Old and new Seoul
The Cheonggyecheon River flows though the middle of the Seoul business district, offering a respite from busy city life with paths, parks, and art. The landscape is currently barren and brown in the winter, but will soon be green and lush as spring arrives.
Seoul is surrounded by mountains and great views show up periodically as I walk through the city. The N Seoul Tower in Namsan Park, in the center of the city, is one of the highest points in Seoul and also appears randomly as I cross streets that radiate out from the park.
Views of the mountains
Views of N Seoul Tower
Eight city gates, situated at the cardinal points and intermediate directions of the compass, offered entry into Seoul through the wall surrounding the city. Originally built in the late 1300s, six of these gates still exit and have been restored to maintain a little of old Seoul tradition and history.
Sungnyemun Gate and Heunginjimun Gate
Near the modern commercial area, Namdaemun Market, dating back to 1414, is one of the oldest and largest traditional markets in Korea, covering several city blocks with over 10,000 shops. Much of the market is outside in narrow streets accessible by motorcycle and hand-drawn carts. Much wandering is involved!
Near the market, the Myeong-dong Cathedral was the first parish church in Korea and is the national cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seoul. The path to the cathedral is decorated by a rose light garden of LED roses created in memory of Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan, former Archbishop of Seoul and a major figure in South Korea's tumultuous transition from military rule to democracy.
Rose light garden
This has been a great introduction to Seoul, but I must share one more fantastic moment from the trip as a light snow falls through the day on the city I am exploring. Maybe spring is not so close after all!