I interrupt your regularly scheduled American Interlude to bring you photos from my day here in South Korea. Today was the last day of the four day Chuseok weekend. While the weather this weekend was never as bad as predicted, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were pretty dreary. I went for a short walk around my new neighborhood on Monday, although as Monday was Chuseok proper, as it were, most things were closed, and pretty much no one was around. And it kept drizzling here and there. I gave up on the idea of exploration and returned home.
Today I woke up fairly early and got started editing my way through a ton of photos to go on two different websites. It's a rather lengthy project, and it's the kind of thing I can easily get sucked into and spend all day doing. Around 1:30, I looked out my window (alas, I only have the one...) and noticed that not only was it not raining, it wasn't even cloudy - sunny with blue skies! A few puffy whites floating here and there. Several hundred photos to edit? Meh. Time to go take a hundred or so more!
I haven't really done any of the historic/touristy stuff in Seoul since 2004 (other than my rainy trip to the Jongmyo Shrine back in July), so I decided to visit 경복궁 (gyeongbokgung, aka Gyeongbok Palace, or - according to Wikipedia, the Palace of Shining Happiness). Wikipedia does an excellent job of explaining the history of Gyeongbok Palace, so I'm going to skip over that and go straight to the photos. (Gyeongbok Palace is normally closed on Tuesdays; it was open today as part of the holiday celebration, and it was *packed.* Plus, anyone wearing a 한복 (hanbok, Korean traditional clothing) got in for free in honor of the holiday - there were quite a few people (mostly children) taking advantage of that deal. (Although it costs less than $3 to get in, and the park is huge, so it's an excellent value at full price!) But I was going straight to the photos and I got sidetracked... here you go!
The Changing of the Guard takes place on the hour,
every hour from 10am to 4pm.
The building in the center was apparently the king's throne room.
Stone kitty :-)
This building is actually part of the National Folk Museum of Korea - although it looks astonishingly Japanese to me.
Pavilion of Far-Reaching Fragrance. I kid you not.
You know I like my orange flowers.
Former royal banquet hall