Sunday, September 30, 2012

Seoul 3: Deoksugung & Night Tour (9/30/2012)

Sunday, September 30, 2012
Took the Metro to City Hall:
The older part was built in 1926, the new part opened in May 2012.
There appeared to be a demonstration sit-in:
But we were here to see the Deoksugung Palace, our third palace today with free admission. The Deoksugung served as the main palace of the Great Han Empire (1897-1910).
The Daehanmun/the main gate was rebuilt in 1906:
"Hanyang/Seoul will prosper gate."
A guardian animal:
Junghwajeon/Main Throne Hall:
Dance performance:
Seokjojeon/King's Residence and Audience Hall:
Built in 1910 in Western-style, with a garden that was unusual in Korea in that it was in front of the palace and had a fountain.
Hamnyeongjeon/the King's quarters in 1987:
Western-style chandelier:
Korean-style beds:
Kent by an inner wall gate:
Jeonggwanheon/Banquet Hall:
Designed by Russian architecct A. I. Sabatin and completed in 1900.
Traditional Korean motifs:
See the bats above?
Railing with deer and bats:
A family in traditional dress:
Many Koreans were wearing traditional dress for Chuseok, the Korean holiday. Admission was free for everyone today, September 30th, but on September 29th and October 1st, admission was free for anyone wearing hanbok, the traditional dress.
Stopped for drinks at a Dunkin Donuts; hot breads?
With long lines, we had to wait for our order to be prepared and were given this high tech "buzzer" where you could watch TV as you waited:
We walked along the picturesque stone wall road outside the Deoksugung Palace:
A woman was making caramel lollipops:
Melting/browning the sugar:
Pressing it onto a stick:
We walked back to the hotel, passing the Pyoungan Presbyterian Church:
The Vabien Suites II hotel:
Later, we took the Metro to see the Hammering Man:
A kinetic metal sculpture by Jonathan Borofsky, the largest of his series installed in cities around the world. The arm with the hammer goes up and down:
After dinner in the Italasian Restaurant, we took the Seoul City Bus Tour night tour. We had headsets where we could set the language to explain the sights:
The tour was basically to see the lighted bridges over the Han River, as we crossed back and forth over at least five different bridges and saw many more:
Returned home via Metro. The Seoul Metro does not have security screening like in Chinese cities, but they have lots of emergency equipment available, such as gas masks:
During the Cold War, we worried about the Soviets. Here they still worry about the N Korean army that is only about 30 miles away.
For the Mid-Autumn Festival this year, we had chocolate mooncakes from the luxury Belgian Chocolatier of Neuhaus:
Good night!

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