Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Settling In To Seoul

Arriving back in Seoul on January 5, we temporarily moved into "Fraser Place" which is located downtown in the heart of the city and right by Bob's office.  This place was a little more roomy and it gave us an opportunity to become more familiar with the area in which we will live and work.  It sure was nice to have Bob come home for lunch!

We were able to do a little exploring and happened upon the changing of the guards in front of Deoksu (meaning virtue and long life) Palace.  We later visited the palace grounds and an art museum there.  This palace served as the king's residence twice during the Joseon rule (1567-1608).  As late as 1919, the Emperor Sunjong lived here.

We were not allowed to take photographs inside the palace, but I found the first photo of a palace in the Forbidden City of Beijing, China and it looks almost identical to the throne and surroundings of the Deoksu Palace.

Although probably not authentic, I love the vibrant colors of the paint. We decided that the small balcony rooms which are so prevalent in Korea apartments and the heated floors in their homes originated from the designs and methods used back in the 1500's.  You can see that under the house are a couple of fuel burning rooms which heat the home from below.  Many of the apartments we looked at have small narrow enclosed balconies (sun rooms) as is seen in the third photo.

Some interesting artifacts on the temple grounds included this sundial, a "semi-automatic" arrow sling, a bell, and some kind of dragon water fountain.

On the site was an art museum featuring the photography of a Korean historical photographer, documenting life in Seoul in the 1950-60s.  But what we really enjoyed were some sculptures we discovered down a pathway outside of the palace complex.  Unfortunately, it's hard to capture the quirky proportions and perspective of these figures.

Our sea shipment arrived sooner than expected mid-January, so we made arrangements to get moved into our new apartment just in time for Stephanie, Ben and Emma to arrive as previously scheduled on January 19.  It was a very hectic couple of days, but it sure was fun to have family with us to make our new place feel like home!

 We extend a warm welcome to our home!  We hope you'll come to visit.

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