Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Hwaseong Fortress

Our first weekend back we decided to take advantage of the warmer weather and start some Korea exploring! It was cold before we went back to the states, so it's nice to get out and see all that Korea has to offer. We decided to check out the Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon; just a 30 minute drive from where we live. It took some time to find it becuase it is smack dab in the middle of a very big city, but we got there. The fortress is huge and I wish I could tell you something about it; but with little daylight left, we had to hike up to the Fortress and back down quickly.

As we were driving to the Fortress, school was getting out and kids where everywhere. Every school here has a uniform dress code for the students; which is why we notice there aren't a whole lot of sub-cultures. Most koreans (especially the younger ones) dress a bit preppy and are always clean cut. You don't really see the groups we see in the states (urban, goths, hip hop, etc.)
Our first glance of the Fortress
Getting prepped for the climb...
Lots of steps! Almost to the top!
Where's Waldo???

If I haven't said it before; Korea is just one big sea of APARTMENTS!!
Cute old men just chit chatting...or apparently just observing the dirt on the ground :)
In so many places, you will find Koreans "exercising". You don't see them running or going to gyms (I've only seen one), but they will be in parks or sidewalks where there are bars or free standing elipticals for locals to stretch or do cardio. They are everywhere and you will always see them being used. Here this cute lady is doing some serious stretching!!
I was pretending to take another picture of the Fortress, but I really wanted another shot of this lady :) Can you see her on the bottom right? You can click on the picture to enlarge it I think. She is wearing her mask which a ton of Koreans where cause of the Yellow Dust pollution and the random stink that is so apparent here. Turn a corner on a side walk and the sweet aroma of who knows what follows you home!!

Everything was in bloom!
Last look of the city before our hike down...are you ready Andy? "Tara, I was BORN ready!!
The exterior wall of the FortressAnother cute lady on her bike waiting to cross the street. Not only do they love their masks; but they are big fans of the VISORS :)
I know we parked our car here somewhere :)

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