Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Changdeokgung, Alive Museum and DMZ

Personally, of all the royal palaces around Seoul, my favorite is Changdeok.  I feel it is the most aesthetically pleasing design, nestled into the foot of the mountain and featuring it's Huwon or "secret garden" to the rear.  April 1, 2015 was a beautiful time of year to visit as the cherry blossoms and spring flowers had just begun to bloom.  Using an English brochure, Doug played the part of tour guide for Sandra Alex, Parker and I around the palace, until we joined our tour of the gardens.  Notice the beautifully detailed brickwork along with the stunning intricate painting of the structures.  The final photo is of a 750 year old juniper and supposedly the forms of four animals are hidden in it's branches.

Leaving the palace, we walked to the popular tourist shopping area of Insadong.  Here, Parker was mobbed by school girls wanting to take "selfies" with him.  Parker and Alex revelled in all the attention!   Hidden toward the back of a small alley, we found a charming little Italian restaurant where we enjoyed (really enjoyed!) lunch.

I didn't realize there were so many "trick-eye museums" around Seoul.  One that is called the "Alive Museum" is located in Insadong.  We stepped inside and began our quest to take the most unusual and realistic photos we could compose.


On Thursday, we sent Doug, Sandra, Alex and Parker on an all-day tour of the DMZ by themselves.  Since I had recently been with Dave and Melita, I didn't want to pay for another tour.  Bob was going to accompany them, but we had been unable to obtain a fifth ticket - so they were on their own. (Bob would later go with his work group, anyway, so it worked out for everyone.)  They shared a couple of pics with us.  You can see how excited Sandra is to be standing next to a real live active-duty North Korean Soldier!


 Which brings us to the weekend and only a few more experiences to share together in Korea.

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