Monday, October 19, 2009

Cheonggyecheon Stream

A stream that had run through Seoul for millennia, Cheonggyecheon had been covered up by highways during the decades of enormous growth the city experienced in the last fifty years. Several years ago an urban revitalization project uncovered the stream, creating one of the coolest urban features I've ever seen. The nearly six mile long stream winds its way through the heart of Seoul. Complete with fish, aquatic plantings, and the refreshed feet of thousands of Seoulites.

The headwaters of the stream, a couple yards from the main boulevard that runs through Seoul.

One of several musicians playing along the banks of the stream.

Mom and daughter crossing from one side to another.

Brothers taking a dip in matching shirts.

A small waterfall just beyond the headwaters (see behind). The stream incorporates sculptures and the beauty of water flowing over imbedded lights, carved stone, and natural stream bed.

A view of the stream after sunset, from one of many bridges that crosses above it. The stream is only accessible every quarter mile or so, lending it a sense of isolation in a city of millions.

My friends Marshall, Robin, and Kevin braving the chilly water. Perfect after a long day exploring Seoul.

Cheonggyecheon Stream in Seoul - Laser Light Show

Weekend nights sections of the stream fill with mist, into which a laser show (set to music) is projected.

Joseon Tombs in Seoul

A mossy-backed statue watching over the tomb of a Joseon King.

The tomb itself, set atop a hill in central Seoul, surrounded by symbolically arranged statues. Notice the Seoul Ramada in the background.

Marshall feeding a 1,500 year old sheep.

This ram, and the big cat behind him, face away from the tomb in order to protect it for all eternity.

Fire extinguishers in the middle of the forest.

Seoul Olympic Park

The beautiful Olympic archway that is the centerpiece of the former Olympic grounds.

The park now plays host to myriad families and their preferred outdoor pursuits every weekend. The young kids in roller blades were by far the most fun to watch.

These four are practicing their speed skating maneuvers in front of their equally serious coach.

Said coach, wearing skates twice the length of her feet.

My good friends Becky and Marshall (and my chin) onboard the Olympic Park tram. Made us all feel a little lazy.....taking a tram to see olympic venues where athletes had performed amazing feats.

Becky giving thumbs up to an enormous thumb sculpture. Very original Becky.

Notice big sister's perfect technique.

Clutching the olympic torch with my BARE HANDS.