Saturday, December 5, 2009

Chuseok in Boseong

For Chuseok (Korean "thanksgiving") a group of friends traveled to the green tea growing region in the Korean peninsula's southwest corner. Above is a picture of the perfectly manicured green tea terraces. Had no idea that tea plants are essentially plain bushes.

A tomb located amongst the tea plants.

Friends walking up into the terraced rows of tea.

Dragonflies were everywhere. Caught this guy sunning himself.

Looking into the canopy of a stand of bamboo the tea plantation keeps for wedding photo ops.

We stayed a "pension". Kind of like a bed and breakfast. Had a big room with lots of pillows/blankets/mats and a basic kitchen. At night we cooked in half drum barbeques and enjoyed some soju in the tent roofed building in the foreground.

The pension from below, Becky and Justin stand in front of our first floor room.

A cadre of old guys playing a dice game and drinking on the station platform as we waited for our train.

Sejongno - Heart of Seoul

Sejongno is my favorite street in Seoul. It runs from City Hall Plaza north to Gyeongbok Palace. It was completely remodeled recently and now has several beautiful public spaces. The picture above is a water feature that runs the length of the street's middle plaza.

The US embassy (an ugly '70s era building) is located on the street. I took the above picture on the day of Ted Kennedy's funeral in Boston. The stars and stripes fly at half mast accordingly.

A manicured flower garden occupies much of the street's center plaza.

Kids playing in the "headwaters" of the plaza's water feature.

Myself and friend Marshall in front of Admiral Yi, one of two statues that dominate the plaza.

Kids playing in the rapidly changing fountain jets.

....with dads capturing all the fun for posterity.

Seoul City Hall

A view of the temporary facade that has been erected at the front of the new City Hall, at the heart of Seoul as far as I'm concerned.

The facade is like a giant Seurat painting made out of plastic discs. Ambiguous up close but join together to create the scenes visible in the first picture. The scenes has already been changed at least once since I've been here.

Poking....couldn't help myself.

Looking up from the base.

A Christian service/concert/event set up on the lawn at night. The production value was pretty incredible.