Monday, August 15, 2011

Blog 50 - 16th August

Hot and humid weather demands many gin and tonics! Our friends Katherine and Stephen came from Istanbul laden with goodies including Blue Sapphire, Turkish delight, traditional tea, and Vegemite (originally from Australia and travelled to England, France, Turkey and Germany before Korea!) Stephen was the photographer extraordinaire so unfortunately he doesn't appear much here. Sitting on our balcony with our drinks at the end of another busy day. It's a hard life!
We couldn't resist having our photo taken at the Leeum Gallery coffee shop with such a gorgeous painted wall - not wallpaper as we had thought.

Outside the newly restored Seoul Station which was previously the central railway station. The gallery space, Culture Station 284, was displaying an excellent photographic exhibition about the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). U.N. Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, had opened the exhibition the previous day. A wonderful display if a very sobering start to our tour of Seoul. For the history buffs, the new name commemorates the building, which was built in 1925 and was designated Historical Site No. 284 in 1981. Korea numbers not only its tangible assets but also its intangible assets such as dancing and kimchi.

What are we looking at?

If you are old it seems that you can have free haircuts in Seoul Station, right in the centre of downtown here in Korea. Never a dull moment! Stephen and Damien were tempted to line up too!

A trip to the countryside on a day with 90% humidity and 33 degrees made the KTX a wonderful cool air conditioned opportunity to see outside of Seoul. The fish in the market at Daejeon were not so cool and while the photo above depicts a traditional fan, we were captivated by the ingenious method of using two mops as a fish fan in the photo below.

Even though I am getting older, I still love to celebrate my birthday. Damien made scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, pesto, rye toast and coffee. Yum! For those living outside Asia, these Western delicacies are rare treats in Korea. Damien is not really trying to choke me - perhaps he is admiring the authentic Turkish garland in my hair and new South American beads.

Walking and walking in the heat, some of us are always on the lookout for good coffee. When we came across 'God in a Cup', we knew we were in heaven. Air-con and affogato! What more could anybody want?

Yes - Kass even matched the decor!

Built in 1405, Changdeokgung Palace in central Seoul has been designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yes - another palace!

Outside Changdeokgung Palace we came across a whole lot of men playing traditional Korean board games. ANybody know what they are? Some looked like draughts. They certainly looked pretty contented and relaxed sitting under the trees.

Can you see us in the distance? Walking again...... This beautiful wall is in Samcheong dong - thanks again to Stephen.

Dinner at Korea House is usually on the list for our visitors. It is traditional without being touristy and always full of locals. The Royal Cuisine is so varied and yummy.


Anonymous said...

dear Susan
i continue to enjoy your blogs and look forward to reading them each week to see what you have been up to there is always something new to show and tell. happy birthday for the 13th seems like damien cooked you up a treat! jacinta

pitchfest said...

That game is called Go, or Baduk in Korean. It's deceptively complex... there are more possible outcomes than there are atoms in the universe.

Susan said...

Thanks Lee. Hoping fatherhood is fun so far.

dianlee said...

Really love this blog! Amazing photos. Great times.
xxLove Dianne

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