A Visit to Gyeongbokgung

On my first morning in Seoul, South Korea, Jon and I headed for Gyeongbokgung — the largest palace in Seoul and recommended to us by a friend. This was my first visit to East Asia and I was beyond excited to explore.

Ticket Office at Gyeongbokgung
January 26, 2013

When we booked the tickets, I don’t think Jon or I anticipated how cold it would be in Seoul so let me be clear: it was cold. Since we were on the way to New Zealand (where it was the dead of beach season), I wasn’t totally mentally prepared for the level of cold (and wind!!) we faced each day. I brought many layers (though I only wore two pairs of pants each day…one less than Jon’s mom while in Ireland).

Us bundled up in front of the entrance
January 26, 2013

Jon switched to a hat that covered his ears about 10 seconds after this picture was taken.

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Tower of London

(Since a demo crew is intent on turning my morning into an acoustic torture chamber, I will escape to my memories of beautiful London…)

A week or so ago, Tank and I watched Anonymous. I was not a fan of the movie. While I tried to give it a shot, (and without getting too spoilery) the plot twists just made plausibility more and more tenuous. Plus, I kept thinking about the time that I saw Patrick Stewart speak in DC last October during Classic Conversations with Michael Kahn. One of the questions posed to him during the Q&A was about this movie and whether Stewart believed that Shakespeare actually wrote the plays credited to him. His response came to mind while we watched:

“You wouldn’t expect that a glovemaker’s son could have written those plays, just as you wouldn’t expect that a young lad from West Riding could become a Shakespearean actor. There’s no accounting for the driving force and power of creativity.” *

I found, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to agree with him; there’s something romantic about thinking that someone who “shouldn’t” have been able to write these plays actually did.

Anyway, the most exciting part of the movie for me was seeing the Tower of London actually being utilized as a castle — and it’s one thing I think it did quite well.

Book page reading "Tower of London and it's Curiosities"

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