Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Tower!!

Stupid tourist Sunday!

Today was basically a redo of some of my failures in tourism when I first arrived in Korea. My adventures took us to the Deok Su Gung Palace in Seoul.

This is palace was originally the home of King Seongjong's elder brother Prince Wolsan. It was used as a royal palace for 7 years until 1615. It played host to several royal figures throughout the centuries until Emperor Gojong passed away in 1919.

The palace has several buildings of interest that are ornately decorated. The grounds are quite tranquil and relaxing.

I was a little confused as to which door of the bathroom I needed. Thank goodness for the culturally correct pictures to help guide me.

The gargoyles were really cool. Not as good as the ones on Notre Dame, but cool nonetheless.

When I first arrived, I caught the last couple minutes of the changing of the guard ceremony. I don't think this was a regular occurrence so I felt lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

The grounds also hold at least one national treasure. Jagyeongnu was the state standard water clock of the Joseon Dynasty. It was devised to strike a bell at a certain hour automatically. It was first made in 1434 during the reign of King Sejong. King Jeongjong had it improved in 1536. It is the oldest and largest water clock in the world. Unfortunately, it is out of commission.

After the palace, I hiked my way to the top on Namsan mountain and took the elevator up Seoul Tower. The elusive Seoul Tower was finally conquered! It was well worth it. Seoul is huge! More pictures tomorrow.

I rode the cable car down the mountain and made it to 20s group and church only 15 minutes late.

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