Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Meanwhile, back in Korea . . .

I looked at the dates on these photos and scratched my head trying to figure out how the first one is the 12th and the rest are the 13th. Duh, my camera was still on Iowa time so when it was noon in Korea, it was 10:00 PM in Iowa, hence at midnight Iowa time my camera turned over to the 13th. Okay, that discrepancy is explained.

We took an express (non-stop) bus into Seoul; this is a view of one, of dozens, of apartment complexes along the way. There were few stand alone buildings, generally they were clustered in groups of two to six, and generally thirty to forty stories high.

A picture for my boys who love their "Chucks". We found this store on our way to have lunch.

After lunch we took another subway to the area of town where an ancient palace is. The interior of the nearest subway station was built to look like an ancient fortress.

Inside this particular subway station were exhibits of artifacts or replicas, and art installations. This is a replica of the hemispherical sundial invented during the reign of King Sejong (b. 1397 d. 1450 r. 1418-1450).

This is one of the art exhibits. At first I thought it was artifacts from an ancient era, until I noticed the toilet and realized it was "installation art" of seats! Pretty funny.

We made it to Gyeongbok Palace just in time for the re-enactment of the changing of the guard. This was the first royal palace built by the Joseon Dynasty, three years after its founding. Built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung was located at the heart of the newly appointed capital of Seoul, then known as Hanyang, and represented the sovereignty of the Joseon Dynasty. It is the largest of the Five Grand Palaces, serving as the main palace of the Joseon Dynasty.

 This is the huge drum sounded at the end of the ceremony.

And our pictures with one of the Palace Guards.

The door (gate) into the inner courtyard.

The Throne in the main building.

Another view of the throne.

A gate between areas at the back of the palace yard.

The traditional dress, called a Hanbok. I love them for their beauty and gracefulness.

Fabulous brick work in the back wall.

Just inside the main door (see above) looking toward the main building where the throne is.

I've watched a few Korean Historical dramas so I could picture the courtyard full of soldiers and government ministers, retainers and scholars. It is a fascinating land and country. I was so happy to see it is person. Now I have to find a good book of history to satisfy my thirst and hunger for more understanding.

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