Friday, August 13, 2010

Weekend 23 of 52.

Cheonggyecheon Stream: Revisited, Doctor Fish: Revisited, Dongdaemun Market: Revisited, Gyeongbokgung Palace: Revisited, Insadong: Revisited, The National Folk Museum: Revisited, Seoul Tower: Revisited, The War Memorial: Revisited, Banpo Bridge, Coex Aquarium, DMZ Tour, Namsan Hanok Village

We had our first visitors! Dan's mom and her friend Sharon made the long journey from Ohio to Seoul. They championed jet lag and immense summer heat and trooped all around the city for 9 solid days of fairly intense sight seeing. It was great to see family, and we tried to give them a good and varied view of this little country we've come to love.

We revisited many of our favorite or quintessential spots, but we even tried out several things Dan and I haven't yet had the chance to do. We hit up the Coex Aquarium on a rainy Saturday, and it was completely packed, but we got to see a two-headed turtle, so still cool. We got over to the Banpo Bridge to watch the fountain/light show. Dan made sure to inform us that it is the largest bridge fountain in the world. We happened upon the Namsan Hanok Village after the Makgeolli concert we wanted to attend was sold out, so we instead got to see how the locals used to live. And we finally went on a tour of the DMZ, which left us longing for reunification.

Right this very moment Jean and Sharon are flying their way back home, and I'm afraid we may now have to ward off some latent homesickness.

We had them recreate our classic War Memorial pose.

Dan being squashed by soldiers. The nice thing about going back to some of the outdoor places now that it's summer is the green summer foliage.

Grass and flowers in Gwanghwamun Plaza.

Plant markers.

These are concrete eaves (awnings? pillars?) from the previous iteration of the rebuilt Gyeongbokgung Palace. The palace was original built of wood. Then the Japanese probably burned it down during occupation or wars. I don't know why it was rebuilt a second time, though.

The first time we went to the palace, all plants were completely dead. Now there are flowers with butterflies on.

Changing of the guards.

Collecting insects.

Clearly on the lovers course.

I thought this building peaked a bit like a farmhouse.

Camera rig. Maybe filming a period drama?

Stone wall. Wooden door.

Geoncheonggung, the smaller residence palace on Hyangwonjeong pond. Right after Dan took this picture of me, I caught my right big toe on some hard, ancient stone and bled out for a while. Maybe it was the ghost of murdered Empress Myeongseong trying to tell me something. Probably something about not wearing flip-flops at her palace.

Two pictures from the war exhibit in the National Folk Museum. Arirang cigarettes made me laugh. Arirang is a famous Korean folk song and, more recently, an English language Korean television channel.

Making lunch plans and screening themselves from the sun. Dan and I were going to invent Sunbrellas, but then we realized they're called parasols.

Big mouth KFC burger for a big mouthed boy.

Cheonggyecheon was packed! Apparently you are allowed to swim in it. That is good news to know.

Boys in Insadong making Dragon's Beard for us.

What starts out as a hockey puck of honey, with some flour, cornstarch, elbow grease, and corporate counting exercises, becomes flossy strands of sugar that are then wrapped around ground nuts and black sesame seeds. Very delicious.

Buildings at the end (or beginning) of the main street in Insadong.

So, after three really eventful weekends, we plan to do basically nothing this weekend. We'll try to do some photographable nothing, though.


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