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by ZweiBieren Best Pictures from Our Asian Summer  The lawn at the Yangpyeong resort. Boathouse on lake edge.
  From some four-thousand pictures I've selected forty of the best to illustrate our Korean travels.

fat left arrow Children love to have their pictures taken. Often they make a V sign--apparently it was at one time supposed to mean "peace." On this day at Goereung Tomb I took eight pictures of kids from one school group.
fat right arrowWhen you have a beard and funny looking clothes, pretty girls come up and ask you to pose with them for their camera. Here at King Munmu's Underwater Tomb (upper-right corner) I made them take another shot with my camera.
fat left arrow At Daehangno park while touring the city we encountered a fascinatingly diverse bunch of people: jugglers juggling, musicians playing,  photographers shooting, lovers meeting, drunks(?) sleeping, kids playing, and bemused adults watching or just relaxing.
fat right arrowHere a family visiting King Munmo's Tomb stopped to watch a pair of passing boats.

fat left arrow This visitor seems perplexed by a large finial for a roof beam. The finial is one from Anapji Pond, which serendiptiously preserved many artifacts from its surrounding palace.
fat right arrowAt Seokguram Grotto this gong is sounded at noon daily. It can be heard for miles. To sound it, the monk does a little dance swinging it back and forth several times before launching it at the bell with this final shove.
fat left arrow Here in the "prosperous farmer's house" at the Korean Folk Village the family is sitting down to dinner. The room seems a little bigger than typical.
fat right arrowAn important part of the cuisine is kimchee, a spicy pickled cabbage. To get proper temperature and humidity for pickling, fresh-made kimchee was buried in large pots underground for a few months. Nowadays there are special refrigerators for the task.
fat left arrow To enter our apartment you would ring our doorbell, shown here. The big eye transmits a picture to us before we push the button to unlock the door. (You would have first rung us up from the main door and from the door to our corridor.)
fat right arrowThe "great room" in our apartment combines kitchen, dining nook, living room, and den. We had to turn the table 90º to its current position in order to be able to open the refrigerator.
fat left arrow In one of the ubiquitous apartment buildings (see below), the rooms are large, well-lit, and ultra modern. Here is a kitchen.
fat right arrowKorean meals have a minimum of three "ban chan"--that is, small side dishes. Often they come with tiny fish, seaweed, and various pickled victuals.
fat left arrow Local markets cram a lot of things into a small space. There are also huge supermarkets with many more products. The latter also have numerous "hawkers" calling you to buy their product and offering bits to taste.
fat right arrowThe city is rife with small shops offering all manner of wares.
fat left arrow In a "market" area, the small shops are joined by numerous vendors on the sidewalk. And hundreds of shoppers.
fat right arrowIn high-end department stores, like Shinsegae seen here, the very latest in gear can be bought. When I visited, however, the television department to the right of this picture had more employees than customers.
fat left arrow Subway stations are clean and brightly lit. Most have been built in only the last decade or two. Prominent in this photo are the gas masks available in case of fire or terror attack.
fat right arrowSigns in each subway station tell you everything: where you are, next station in each direction, times to each station, what's in the neighborhood, the numbers for each pedestrian exit, and which way to go to transfer to another line. The digital sign at the top shows advertising between trains. As a train arrives at the previous station, a train icon crawls from left to center of the sign. As the train proceeds onward to the current station, the icon crawls to the right edge, reaching it as the train whooshes in.
fat left arrow Horses used to be important. Now they are relegated to shows at museums like the Korean Folk Village outside Suwon.
fat right arrowThe intercity express trains, "KTX," are luxurious and run at speeds well in excess of a hundred miles an hour. We returned from this trip to Gyeongju an an express bus that made no stops and thus reached Seoul faster even than the train.
fat left arrow A gateway frames your first view of the throne room at Chongdoek Palace. Just barely visible in the courtyard are the numbered markers indicating the place to stand for officials of the vaious ranks: 1, 2, 3, ... 16.
fat right arrowOld roofs are universally built in this style: crests and valleys of tile laid on rafters supported by beams. The ends of ascending beams are decorated with round tiles painted with almost Amish designs. The orizontal beams have the finial end caps.
fat left arrow Many of the "edge-cap tile rows (as at top center) are graced with monkeys and gargoyles.
fat right arrowAt the Folk Village, some of the roofs have been allowed to develop their own eco-systems. This building houses a modern day salesroom for craft-works.
fat left arrow "Ubiquitous apartment buildings." Buildings of this same design are everywhere, even dotting the country-side between cities. The apartments are elegant, huge, and expensive. All three factors may help to avoid the sort of high-density housing blight that led to the demolition of Chicago's Cabrini-Green.
fat right arrowMany farms are covered to protect crops from sunlight and insects, thus increasing value. It seems that all land is covered with either farms or ubiquitous apartments.
fat left arrow Looking south from Seoul Tower one sees old crowded housing on the nearby hillside, office buildings, the Han river, and ubiquitous apartments on the opposite shore.
fat right arrowOn the (one!) sunny afternoon I took this picture from my balcony. The three close-by buildings are dormitories, as is our apartment.
fat left arrow Despite the rain, I was able to get some nice color in this shot of the National Museum in Seoul. The huge poster announces a current exhibit of artifacts on loan from a Pyongyang museum.
fat right arrowIt seems to me that the escalators in the National Museum make great pictures in themselves.
fat left arrow I couldn't get a decent picture of the original of "Don Quixote" (National Treasure #91). So here is a picture of the reproduction I bought. And even getting this picture took 42 tries!
fat right arrowA metal dragon. Probably an incense burner like Don Quixote.
fat left arrow Almost a third my subjects at the museum were pots. Here's the best, bedecked with little creatures.
fat right arrowIf you really want eternal peace, why not get get buried in a pot. Pots are the longest-lived artifacts of bygone civilizations.
fat left arrow This is one of a dozen "cave" altars at Golgulsa. It's high on a hill, just beneath a five meter Buddha carved into the living rock of the hill.
fat right arrowSeoul Tower is visible from most places in the city, including from the Traditional Folk Village in a city park. This tree decorates one corner of the village.
fat left arrow South Korea is the third most wired nation. A large fraction of households have broadband access to the internet. One of the prices to pay is a lot of wires.
fat right arrowAnother lot of wire guards the boundary to the North.
fat left arrow Near to the DMZ, however, are signs of hope. In the transit point for starting a tour of the DMZ, someone has lofted this amzing string of kites.
fat right arrowThe royals knew how to have beauty at hand to escape reality. And now anyone with the price of admission can visit to enjoy it, too.
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