Thursday, July 22, 2010

More Pictures. They're much prettier then my chess games.

After our tour of Dae Gu we headed to Yeung Cheon to see the opening ceremony for the 1st International Clubs Open Taekwondo Championships.  I think many of us would have like to have stayed there and competed, but we were there as mere spectators.  During the parade of nations I think the US delegation was surprised at the loud reception they got.  I don't think they knew there would be four busloads of American Taekwondo tourists there to cheer for them. Though marching in the parade was one or two athletes from each nation.  Needless to say there was not a delegation from North Korea.

Team USA

Host Nation - South Korea

After the parade of nations there were various speeches.  One speech went on and on, so I decided to go outside and see what was happening out there.  There I found various teams practicing, including one who would be part of the demonstration that would occur after the speeches were done.  Why listen to a long winded speech in Korean when I could go take pictures?

It doesn't matter how long I train, I won't ever be able to do that!

..... or that.

Kids team practicing. (I can do that!)

Once the speeches were done, then I went in to watch the performances of dance and Taekwondo.   I was sitting up in the balcony, but the telephoto lens allows me to catch the action.  However pictures in difficult lighting situations don't do the performances true justice.


Look it's a bird, no it's a plane, no it's a high flying taekwondo master.

From Yeung Cheon we went to Gyeong Ju.  The next day we visited Tumuli Park which consists of 23 tombs of Shilla monarchs and families.  They look like grassy hills as seen in the picture below.

Shilla tombs

Far East's oldest astrological observatory.

From there we headed to Bulguksa Temple.  This is on the Unesco World Cultural Heritage List.  It's really quite impressive.  Below is the last of three stone stairways we climbed to get to the top.  I managed not to fall down any of them.  Click on the link above to read about the history and architecture.  Here a some of the photos I took there.

Steps to the upper tier of the temple.

Dabotap pagoda.
This pagoda is pictured on 10 won coin.

Beomyeongu pavilion.

Mogeo (fish-shaped wooden gong)

Two of the four guardian gods.

That was only part of our day.  From there we went to Busan to see a performance of traditional Korean music and dance.  Unfortunately an emergency pit stop, a lost bus driver and horrible downtown Busan traffic made us a little late for the performance.  There I almost did fall down steps until the usher finally shined a light so I could see where I was going.

In front of the performing arts center was this sculpture of Korean dancers who do the most amazing things with their hats.  Later in the trip I would get to see these dancers perform live.

"Hat dancer" (for lack of a better term.) sculpture.

Performance at Korean Folk Village outside Seoul

Enough for now.  More pictures to follow.

1 comment:

chesstiger said...

Always fun to be delve into history about things you like.

Where there there stilk monks at those temples or is just ancient bricks for tourists now?