Sunday, September 8, 2013

Seoul, Korea - 4/5/12

After our morning visit to the Korean Village (previous post), our host, Steve, gave us a walking tour of Seoul.
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We strolled through the grounds of old Royal Buildings, learned a bit about King Sejong, and appreciated the modern/ancient contrast.
Admiral Yi-Sun greeted us at Gwanghwamun Square, where in the far distance you can glimpse Gyeongbokgung Palace, and the "Blue House," the Presidential Residence.
Walking down the square, we passed Admiral Yi-Sun,
and the American Embasssy, where I grabbed a photo before I was waved off by an embassy guard.
We approached and walked through the gate to the palace, where we just missed the changing of the guard.

But we didn't miss this, protest Seoul-style. Demonstrators were "guarded" and hidden by this police line. A few people were holding microphones over the police to record what was being said, but it was lost on us. Our host was not encouraging about me taking photos and video but I got a few off :-)

Seoul Demonstration video - mostly people & police milling about.

Along with Steve, JJ met us at the hotel to escort us to dinner, complete with plum wine and soju.
Afterwards, we found Michigan represented, and were treated to a one-hour massage. Tomorrow we take the train to Busan.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Korean Folk Village - Gyeonggi-do, 4/5/12

Our two hosts, Steve and Mr. No's Number Two Son (yes, that is how he was introduced), took us to this historic Korean Village, which was obviously a popular tourist stop, even off-season.
What's entitled "Farmers' Music and Dance" took place with very energetic performers. Immediately afterward, Steve dragged both of us into the arena to have our pictures taken with the performers.
 An acrobat was up next complete with a warning sign and a large audience.
A traditional wedding ceremony was then performed, and again I was pulled into the action :-)
It's a lovely setting, and we enjoyed lunch here as well except that I almost required the Heimlich maneuver because of the octopus in the bibimbop. Thankfully, I managed on my own :-)
On our way back to Seoul, we spotted this restaurant and had to stop. Being of Dutch heritage, we were intrigued to find out if the restaurant served the deep-fried, powder sugar coated dough considered a special treat in many dutch homes on holidays.
And, no they didn't. But it was a fun stop nonetheless with the bean paste pastry and a cooking class for children.
 Next, we take an afternoon walking tour of Seoul.

Korean Folk Village Performance Video