Sunday, March 1, 2009

Korea – JAB in the Land of Kim Chi…

It’s been almost a year, since I’ve last visited Korea. I just returned yesterday from a business trip to Seoul and still got jetlag. So,- taking into account, that I didn’t write any blog article this year yet, I thought this would be a great opportunity to drop a couple of lines for you guys.

So,- what can I tell you about Seoul? Despite the fact that I didn’t have a lot of time for sightseeing, this Metropolis made quite an impression on me. Parted in the middle by the huge river Han Gang, South Korea’s capital inhabits more than 10 Million people.

Map picture

I also got a good look at the sheer size of this city, by looking down from the Seoul Tower. The view that you get from up there on a clear day is just magnificent and definitely worth a visit.

From up there everything looks peaceful and calm, but it’s quite the opposite. Downtown Seoul is one of the busiest places I’ve ever seen in my entire life. If you’d have to find a city that never sleeps, then Seoul would be a good candidate to start with. Apart from that, it’s also a shopping heaven,- provided you can reach to one of the many shopping streets through the horrendously heavy traffic. Once arrived downtown, one will soon find out, that people and cars are literally sharing roads. Everyone’s on the move! Masses of people followed by cars followed by masses of people. Seoul is bustling with life.

I arrived on Sunday and since I didn’t want to give in to my “sleepiness”, I visited Deoksugung Palace and Gyeongbok Palace, two imperial palaces in Seoul that probably represent best, what used to be the ancient, traditional Korean building style and architecture. I was told that substantial parts of the historical monuments were destroyed during World War II. What remained, was rescued or could be renovated, can be marveled at, right in the “Soul of Seoul”.

Gyeongbok PalaceGyeongbok Palace


Like most Asian folks, Korean people fancy a hot and spicy diet. Especially octopus and other seafood courses seem predominant in the local cuisine, sided by all kinds of interesting veggies, from most I don’t even know the names. The most important and by no doubt the most famous side dish however, is Kim Chi, a mixture of fermented vegetables, garlic and only God knows what kind of spices. Having tried this specialty for several times now, I must admit that I am still not particularly fond of it, but hey,– it’s a true experience of flavor and most definitely worth a try.
What I also found intriguing, are the many food stalls and merchants selling their delicacies all around town. Seoul is really an adventurous place, full of vivid colors and contrasts, pleasing your eyes with an overdose of new and exciting impressions.
Going to the Market

Selling Octopus  Hot and Spicy
Marial ArtsOn the last day of my business trip, I took the afternoon off to explore Downtown Seoul. Once again and out of pure luck, I ran into a Martial Arts show near the Seoul Tower. The artists showed different traditional fighting styles and stunned the audience with their exceptional performance, skill and precision. Thank you Korea, it’s been a great time!


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunset in Wernstein

The sun is setting behind the Castle Neuburg, as it draws its majestic gaze down upon the river Inn and the village of Wernstein. It's the last couple of December days and I'm taking some time off to hang out in cool places and relax. I'm laying my 2008 to rest and looking forward to a happy, successful - and most of all healthy 2009. Happy New Year everyone!


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