Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Touristy Things (Part 1)

So I finally did it. Ladies and Gentlemen, I went sightseeing in Korea!

(Yes this was last weekend, and yes I am just now getting around to writing about it. My apologies...)

Day 1: Seoul

We started our sightseeing adventures in Korea right at the very beginning, visiting National Treasure #1, The Namdaemum/Sungnye-Mun Gate. This gate was completed in 1398 and was one of the oldest remaining parts of the old wall that used to surround Seoul a long long time ago. Well, it was anyways. Turns out some douchebag was pissed about some completely unrelated land dispute back in 2008 and set the whole thing on fire. (According to Wikipedia, this gem of a human being has a history of catching priceless historic relics on fire? Why he was still allowed to purchase paint thinner and lighters after the first time is my question?) We of course didn't know that Korea's beloved NT #1 was no more, so even though they're slowly rebuilding it and we got to see some poor man chiseling away at a giant rock, it made for a pretty disappointing start to our day.

Our next stop was Gyeongbok-Gung, The Palace of Shining Happiness. Basically the largest remaining palace complex from the Joseon Dynasty, just plopped down in the middle of Seoul. It was really amazing, actually. A much less disappointing site than NT #1...

First picture of Gyeongbok-Gung!

We caught a changing of the guard ceremony, complete with a tiny marching band.

One of the buildings at Gyeongbok-Gung...

Close-up. I'm obsessed with the architectural details! So gorgeous!

So happy!

The main throne hall, Geunjeong-jeon. NT #223...

Inside the throne room in Geunjeong-jeon... Everything was so ornate! I just loved it!

And thus began my fixation with ceilings...

A ceiling in another building... so fun right?

(Sorry this one's a little dark...) Note the strategically placed fire extinguishers? Korea is not messing around with another NT #1 incident!

And since this is an abnormally long post, I will continue the adventures of my touristy things next time.

- Christine -

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