Monday, April 25, 2011

Korea Continues

As our trip winds to a close I am surprised how good our kids have become at maneuvering around Seoul. Coming from Ohio they really have little experience with public transportation or crowds. Compared to Seoul where the taxis, subways and massive amounts of people are a part of daily life. Now they are driving through the subway train doors & hiking the hundreds of stairs with the best of them. I was simply amazed by their endurance and ability to adapt.

There is no doubt we are the giant pink elephant everywhere we go; the stares, the whispers. However, I was not really surprised by this. Korea is extremely homogeneous and we couldn’t have been more opposite; Caucasians toting a blond haired daughter and Korean son. Some would attempt to ask us the situation, others would just point and whisper and my favorite the pat on the head or random hug.
For Sydney she had her blonde hair pet my by more strangers than ever before.

We stopped by the Korean War Museum, which was enormous. I wish we could have explored it more but we were trying to conserve the children’s energy.

We also took the kids to watch the changing of the guard at Gyeongbokgung Palace.

Then headed over to Bongeunsa (봉은사) one of Korea’s oldest Buddhist temples founded in 794. A wonderfully beautiful place with brightly colored lanterns & detailed architecture; a true escape from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city. We were free to move about the grounds and peak in the buildings although I did refrained from taking many pictures as this is a very active temple. The constant sound of monks chanting & monk bell tapping must of have had Sydney feeling quite Zen. She decided to give Buddhism a try and took her place on the floor and gave traditional bows.

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