Monday, October 1, 2012

Seoul 6: Namsan Park (10/1/2012)

Monday, October 1. 2012
We found a recommended restaurant, Tosokchon Samgyetang:
Yikes! Look at that queue!
We opted for a quicker meal from JK Coffee & Sandwiches around the corner, getting a beer with a kerchief:
Next stop, Namdaemun Market, Korea's largest wholesale market. It is made up of thousands of shops in over 30 buildings, plus sidewalk vendors. And food vendors:
Um, pork knuckles?
Ubiquitous scarves:
Boy pals in front of some ginseng in jars:
A wooden Indian?
They found a table:
Fried food:
Pre-knotted ties:
The Nandaemun/South Gate for which the market is named, burned down recently and is being restored. However, it goes by another name, Sungnyemun:
Crowds in the market:
Furry stuff:
Dried bacon-type meat vendor:
Porky kid clothes, huh?!
A couple Metro stops away, Namsan Park. We first visited the Namsangol Hanok Maeul, a village of traditional homes:
First a view of the N Seoul Tower giving Kent a pointy head:
Girl trying out farmer accoutrements:
Mountain stream:
Woodwork details:
Village people in period dress:
Each house had a well:
Why are there all these chimneys?
The chimneys vent the Ondol/underfloor heating system:
Note the fire under the floor in the photo above.
Roof design is similar to the palaces, but much smaller and with less decoration:
Photo opportunity:
You need to duck through the gates to each house:
Threshing rice:
Grinding rice:
Folded bedding:
A Pseudocydonia sinensis/Chinese Quince:
with unusual bark:
Keeping rhythm:
Grinding corn:
Posing with village people 1:
Posing with village people 2:
Decorating masks with polymer clay:
Um, the queen and king:
A couple in traditional dress:
The royal family dolls:
Ancestor room where offerings are left:
Oooh, this fire is "burning:"
We then waited an hour for a space on the No. 2 yellow bus going up to the N Seoul Tower. If you come out of the Metro at Exit 2, the stop is right there, but we had to walk back a block to get to the end of the queue. It was, after all, a holiday, so it was especially crowded everywhere.
We still had a bit of a hike from the bus stop to the tower:
The communication tower was built in 1969 and opened to the public in 1980 as the Seoul or Namsan Tower. In 2005, it was remodeled and renamed the N Seoul Tower, the N standing for the "new look:"
We were dismayed to see another long queue for tickets to the tower, and crowds of people:
While Kent stood in line, Tamiko explored and found another place to purchase tickets if you were only going to the observatory (the restaurants up top were fully booked anyway). We were able to buy the tickets right away, but were told there would be over an hour wait. Our ticket had a boarding number, and we looked to see what number was boarding then. The numbers seemed to go up fast and by tens, so we sat by the gate. Our number was 82181. When it reached 82180, the ticket taker motioned to us, looked at our number, and let us in! So we did not have to wait very long at all.
Kent points in the direction of Shanghai, only 865 km/537 miles away:
The view from the restrooms!
The tower at night:
One of the features of the tower is an area where couples can affix padlocks to the fences as a symbol of their undying love. We searched for this place, but it wasn't up at the observatory levels. It was down on the fence around the terrace. You couldn't even see the fence anymore!
We attached our little brass lock to pledge our love to each other:
Lovers' bench:
Gosh, did he just propose or something?!
Then we did wait an hour for a table at the lower level The Place Restaurant for dinner:
The glow of Seoul from Namsan/Mount Nam:
Strange spotlight:
Lighted wall and trees:
We returned to our hotel via the yellow bus and Metro.
Later in Shanghai, we threw away the keys to our lock in a mini-garbage truck, someplace we surely won't be able to go and find them again!

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