I normally post these on Monday but I’ve had such an exciting week already! Today was cool, I did a ton of stuff but my favorite was when I was resting at a restraunt overlooking Namdaemun Gate and I saw another changing of the guard ceremony with cool drumming and fighting demonstrations! (I have awesome timing with stuff). Quick history: Namdaemun means “Great South Gate” and is one of the surviving gates from the 1300’s when Seoul was made capital of the newly formed Joseon Dynasty. All of the gates are now preserved in the middle of traffic circles which is odd but neat-looking. I don’t know if they all have guards with traditional costume or not. Namdaemun and Dongdaemun are the most famous ones.
Anyway, I’m looking at the gate out the window and then I hear the neat drumming and odd trumpet that reminds me of Tibetan trumpets. It was so funny to watch them heading for the gate from wherever they come from because they had to stop and wait at a lot of traffic lights. It just didn’t seem right for the imperial guards to stop and let traffic go by, and for them to nicely cross at the crosswalk. It would have been way cooler if traffic had come screeching to a halt and the guards just marched straight through. Anyway…..
I headed down there and they were doing really neat weapons demonstrations, acrobatic martial arts, and mock battles. The mock battles were really exciting and well choreographed. So fun!
The other really fun thing I did this week was go to a new teahouse in Insadong that had birds free-flying all over the place. They were so cute and friendly. The bathroom was weird though, the floor was deep with pebbles! Very disconcerting.
I took a bunch of pictures. Tomorrow I’m going to a rural area in the center of the country to see a huge Buddha. Yay!
Miss you guys! Love, MacKensie