Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Several Days of Catch Up Part A

Saturday night Jess, Amanda and I went into Seoul to visit NamDaeMun and Myeong Dong again. Shop for a few things and enjoy the relatively warmer night (it was around 32 degrees, but so much warmer than it had been for the previous week!)

These little street markers are very helpful!

I bought something for my neice here.
We stopped and got some hot chinese bread - one was full of black beans and the other of pork and onions, etc. They were so good.

Sunday I was unable to get to church. I wanted to visit Life Church but realized it is only about 15 minutes from here - which would seem like a good thing, but the truth is that I can figure out how to get somewhere 2 hours from here, but getting around the Seoul suburbs is beyond my ability. I was disappointed. But the day turned out to be quite great!
I rode the 8100 into town and thought I would get off at the Lotte, but ended up getting off at the next stop which is basically in front of this building:

There is a bit of a story to tell about the building that you cannot see because it is behind a large construction wall. What you are not seeing is the #1 national treasure of Korea. Namdaemun (Sungnyemun) is the Great Southern Gate from the Joseon Dynasty. (I am learning that is a very important historic era for Koreans). The gate was damaged by arson in Feb. of 2008 and has remained hidden from the public since then. Apparently the fire was set by a man who was mad about a land deal gone bad. (You get to learn about so many interesting things when you travel!) I am sad that Korea lost the oldest wooden structure in Seoul but I have to admit there is another that looks just like it at Dongdaemun which I saw from a distance when I made a trip to that area last weekend to go shopping.

I decided not to go directly to the subway as I had originally intended and headed instead toward a sign that said something or other palace. On the way I saw this sign which made me giggle.

Just as I was approaching the Deoksugung Palace I heard what sounded like a marching band (drums, trumpets, etc.) turned out to be the changing of the guard. And I was there, just in time, on complete accident! How fantastic!

I have so much more I want to say, but I have to get to bed, so bear with me, another chapter will be included soon!

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