Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rainy day field trip

A sense of adventure and a hankering for some exercise took resident discoverer Matt Kelley and me on a three-hour bike jaunt along Seoul's Han River last Saturday. The spotty rain didn't make for ideal biking conditions (note my muddy butt below!), but the overcast skies were certainly a welcome break from the sweltering heat Seoul has weathered in the last few weeks. We rented bikes from Yeouido Park (directly across from our KBS office) and headed west along the Han. Matt was keen to show me the islet of Seonyudo, a pleasant fusion of industry and green space, which he calls one of his favorite spots in the capital city. Seonyudo is home to a former water treatment facility which was reborn as a post-modern ecological park in the early part of the decade.

Thanks, Seoul Metropolitan Government, for this aerial shot of Seonyudo.

Infrastructure from the facility was incorporated into the design, as well as a museum where Korean speakers can learn all kinds of fun facts about the ecology of the Hangang (I just enjoyed the pictures and flashing lights!). The park's combination of steely hardware, water, and lush landscaping makes for a surprisingly appealing aesthetic experience.

The "Rainbow Bridge" links Seonyudo to the south bank of the Han River. Lights along the bridge's arc create a lovely scene at night.

The pink ponchos brighted an otherwise dreary day.

Matt was lucky to be wearing two shirts. I, on the other hand, shocked fellow public transport users on my way home (see below). I'm used to drawing all kinds of inquisitive staring, but a friendly smile (my typical modus operandi) didn't seem to pacify the befuddlement last Saturday.

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