Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Finally! A New Post!!!!

I must apologize to all my friends and family that have been wanting to follow our trip through Korea. It has been several weeks (around 3 I believe) since my last update. I will add this though...I have not been missing due to lack of wanting to type. So much has and not really happened since my last post. By this I mean that though we got to visit a few places since my last post, mostly we have been dealing with illness.

Don't be alarmed...nothing too bad. We have all been battling various colds and viruses that we were warned that we may have to endure being in a new country, in a new time zone, and facing new situations. Thankfully, we have weathered all of this with smiles still on our faces.

So, now that is all explained, on to the latest.

About 2 weeks back we decided to visit Gyeongbokgung Palace. It is one of the royal palaces built in 1493 for the Joseon royalty. It was a trip just to get there. We had to take a bus to the subway station over by Hongik University. From there it was about an hour subway ride to the palace grounds. Once there we arrived just in time to see the traditional changing of the guard. It was magnificent.

This was the guard waiting outside the gates to go into one of the courtyards.

Believe it or not, this was the ticket gate area. Wow!

Check out the mountain in the back. It was all so beautiful.

To signify the beginning of the change, the drum was struck several times. It echoed through out the outer courtyard.

This is inside the first gate, but what turned out to be a large outer courtyard.

The procession started with a head guard calling out the march and followed by flag bearers, musicians, and armed guards.

Here are the armed guards with the musicians in the back.

Here are the lead guards.

This was the head guard. Notice the feathered hat.

Here he is again.

So, they traveled around the courtyard in a square-like pattern.

They then lined up, went inside and the next guard came out.

These are the next gates into the offical palace grounds where the royal rooms and various builings were. This is the offical guard that stood out front.

This is yet another courtyard in to the palace grounds. As you can tell by now, this place is quite large.

That was the gate we just came through. They were all very intricately carved and painted like this. Hard to believe it was done in 1493.

Ruthie outside one of the royal rooms. I think this was a room used for audiences or possibly for prayer. Hard to tell. It had both prayer items and a dias in it.

This is definately designed for royalty.

I couldn't believe the ceilings.

This was the queen's quarters. You could enter in the building, but you had to take your shoes off first.

As you can all see, it was quite the amazing palace and there is much more to share. But, that will have to wait for a later time. It is now time for me to go and pick the children up from school. I hope to keep up with the blog much more frequently now that things are starting to calm down.