November 23, 2006


On the bright and cheerful day of November 18th, Les, Justin, Sara, Rachel and I went down to the quaint city of Suwon to visit Hwaseong ("Brilliant Fortress"). The trip was long and grueling but for a measly 1,500 Won ($1.50) it was well worth the congested hour and a half on the stuffy Korean subway. Upon arrival in the city we wound our way around the cramped and bustling streets of this small town (population 1 million). It was fantastic to escape the busy city life and relax in a more cleanly and brisk environment (I can hear you all snickering back home).
The wall and palace themselves, making up the entirety of the fortress were built from 1794 to 1796. King Jeongjo (who is featured as the sculpted bronze man to the right) constructed the fortress complex to honor and house the remains of his father. Visiting ones father after they have deceased was and still remains an important tradition in Korean culture. The wall that encloses the fortress is 5.74 kilometers in length and four to six meters high. Although we did not manage to walk to entire way around we did get the just of it on our self-guided, what-do-you-think-that-thing-is tour. Our day away included learning to master archery, Korean traditional style, a ride on a fierce dragon train, a sour pomegranate and a bean paste fish, and male dancers performing under the straining weight of a pound of make-up. (Don't worry Dave if you come we won't make you try on the men's winter line of cosmetics). Just as a point of interest the fortress is the main attraction for the city so it is very well kept up and was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site in 1997.
Rachel actually paid money to strike this bell below... and she wonders why the Korean people love her!


Anonymous said...

Hey Guys: Love all your pic's, it keeps me ocuppied while at work. The boyz say hi. Raith said that he was in Korea & went on quite an adventure with you.
Love ya: The Boyz & Sis.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rachel and Trevor, I/m impressed with your catalogue of adventures - and your commentaries. Good Stuff.
May you have a CHRIST filled Christmas tho' very nontrditional -for you.
Max and Oce