Thursday, October 30, 2008

Korean Adventure: Sunday

On Sunday we woke up pretty early, but did some laundry and stuff before we left. The first stop was Changdeokgung which was a secondary palace to Gyeongbokgung, built afterward and destroyed at the same time. It was however rebuilt first, and became the primary palace. The last members of the royal family lived here until passing away in 1989. It's more complete than Gyeongbokgung, and also has a much more forested and secluded garden out back. It was very nice. It was much more crowded than the palace on Saturday, and our English tour had a large number of people. My fiancee says that Korean people love going to there own tourist attractions. More so than other places. I believe it when seeing the huge numbers of people at all the places we went this weekend. We even ran into one of her co-worker with his family (7 people in one car).

The Main Gate

The Throne Room

Samples of the grounds and buildings

These four are buildings in the secret garden behind the main palace

Our tour guide and a map of the palace and secret garden

We then hiked up Namsan (the mountain and national park in the middle of Seoul) and went up the Seoul Tower. You can really appreciate how huge the city is by a) viewing it from this tower. b) realizing that there's a freak'n mountain inside the city. I must say, the view was very good, even with the slight haze that the overcast day provided.

Heading home we saw a 4 car collision. Well, 2 cars and 2 buses; clear evidence of the craziness that is Seoul driving. Actually, their vehical accident rate is apparently not bad, and testament to their reactions. The vehicle/pedestrian rate is quite high though, a testament to their recklessness concerning red lights and crossings. The one bus plowed through the sidewalk rail. I'm glad we were not standing there. We boarded another bus that was heading through downtown and got a nice adhoc tour of the city at night. The back of the bus however smelled very much of vomit.

For supper, we went to a very good BBQ place for some awesome Kalbi. CSI again on TV when we get home. Good day.

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