Sunday, March 29, 2009

a potential future home

I went to one of the many palaces around Seoul this Saturday with some people from my school and others.  The palace was so interesting and taught me a lot about Seoul and Korea in general. The palace was originally built in the 1300s and then was destroyed by the Japanese in the 1500s. Then in the late 1800s the palace was rebuilt by the current king. Not sure why he needed the new palace, since he already had one, but he managed to almost bankrupt Korea buy bulding it. Unfortunately the palace did not last too long, it was destroyed again in the early 1900s when Japan once again invaded and turned it into some governmental building. It was notuntil 1997 that the palace was rebuilt for the 3rd time! So while the palace looks very old, it is really a replication of a replication. 

When we got there we walked around a bit before our guided tour. We were lucky enough to catch a changing of a guard which actually took about 20 minutes. I think it took so long because they showed the ceremony for morning, noon and night. I am not really sure though 
 because the english translation was not exactly 

After the changing we had a guided tour in english. Our tour guide was interesting to sayt he least. She would tell these jokes and then would laugh hysterically at herself. She would keep saying "Thank you" Thank you". She was also obsessed with the heating in the palace. She would keep telling us which rooms had floor heating and would say it again and again.

As we were walking through the palace, which is actually a bunch of small buildings and the king was carried from room to room, we stopped in front of the dinner hall. It was a really cool building in the middle of a lake. The building was open air and two stories. The second story was where the dinner actually took place. As we were looking at it, the tour guide all of a sudden said "here is where the big group (my group) has to take a picture" we tried to tell her no we were okay because there were about 20 other people on the tour but she refused to move, literally sat down, until our group took a picture.

 So we had to put all our pictures on a bench and 3 guys on the tour took all our pictures. I wish I could have gotten a picture of them taking the pictures because they just kept picking up the camera and snapping an used each one about 4 times. After that we decided to leave the tour because we were getting tired
 and there was one more stop....

Lisa and I decided to get in a line to dre
ss like the guards. It was so much fun to put on all the clothes and get to walk around a bit in the outfit. The best part about it all was that it was free!! I love free things! After that we headed back to a cool little area called Insadong to shop and eat. Overall it was a great day!

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