’t this time.

We were waiting at the station and Eileen calls me.  Apparently Matt is really sick and they won’t be making our bus, but will try and get on the next one…she calls me a few hours later to tell me that they won’t be coming at all.  Also, all week she had assured me that the weather was supposed to be wonderful and we were looking forward to some sun…it rained the entire trip there.

Finally after hours of being on the bus it stopped to unload. We got off the bus and started walking…only after wandering around for an hour Andy informs me that the station we got off at said Donghae and not Samcheok…why didn’t he say something earlier? Who knows Korea is a funny little place you never know what the buildings will say…so we are definitely not even in the right city.  We go inside where a guy tries to tell us we need a new ticket and a woman directs us to another guy who is the manager and we are put on the next bus headed the 25 minutes it takes to actually get to Samcheok.

It is still raining.

I had read on blogs about places to stay, only once we got there I couldn’t find any of the places.  I was getting so frustrated at myself, and our situation.  All of the hotels in the area were so expensive and just not what we had really budgeted for, because I had read that in places things would be cheaper.  It is stilllll raining at this point.  Finally we settle on a place and just give up the search.  I have a small break down about the rain and just really wanting it to be a good time and all it had been was a disaster up until this point.

Can’t cry over spoiled milk though, so we dropped off all of our things and headed out in the rain.  We walked in the direction that we thought was the beach…and we did find the coast, but it was the port and not so much the beach.  However, along the way we saw a sign and took a chance and went on a really nice small hike in the rain.  It was beautiful and had a park at the top of this little mountain. Andy  I ended up with a handful of mosquito bites, and I had almost convinced Andy that he totally should have gotten a Malaria vaccine, but really it’s not even an issue here. It was pretty funny at the time. So here are so pictures from our hike:

There was this really cute little bridge that we got to walk across.  Koreans really love putting stairs in places that people usually hike up.

After our hike we kept on heading toward “the beach”. We saw parts of the little city and some of it was so impoverished.  There are homes here that do not have showers.  There are public showers they can use if their homes don’t have them.

Houses up on the hills.

So many low hanging, looming clouds.

I found this little lonely sunflower. Then we found a park that was on the coast.

There was a big green soccer field.

This wooden thundercat character.

This really colorful walk-way.

There were ocean liners and stuff. oh yeah and us…all damp and tired.

Then we got to the port which was not the beach…but still it was neat to walk around.

Then we walked all the way back, ordered a seafood pizza, and watched the Harry Potter marathon on the Korean channel OCN.

oh and it was still raining.

Friday Night by the River

Last Friday night the rain finally stopped for a few hours.  To celebrate such a time instead of really thinking about our 5am wake up Saturday we went down to the city center.  I had never been to this particular area during the day or at night.  It was a nice little surprise to find so many awesome things in one area.

I took him there because I had this idea that it was a totally different place.  In dramas there is always a scene down by this huge dam here in Seoul.  At night when the water is released into the river there are beautiful lights and its so pretty on TV.  Well, this totally wasn’t that place, but we still enjoyed ourselves all the same.

Seoul is a city that sometimes has so much to offer and really it is a place to love.  Other times I feel so trapped by all of the tall buildings, crowds of people, and constant smog.  However, at night the city isn’t full of these blemishes.  It’s cleaner looking, brighter, and kind of mysterious.  I wish I had gotten photos to really express what I mean by that, but alas I wasn’t so lucky.  I did get some photos though sooo without further rambling…photos:

First, we wandered around Gwanghwamun Square

Awesome celestial globe guy, and a close up of the inside.

 

King Sejong, the man that brought Hangul to Korea, and the celestial globe guy, and a close up of the King.

It was cool because at the very end of the area was the gate to Gyeongbok Palace, which we went to visit earlier in the week.

and then there was a statue of Admiral Yi Sun-shin.  He is accompanied by a fountain.

and even though it was after 9 pm there were still children running through the water and playing.

Then we walked along the river where there is a little waterfall, just not the huge one I was expecting. ^_^ It was still really pretty.

the walkways down by the river were nice and a lot of people were just sitting and chatting.  We decided to do the same. It was nice to just have the ability to do so since it wasn’t raining.

There was a bridge and stuff, too.  We walked around for a while, we sat for a while, ate some dinner, and took our shoes off and just enjoyed our time in the city.  It was really nice at night. We are already talking about when we will be able to do it again.

I have a whole queue of posts that should be showing up over the next few days.  I haven’t had internet for some reason so I am just now able to get things up and going. ^_^