There were 5 or 6 different groups with a group leader carrying the proverbial flag bearing your number. We were each given head sets. Our guide was young Korean woman, quite softly spoken with a lovely lilting voice. It was a perfect evening - the moon was full, there was a slight breeze and it was staggering to think we were in the centre of a bustling city and yet it was so very still. There were even little raccoon type animals that scurried across the path. The buildings were pagoda type structures with intricate lace patterns on the windows - we didn't go inside any buildings and in fact only the throne room which was three stories high was furnished. It was difficult to follow her explanations so in the end I decided to take in the ambiense and the essence of the place and not worry about the detail. Sadly the pics are a bit disappointing but I will include some and speak to them as I go along.
Please look at the pics as they are numbered in the captions, starting at number 1 - durrhh!!!
|10. There was a' orchestral' presentation at the end after we had tasted some Korean tea and delicacies. |
Amazing instruments that produce a very unique sound.
Hopefully you will hear a few notes I was able to record before my battery said howzit!!!
|6. City buildings in the background - hard to comprehend that we were in the heart of Seoul |
with its sprawling millions of inhabitants.
|5. A corner of the throne room - very ornate and beautifully balanced without being over the top!|
|4. Inside the throne room - viewed through netting at the entrance|
|3. The throne room - one floor three stories high.|
|2. Inside he palace grounds and looking back at the entrance with the moon in the sky! We were given the option of carrying a coloured lantern to light your way - see the red, blue and white coolurs of the lantern - very graceful!|
|7. A good example of how ornate some of the walls are - notice the lattice windows in the back ground.|
|1. The entrance to the palace - everyone in rows behind their room/group leader!!|
By this time it was about 11 pm so we tried to get a taxi for me. Mark was caching the metro home. Well - an impossible task - taxis have strict areas in which they are allowed to porate and drin-ve and everyone we hailed was not allowed to go to Itaewon. Mark tried calling 3 or 4 taxi companies he knew to order one without luck. Eventually we called Luke who said he would call the guy who had dropped me but I didn't tell Luke that I was no longer at the palace!!! Anyway hopeless!! We cancelled him and Luke said Mel would fetch me - by this time it was after 11.30 and of course I had no battery left in my phone!! At this point a young Korean couple asked if they could help us and pointed us in the direction of a tall building a block or so away and assured us we would find a taxi there! We set off at a gallop as Mark was anxious to get the metro before it closed but obviously could not leave me. Well we spotted a taxi and when I shoved the slip of paper with our address written in Korean on it in the window, the guy held up 3 fingers and made a zero with his fore finger and thumb - 30 000 - Mark was outraged but I said whoa - absolutely I will take it - rather than have Mel come out in the middle of the night!! Luke had had a good party so couldn't drive!! So I finally arrived home well after midnight - really.......