Tuesday, 9 April 2013
09.04.2013 - 09.04.2013
As with other Asian cities visited, Seoul doesn't actually wake up until 10:00. We were up at about 07:00 and ventured out just after 08:30 with the aim of finding
"The Cathedral Church of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception also known as Myeongdong Cathedral, is a prominent Latin-rite Roman Catholic church located in the Myeongdong neighbourhood of Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Seoul the highest Catholic prelate in the country.
Dedicated in honour of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the principal patroness of Korea and the Korean people, the cathedral is a community landmark and a notable symbol of Catholicism in Korea. The cathedral church is one of the earliest and most notable examples of Gothic Revival architecture in Korea."
Despite the above statement it was not easily found as it is completely surrounded by high-rise office towers and armed with little more than a post-card sized map we found we had walked about twice the distance we should have. We eventually found it by following two nuns and figured they would be most likely to be heading there. We finally found it by walking through a parking station, past a liturgical shop and up some steep steps. It was well worth the effort.
On the way back we found a 'Dunkin Donuts" where I had a coffee and Jen had a doughnut topped with peanuts. We also found a 7/Eleven where we picked up some snack foods to have in the hotel.
Back at the hotel for a break and we explored the possibility of visiting the Deoksugung Palace which is withing walking distance of our hotel. The palace structures are not quite to the standard experienced in China but were interesting none the less. We were outside the gate at about 13:30 in expectation of the 'Changing of the Guard' ceremony. Jenny was approached by a local lady who asked her to be part of the ceremony. Each time a 'guest' is invited to commence the event with three strikes on the drum.
She asked us to stand inside the roped-off area and after the participants had assembled the drum master handed her the club and she was asked to beat the drum three times. Her first hit wasn't all that loud and she was encouraged to 'hit harder !!', she did her best. Overall the ceremony lasted about 30 minutes and was very colourful. 'Official' photos are to be emailed to us, meanwhile I managed a shot of her with her 'instructor' and others.
Back to the hotel and a quiet dinner. Jenny is still concerned about the Northern threat but there's nothing I can do about that.
Will update again tomorrow.
Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link. Recent Images on 365
Cheers ... Tony