Thursday, January 31, 2008

Where old meets new

I just came back from my free day in Seoul. Luckily or not, it was the sunnier and colder day since I arrived. At 3pm, the temperature was around -2°C: under the sun, it was kind of nice; on the shadow or when the wind blown, it felt much colder and… not at all nice! My tour started at the Jongmyo Royal Ancestral Shrine, which houses the tablets of the Joseon Dynasty kings and queens and is the venue for ritual ceremonies to them. The 1st Sunday of May is the day to go there, because it is the day of the once-a-year ceremony, which includes strict procedures, colourful costumes, music and dances, but the place is worth a visit even on the last Thursday of January. After that, I moved towards the Changdeokgung Palace, which was built in the 15th century as a secondary palace, but served as the main palace between 1610 and 1868, until Gyeongbokgung was finally rebuilt after it was destroyed by fire during the Japanese invasion of 1592. Changdeokgung is the best preserved and representative of the Korean royal palaces, and includes one of the most enchanting sites I have ever visited: Huwon, The Secret Garden. After the Cultural Heritage tour, I strolled around the busy streets of Seoul and indulged myself with a second visit to Lotte Department Store and the area around Deoksugung Palace, including the Sungnyemun Gate. Back in the hotel, the only bad news is that Giuseppe is still sick… poor him… seems that the Tuesday meeting’s effects were nastier than I first thought…


Anonymous Ice-cream lover said...

1.Jongmyo Royal Ancestral Shrine
2.Changdeokgung Palace
3.Huwon, The Secret Garden.
4.Lotte Department Store
5.Deoksugung Palace
6.Sungnyemun Gate

Wow...I guess u really got tired :)

2:25 PM  

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