Sunday, October 5, 2008

2008 Oct 3-5: Tagpol Park in Seoul

This past Friday was a national holiday in Korea so Julianne and I jumped on a train to Seoul . . .

And of course we killed some time on the train . . . taking 'couple shots.'

Taking a taxi from Cheonggyangni Station to our hotel . . . I saw one of the hundreds (if not thousands) of motorcycle (and scooters and mopeds) delivery drivers. I always find it interesting to look at the custom designs of their bikes and the platforms and rigging they use to carry their loads . . .

Recently the Seoul government said in a news article, "Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) announced Thursday that it was launching a crackdown on ``reckless rule-breaking motorbike riders'' that drive on sidewalks to protect pedestrians from dangerous situations. However, fast-service deliverymen, who are the majority of the offenders, said it would be hard for the city to win a ``war'' against them" (Korea Times, 09-25-2008).

I'll believe it when I see it . . . Saturday in Seoul the sidewalks and market paths were NUTS with deliverymen driving through crowds of people . . . at least this guy is on the ROAD.

This is Sungnyemun Gate, also known as Namdaemun, in central Seoul. It was damaged badly by a fire. See this link for the story.

This picture is from here. Not one of mine . . . one day soon (I hope) I will have a panoramic wide lens zoom with image stabilizer . . . hmmm, stabilizer (insert image of Homer Simpson drooling). As you can see the gate has seen better days . . . too bad no one thought to give Korea's number one national treasure (see here for a list of Korea's national treasures) the proper security.

In the distance is Jonggno Tower. I seem to like taking pics of this tower . . .

View from the window of our hotel room in an area two blocks from Jonggno Tower. A lot of the buildings are being torn down to make room for newer and bigger buildings. As you can see the area is a bit . . . uhm, 'worn' looking . . .

Downtown Seoul is a great place to walk around and take pictures. Lately I've been taking an interest in scooters, mopeds, and motorcycles. I like the color and design of this one.

I really like the composition and lighting in this pic.

Not quite as nice a blue sky as I've seen in the last two weeks, but not bad either.

A late lunch/early supper at Subway in Seoul.

Since we were in the Insa-dong area, I suggested that we go look at Tagpol park which is right across the street from the market (not the Gyeongbukgong Palace end, the other end).

The main gate of Tagpol Park near Insa-dong.

The park holds one of Korea's national treasures, "Ten Storied Stone Pagoda of Wongaksa Site."

The pagoda is kept in this glass casing to prevent damage from pollution and the weather, etc. Taking pictures of it, however, when it is encased in glass is rather difficult.

There are 9 relief sculptures running along the path in the far right corner of the park. Unlike the other items in the park there are no English signs with information on the historical context, etc, for these works. If I had to hazard a guess I'd say they describe major events during the Japanese colonization period in Korea's history. Some of the images are pretty violent . . .

Just did some research on and found this, "Multiple monuments tell the story of the Korean struggles against the Japanese occupation"

The pavilion in the center of the park is really nice.

Julianne and I noticed an apple tree in the park . . .

The park also has the "Monument of Wongaksa."

Different leaders and figures in the Independence movement . . .

In part 2 of this post I will write about the Friday night trip Julianne and I made to a hospital in Seoul . . . I highly recommend NOT going to a hospital on a national holiday in Korea! More to come . . .


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