Monday, April 27, 2009

Cherry Blossoms

Friends Heather, Thomas, Peter, Liz, and Marshall on the way to view the annual cherry blossom festival.

People "picnicking" in what used to be a park near the cherry trees. The whole park, dozens of acres along Seoul's largest river (the Han) is being re-landscaped. These people were actually pretty lucky.....those little green shoots they're sitting on were better than the dirt most people found.

Part of the landscaping project. Cherry trees in the distance, along with, by chance, Korea's largest Christian church (the Yoido Full Gospel Church - about 800,000 members). The guy on his cell phone might not be working hard but most construction workers here never seem to stop. I've seen guys working on buildings at 10 pm on a Sunday night.

The crowds were incredible. Made appreciating the trees a little difficult.

Too many blossoms, or maybe soju bottles (soju is the Korean spirit of choice and seems to be appropriate at all hours of the day).

Every spring cherry blossoms arrive in Asia. In Seoul there are not nearly enough trees to go around. On a recent Saturday we went to the prime cherry blossom boulevard in all of Seoul. The whole street was closed off, maybe 5 lanes wide, and it was still hard to walk. Groups of people were camped out on any piece of ground they could find...eating lunch and taking pictures of their friends in front of the trees. The blossoms were great but the people watching was much better. This last picture was not the only person we found passed out, just the best.

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