Tuesday, November 15, 2011

SeoulCalibur

Ok I have to come clean, I chose to do a post called "SeoulCalibur" while we were still living in North Carolina. At the time I was playing SoulCalibur 4 (video game) just about everynight and it struck me suddenly as I, Seong Mi-Na, was mercilessly beating Logan, Hong Yun-seong. Not actual footage. I did not discover until much later that these are Korean names, is that destiny knocking? Why yes, I believe it is. So for today's post, I bring you stories of an exotic and bustling city mere minutes away from our humble habitat. For your enjoyment, our first day in Seoul!

The first trip to Seoul was intimidating to say the least. In my mind I associate Seoul with two things, the 11 million people who live there and the seemingly impossible to understand subway system. Thankfully we were blessed with a seasoned guide and good friend, Sarah Bean. The day's itinerary included a tour of one of Seoul's palaces, Gyeongbokgung, and a shopping trip in the tourist/artsy district of Insadong. We took the train to Seoul Station, the shiniest train station in the world.



We then entered the PTDs (Pod Transport Devices), large silver tubes which utilize the most modern air suction technology.


We were shot feet first through an intricate tunnel system that deposited us directly in front of Gyeongbokgung.


Gyeongbokgung is a beautiful palace, and we fortunately ran into a free english tour guide in the PTD tunnels, so we were lucky enough to get information on the palace as well as enjoy the beautiful architecture.





In addition to amazing buildings, Gyeongbokgung had a fair share of terrifying little statues positioned around the palace. I believe their purpose was to ward off fire, which is very important for a palace made entirely of wood. The ones on the roof are primarily to show social supremacy, I don't think they do anything about the fires...










Then we visited the King's quarters where we learned that there is a reason all the King's furniture is flat and close to the floor. According to our tour guide, "Because of...um...you know....Ninjas." That's right, all his stuff is on the ground so NINJAS can't hide underneath or in it. Here is a picture, see how many ninjas you can find:



We walked around the grounds a little longer until our tour guide left us. Then we decided to get some traditional Korean pictures. So Logan and I spent a couple hours changing into wedding garments, I think it was worth it.



Then I took a more modern style Korean picture with Sarah.



As we were leaving, the palace guards bid us farewell with a traditional changing of the guards. There was much joy and trumpet blowing, it was sad to go.



When we left the palace we discovered the PTDs were out of order so we were forced to try our hand at the subway system. I am currently pretty good at navigating the subways in Seoul, however, at that time I was not. So I just followed our faithful leader. A few minutes of cramped travel alongside too many people and we were there, Insadong. Insadong is adorable, I love it there. Here are some reasons you should love it too:

1) Performance art pieces














2) Surprising little statues



3) Area fauna














4) Sky Fishing

Now to be fair, the last two pictures are in an artsy district right next to Insadong (and they were taken on a different occasion) but I wanted to include them because we don't have many pictures of Insadong. So after a long, full day in Seoul we went back to Seoul Station to enjoy another hour on the train back to our homes. Goodnight Moon.

2 comments:

Matthew H. or M. Haas said...

I laughed almost all the way through! :) I was already excited when I saw that the title was SeoulCalibur! Awesome reference!

The Krucks said...

I'm glad you like it! I miss SoulCalibur :(

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