Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Korean Adventure: Volume Two

A new day ...
 ...brought new adventures.
Herb and I walked back in to Itaewon.

We dined at Mr. Kebabs and I had a Turkish lamb wrap.
Seoul truly is an international city, food from around the world can readily be found here.
We then boarded the City Tour bus which stops at twenty-seven different locations throughout the city.
We disembarked at Namsangol Traditional Village.
This was a really cool day to visit the village because there were special festivities due to it being Chuseok (a harvest festival).
There were children in traditional dress
 playing traditional games.
 There were displays of traditional craftsmanship
and traditional foods.
We were able to view traditional housing and household wares.

 We witnessed families having their Chuseok meal picnic-style and kids playing the way that kids always play at such events.
 We drank of the original Seoul water.
 We marveled at how well their old and new melded together,
  how they acknowledge and celebrate both.
 And after taking a final moment... reflect on the beauty of it all...
 ...we headed back out in to the streets to catch the bus.
We had quite the wait for the bus because it was Chuseok and people were out and about enjoying their holiday.
Once back on the bus we decided to stay there for awhile bypassing the palaces and such because there were just so many people.  Nevertheless, we enjoyed the sights from the bus and had an interesting introduction to the driving of Korea.

 Towards what would be the end of our tour route we did opt to stop at the War Memorial of Korea.
We only explored the outside area of the memorial pledging to return another day and explore it more fully.  The sculptures were incredibly powerful.

 On a large dome with a stained glass-filled schism was a sculpture of two soldiers hugging.  One man is a South Korean and he is hugging his brother, a North Korean soldier.  It really illustrated well the drama and heartbreak of the civil war.  It also conveys the yearning of the South Koreans to be reunified.
 All of the statuary was powerful in that way.

 They also had a stunning display of military planes, tanks and other equipment.

This day was beautiful and powerful.
By the end of this day I was so in need of some rest but was also very excited about the possibilities available to me in the days to come.

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