Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Friday- King, Queens, Casinos, and More.

Friday September 23

Friday was another sunny day and I couldn’t help but smile as we headed out once again from the Hill House and felt a cool chill in the air as we made our way down to meet my parents again. We headed out to the Hilton bright and early in hopes to make the plans from Thursday workout in a hopefully less crowded day. As we made our way towards the palace we were quite happy to see that the hoards of people we saw the day before were not to been seen; and once at the place we were very happy to see it almost deserted. As we entered we got to see the changing of the guards again only without all the pushing and shoving from the day before. It was an exciting experience to watch, they all had on colorful costumes and decorated flags or spears. Wondering around the place was very different from anything I had ever done because at home we learn all about our history however here its all so different from anything we learn. Everything is so colorful all the buildings were decorated in vibrant colors all the way up to the ceilings. They didn’t have much furniture or things cluttering up their space however what they did have was very beautiful and eye catching.

As we wondered around the grounds checking things out dad got to be the target of what I can only guess was a Korean scavenger hunt were to Koreans came and asked him questions and then tried to explain the questions he asked them back. It was quite amusing to watch the girls ask dad a question only for him to say no he didn't know and could they tell him the answer to the questions.

Here are a few facts about the the Gyeongbokgung Palace:
Gyeongbokgung translates in English as "Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven".
It is an ancient palace from the ancient kingdom.
It is roughly 300 years old built by the empire of the Chosun Dynasty in 1394 and reconstructed in 1876.
It was majorly destroyed by the Japanese in the early 20th century and is slowly being restored.
It contains the National Museum of Korea, and the National Folk Museum.

Here are a few of the many pictures from the Gyeongbokgung Palace:

It was a bright sunny day and that may of messed up some of our pictures.

I just couldn't help myself it was a great photo op.

After touring around the grounds we made our way over to the National Museum of Korea and We got a tour guide with pretty good English. She was great going from display to display telling us about everything there was to see and answering all our questions. She even tried to explain how the system of Hangul works to mom; sadly I hate to admit that I have yet to learn Hangul. We got to learn about a lot of Korea's history and we even got to see some traditional style homes; we had hoped to take mom and dad to a Folk Village but ran out of time so this was better than nothing. We got to see things like the differences in the homes of the different classes, wedding food, wedding outfits, a old time hurse, instruments and how they sounded, and so much more.

Our guide explaining how Hangul works to mom.

Traditional Wedding Set up

Once done we headed out to lunch, we had decided that mom and dad must try Lotteria before they leave, it is like a Korean version of McDonald's only better. The food taste less greasy, they do more things with the food and is always great. Once done with lunch we headed out to see the other place down the street. I had read that this one was the princess palace and had a great secret garden however once there I soon found out I had my places mixed up and this was the princes palace, Deoksu Palace. It was still interesting but pretty much the same old same old. This one needs some love and care as it looks a little rough compared to the first one was saw. I guess that's a guy for you though never too flashy.

Here are a few pictures:

Seokjojeon Area. A Western-style building used by King Gojong as sleeping quarters and an audience hall.
Borugak Jagyeongnu (Water Clock)

Heungcheonsa Bell

Singijeon Launcher Carriage

Once done wondering the grounds we jumped in a taxi and made our way yet again over to Itawon is hopes that the Hamilton Mall would be open. On the list today was to exchange mom's bracelet, find us each a handbag and maybe even get dad a briefcase. We lucked out and got all that we had gone hunting for and even got some shirts for dad and Chris.
After we had checked everything off our list we headed back to the Hilton to relax and get ready for dinner. Ryan and I had made plains to take mom and dad to N. Seoul Tower for dinner and to take part in the "Love Locks" that people hang on the fences there. Once back at the hotel dad and Ryan went out in search for a flash drive and a memory card reader so mom and I could go ahead and exchange photos.
Once the guys were back they headed down to the "Lucky Seven" Casino to try their luck. Ryan and I have never gambled so we thought it might be fun. Dad and Ryan headed down first and I joined them shortly. Once down there Ryan was holding a bucked of change watching dad play so I thought he had already lost the 5,000 limit I gave him; that only about $4. Come to find out he had won 69,000 Won and even had 2,000 Won for me to use. So as he went to cash out I tried my hand at a slot machine and lost. I sadly didn't find the fun in this seeing as how I had just lost 500 won and it hadn't even been a full minute. So a few more trys later from a very encouraging Ryan and dad I gave up after only losing 2,000 Won; sadly I just don't see the fun in it.

Once back up at the room everyone started getting ready and we headed out to find a cab to take us up to the top of N. Seoul Tower. Sadly I forgot to mention to mom and dad that once at the top is it still about a ten minute walk straight up hill. Yet again on the walk up the hill we were approached by some teenage girls who were making a movie and wanted us all to stand together and each say "I Love Korean" and then all together say "I Love Korea". Ryan and I now believe that dad some how attracts attention from people on scavenger hunts or that are looking for foragers for one reason or another.

Once at the top we had about an hour or so till our dinner reservations so we headed over to the "Love Lock" area where mom and dad then Ryan and I locked our love together forever. It was cute and a little cheesy but a great way to start the night and end the week. We then headed down to the bar area to enjoy the view and have a few drinks before heading up to get on the elevator.

Here are a few pictures from before dinner:

Once at the top we where shown to our table that was on a revolving platform that had an amazing panoramic view of Seoul that was constantly changing as we ate. Dinner was amazing and everyone enjoyed it, the conversation was great, the sky was clear, the sun was setting, and the moon was full and bright.

After dinner we headed down to the cable car to get a ride back down the mountain.  After a nice walk back to the Hilton we decided to skip the idea of beer on the deck and call it a night.  We exchanged hugs and made our way back to the Hill House with plains to meet up at 10 the next morning.  Once back we packed up our stuff and called it a night, a great night!

I hope to get back to this once I catch up and add some details about the pictures. 

1 comment:

Chastity said...

I REALLY liked this blog! It sounds like you guys had an awesome time and looks like it too from the pictures. I have seen pictures of the Gyeongbokgung place before but of course, I had no idea what I was looking at. Thanks! for sharing your history lesson! I loved that you write facts about the places you visit..I feel like I am learning along with you. Wow! The decorations on the Hurse were really elaborate! I think they look look beautiful. I have the same view that you have about casinos. At first it looks fun when you may win alot..then when you start to loose you might as well give up. Its definitely not worth it. My favorite part is the love lock area. Its so creative and romantic and yes, a little cheesy. But, who cares that was a special moment for you and Ryan and your family.Its sweet. Now, when you walk by it you can always see your locks together and remember this day. :)