Sunday, November 6, 2011

Blog 56- 12th November

The third annual Seoul Lantern Festival lights up Cheonggyecheon Stream, a renovated waterway that used to flow under a busy highway until it underwent a major overhaul 5 years ago. This year's festival highlights Seoul's long history and many traditions and includes an 18-meter lantern tunnel made up of over 3,000 cheongsachorong (traditional Korean lanterns with a red-and-blue silk shade); lanterns that offer glimpses into traditional Korean life; and lanterns of popular animated characters including Batman, Spiderman, and Superman.

These lights formed an arch over the Jangtonggyo Bridge crossing the lanterns. Thousands flock here every night for 2 weeks. It was more fun watching everyone taking photos of each other than the lanterns, although they are pretty impressive.

One of our friends says that Seoul is like a lady of the night - she looks her best after dark! After plotting and planning for a while we took a trip on the ferry down the Han River that divides the south where we live, from the north, where downtown is located.

We did not get to see the fountain emanating from the Bampo Bridge as advertised, however, we did get to see a 1970'a style singer with gelled hair and shaded glasses and his electric accompaniment. Many locals I think were along for the ride just to sing along with him!

West Seoul Lake Park, pictured below, is located in the south west area of Seoul. After opening in 2009, it won an honour award by the American Society of Landscape Architects Professional Awards in 2011. An obsolete water treatment plant that once served 50,000 people.

A fountain in the middle of a one-and-a-half-acre lake responds to roaring aircraft with 41 spouts that send jets of water 30 metres into the air. A recycled garden uses old pipes and equipment such as a table for 100 people.

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