Monday, June 23, 2008

Love comes a knocking: Part II

Sunday is always that day where you get to relax and not have to work, but know the next day is the start of another work week. So sometimes you can feel excited for the day but also know that it will end and work will begin just around the corner. On this Sunday my plans were to go to Emart, get my usual groceries and then meet up with BK later. However, BK met me at the Emart and helped me shop and then we went out.
(Shot of Emart)


(Square seats you can't really sit on outside Emart)

Having BK there meant an extra pair of arms to carry my crap home, so I invested in an frying pan, cutting board and few more extra items. After Emart we got my stuff home and ate a little lunch. Then it was off to Kyobo bookstore and Gwanghwamun palace area.


A few pics on our way:A ride in the elevator in my building.

Fresh Seafood:
Octopus in its tank outside a restaurant near my home, which will let you chose which animal you want to eat.

Although somewhat tired I was pleased to be getting out of the house and seeing areas of Seoul, otherwise not traveled. Follow the purple line (5) from Gil-dong (on the right area of map) to the stop Gwanghwamun. (To see the picture better just click on it*)

The train ride took about 30-40 minutes, which allows enough time
to converse about life here in Seoul

Kyobo bookstore was a very large bookstore, that has within it books in Japanese, Chinese, Korean and English. We went to the English section in search of some textbook quality Learn Korean Books. I took a few snapshots of the books I was interested in, apparently you can buy them off the website's online store and get a discount. I liked this book because, inside the layout is like you are in a classroom, with drilling and tests. It is only 15,000 won, so not that bad considering it also comes with a CD. Other books I found were more about Korean culture, but some of which were a little too tourist-y for my blood. It would be great to get my hands on a book that details Korea's fauna and flora background as well as its geological history. Ah well, maybe someday (hmm perhaps the Internet will prove to be worthwhile for this cause).

We were running on a clock so with just a few more hours before BK needed to visit friends for a game of basketball, so we were off to the Gwanghwamun gate and pala
ce area.

This area of Seoul is where most of the large beef protesting has been going on, so along the streets were police buses and policemen. Yet no riot was occuring and I found the neighborhood to actual feel pretty peaceful. The site before us, however was even more breathtaking. Take a look: The gate is under repair so instead they built this very artful wall around the construction. I hope during my stay that the repair finishes and I can visit it again. That figure in the picture who is all in black, was one of the police officers.
Hi! My favorite part of this area is seeing a closer glimpse of the geology on the mountains in the background. I really hope to get out of the streets and onto the Mountain trails.


Before we made behind the gate and into the palace area, I was famished and thirsty so we stopped for a sandwich and water. Recharged we walked across the street to the palace grounds.

On our way we passed through a little courtyard that was well landscaped and designed.

When we got to the palace area it felt like I was walking into my Korean Art History textbook and seeing it all come alive. The position of the buildings and their location near the mountains was all planned to face in a certain direction of each other. You could definitely feel this sense of planning of this site that the people of Korea about 800 years ago chose as specific to what would bring them safety and also luck. But how about you just see for yourself. The colors were so vibrant, and lovely. I now really want to buy that book that discusses the symbols that overlay these wooden architectures. To go deeper inside you had to have bought a ticket, but we were running out of time so I was only allowed a taste of this historical site. That's okay, because next time I can skip being awestruck and take more time exploring the inner areas of this site. A lovely mountainous picture: Can you see the temple on top of the mountain? I really want to go see it! I also really enjoyed walking on the dirt path you see in front you. It felt extremely reassuring and exhilarating to see dirt (soil), considering most of Seoul is paved over. Ah more geological enthusiasm, pardon me.

This ends my Sunday trip with BK, which was very lovely and pleasant. I look forward to my future trips and days where I don't go anywhere too. :)

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