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Published: October 31st 2010
This blog is to share with you some of what we've been up this past month. The first weekend of May we went about 3 hours south of Seoul to a city called Andong, where the 14th Annual International Mask Dance Festival was held. We went with a tour group through the Royal Asiatic Society - Korean Branch (RAS). There were only about 10 of us total on the tour, so it was always very nice and personalized. Also, our tour guide Jennifer used to live in Andong with a Korean family - so she had a lot of great information for us! As you can see from the pictures, the weekend was a nice combination of history (For example, we saw the oldest and biggest brick pagoda in Korea...) and festival (One of the highlights was when I got a 'lucky straw shoe' from a Korean woman during one of the ceremonial games! Larry actually got two lucky shoes, but some old Korean guy with no teeth took them away from him!). Our first night, we also got a chance to see some traditional Korean fireworks - which were very unique and different. They included a "sparkler
Constructed in 1908 during the Japanese occupation
light rope" going across the bay between two cliffs, candles floating down the river, and people lighting bales of sticks on fire and throwing them off the cliff! The food was great as well, as we got to try lots of Andong specialties - including salty mackerel and jimdak (a spicy chicken dish mixed with glass noodles).
Another fun tour we did this month was one of the Seodaemun Prison Hall right here in northern Seoul. Built in 1908, it was originally used by the Japanese during their occupation of Korea. They used it to lock up and torture Koreans who tried to resist their rule. Our tour guide, Young Jae, was only a middle school student, but he was able to give us a wonderful tour in English!
Well, enjoy the photos! Happy autumn!!
Larry & Melanie
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