Seoul Lantern Festival

After the last day of finals I went with some classmates to the Seoul lantern festival for some much needed R&R. After too much time spent studying this past weekend and the past few days before that we needed so time to do something totally unrelated to school. Here are some pictures. One of the themes of the festival this year was the Olympics so there were a few depictions of the two Olympics mascots in some of the various sports

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Nami Island and Petite France

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Disclaimer… I messed up the settings of my camera at the beginning of the day and have, as of yet been, unable to fix this very annoying mistake. Needless to say when I got home and noticed that my camera pictures looked worse than my phone pictures I was more than a little pissed. Anywhooo, after a little research I did find out what my mistake was and I will not be making it again but it does leave me with some terribly grainy pictures.

One of my level 1 classmates is from Vietnam, lately she is always cold, mainly because where she comes from the coldest it ever gets is 20 degrees Celsius. And even then she sometimes find that cold, and these days the temperature hovers around 5-10 degrees maybe. Personally I like it it’s amazing weather for mid November. But anyway, I digress, since she’s from a warm country she’s never seen the fall colours so 2-3 weeks ago we went to Namsan on a random weekday to see the changing leaves. Well we were very disappointed as the mountain was about 2/3 still green. In her hunt for fall leaves she found a tour package for a day at Nami island and Petite France.

Since the tour took a whole day we had to book on a weekend , which isn’t ideal as there would be tons of people but we weren’t about to miss classes for that. Another of our classmates also joined us for the tour. Nami Island was very pretty and there were a lot of fall colours for my friend to see. We some bunnies, some weird looking sculptures, lots and lots of snowmen and took lots of pictures. We had some Korean sausage, which was a little disappointing and had some delicious Italian pizza.

After Nami Island we went to Petite France, which was a little weird I thought. I meant there was the Petit Prince and that was about the extent of the Frenchness of the place. They were playing some music but it wasn’t French, there were some antiques and some sculptures which seemed more Italian than French. The view however was very nice so I guess that’s why we went?

Yeouido park and the Han river

After finals last week I was really worried about having failed so I had to find something to do during the weekend to keep occupied and not worry too much about it. Thankfully there is a summer festival going on at the Han river, it’s been going on since mid July actually but I haven’t had much free time. It seemed like the perfect place to spend a sunny and hot summer day.

I left home around 11:30 and headed to Yeouido park. It is one of three parks on the Han river and the closest to my place so I opted for that one. This park is actually on an island on the river and there is also another really big park that spans accross the island. The island park was really nice, I didn’t explore all of it since I wanted to go to the river park. I’ll probably go back another time, it’s a pretty big park with a pond and several walking/biking paths. It’s in the middle of a bustling city but the cicadas are so loud that they almost drowned out the traffic.

I knew there were a bunch of events going on at the river since it’s the festival, but much like when I went to the National Palace museum I happened upon a traditional music/dance performance.

A man started talking to me during the performance and wanted to buy me a drink after, so we went to a near by convenience store where he also bought me lunch… Is this weird only to me? People approach strangers and buy them food, must be a Korean thing. Actually it was a little awkward since he could speak ┬ávery little English and I couldn’t understand most of what he was saying. Anyways he was sticking around walking with me along the river so I told him I had to go and he walked me to the subway. I didn’t want to leave quite yet but also didn’t really know how to tell him to get lost politely so I waited in the subway for 10-15 minutes and went back to continue exploring.

I continued exploring around the river and people watching for an hour or two. Around 5:30 the many food trucks all started to set up, and oh my goodness were there a lot of food trucks. You can basically get anything you could possibly want; theres chicken, shrimp, steak, grilled cheese, churros there was even a French crepe food truck. I’ll have to go back again so I can try some of those ­čÖé

A few things of note about the park; though you can’t swim in the river there are several outdoor pools at the park, people at the pool and hanging out at the river mostly setup tents and hang out (I find this a little odd, but I suppose it’s a good was to get shade…), you can rent camping spots at the campground neat the river (you can also rent a tent if you don’t have one). I was there from about noon until 6 at which time I was a little tired and decided to head home. I didn’t really feel like taking the subway or bus so I walked back home. In retrospect that was a stupid idea… who walks 4km home after spending the whole day walking? Anyway I did get some really nice pictures walking back since I had to cross the bridge.

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One of the many outdoor pools
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You can rent a camping spot here
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View of the floating stage from the bridge on the way home

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The scary cross walk.

Day 10: Architecture

Here is day 10, a little late again but I was going to an interesting building (just not on the actual day I was suppose to post…). Hopefully you all find it pretty and interesting anyway. This picture was also suppose to be monochrome but I haven’t played with this feature very much and couldn’t figure it out so you will get the colour version. The location of the building makes it difficult to get an outside shot with traffic (especially during rush hour) so I took a shot of something that is important to me.

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