As the saying goes "Time flies when your'e having fun" and another week has flown by so it's time for another update.....Another busy week with lots seen & done.
Did I end the last entry with saying we were not expecting a busy day on Sunday (12th).Well,weren't we mistaken.Song's niece JongMin & husband WooSung had a few surprises in store for us.I might add,if you happen to visit Korea for the first time they would both make wonderful tour guides....with their wealth of Korean historical & cultural knowledge & proud of it too,they certainly come highly recommended by SongHi & I. Now, was that enough of a plug for you both JongMin..??.
We visited Gyeonbokgung Palace in the morning to witness the changing of the guard (a weekly Sunday event) & were also fortunate to see a re-enactment of the previous Royal family's harvest ceremony & procession thru the city streets...Unique & interesting with lots of pageantry & colour.! We then walked through Cheonggyecheon, a more of the business & financial district of the city along what was once a creek that ran into the Han river.After renovations were completed in 2005 it's now a very cosmopolitan part of town with a variety of cafes,bars & markets & obviously a great day out on the weekend for the average working Korean & maybe a tourist or two...Lunch was a traditional Korean BBQ. style,ie: cooked at the table by yourselves.. "Mashesayo" meaning very yummy..!!
We spent the rest of the afternoon with a walk thru the Palace & it's grounds, which certainly took up the 3 or so hours we needed to have a good look around. We ended our evening with would you believe "tea & cake" at a french restaurant called "et Maime"...another surprise..!! and after a quick drive to view the city lights from one of the many lookouts around Seoul we ended up staying the night at Song's eldest brother's place before heading back to Jeonju by train the next day.
The rest of the week back at Songhi's parents has been quite relaxing,though we did go and help Song's 3rd brother on a couple of occasions at his wholesale nursery & farm in helping to prune & spray his plantation of Azaleas."Good to see I have not lost my green fingured touch..!"As thanks for our help her brother & family took us out for the day to visit a few of the many buddhist temples around this area.I feel quite priviliged, as the average tourist from another country would probably never get to these temples & monastries without more in depth knowledge of the area.
Preparations are now under way for "Chuseok" a 3 day thanksgiving ceremony, which is the biggest & most important holiday of the year in Korea.It starts with "Charye", a memorial service to honour their ancestors before 3 days of music,dancing,wrestling & guess what? more eating..!!..It's the once in a year where families come from all over the country to spend precious & valuable time with their elders.
"Better make sure the camera battery is kept charged"....!!!!!!!