Monday, January 14, 2008

At last...a dusting of snow!

So here I am on the 14th of January and we are finally getting some chilly weather. I woke up this morning and stuck my head out the window looking east toward the East Sea (just over that range) and this was my view. It's funny how simple things like the familar smell and feel of crisp cold air can send me back in time. I remember taking long, frigid walks in Minneapolis- just checking things out -enjoying the relative peace the cold brought to the side streets of Steven's Square and Whittier neighborhoods near to the casa. The one nice thing about being on the other side of the globe and nearly the same latitude is getting the familar moods the seasons can bring. I took a walk this weekend and was a dark, rainy day out. It brought back memories of playing in the woods as a kid in my parents back yard after the leaves had dropped and everything was damp and decaying. This is a fond memory for me, much like the crisp cold air was this morning. Anyhow, if you're reading this...whom ever you might be, I hope the winter is treating you as well as it is me.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Seoul, South Korea

A very intimidating police force. Not really...most looked bored and tired of having tourist snap pictures of them.

Friday, January 4, 2008

A Tour of Seoul on New Year's Eve

So we arrived in Seoul and met up with Nathan; our expat friend whom we last saw in Jamaica and the time before that in Nicaragua. Interesting pattern. Anyhow, he took us through the maze like underground of the Seoul Metropolitian Subway System, to a street market (where all goods where cheap and plentiful and sometimes strange) and then to the Seoul Museum of Art ( for a Van Gogh exhibit on display).

The market was loaded with all sorts of cheap and interesting items. You could get just about anything here

The Seoul Museum of Modern Art

Ginseng in a Jar

The next day we toured around the city. Saw the Seoul Tower, the 63 Building, and spent a good part of the day walking around the Gyeongbokgung Palace. This place was really incredible. The original palace was built in 1392 for the royal family and has subsequently been rebuilt in phases as various structures deteriorated. Here are some of the shots we got on this rather frigid day.

A Seoul New Year

So we hopped on a bus for 4.5 hours that took us up and over some rugged snow covered mountains near the Soebaeksan National Park, where down below narrow valley floors could be seen, while a multitude of 3 dimensional mountain side slopes extended out endlessly into the hovering storm. In order to pass through the mountains we did not take switch backs, but rather numerous, expansive tunnels that would spit us out onto bridges, some of which were a hundred plus feet about the slopping pitch of the mountain side. The winds were strong upon exiting and the snow strewn roads quite slick. We did a wee bit of fish tailing upon exiting that made for a couple nice surges of adrenaline. Sweet! This shot was taken on the drive back, as the storm didn't allow for an decent views of the mountains.