Saturday, August 04, 2007

Busan Korea Catch-Up Part 2

Well, I'm now almost completely back on EDT. Now just gave to get completely back in the swing of things in the office...the final push of writing and research before the summer is over.

BUT FIRST, another look bak at my fantastic trip to South Korea.
We're up to my final day, which was Sunday. Woke up rather early and went for a walk across the Kyoungsung University campus and into part of the city. One of the first things I came upon was their library (which also contains their student athletic rec center, a performance hall, and their Dept. of Dance). Outside is a cage of about 1000 square feet that contains about 5 huge sea eagles like these (sorry for the out-of-focus).

After a (much-needed) relaxing morning sitting around the guest house, Professor Kwon picked me up and we went up onto a hill that is behind Kyoungsung where I got a great view of part of Busan...through the humid haze:

Now, let me give a little aside. I flew over on Northwest Airlines (although many on my trip referred to it as "Northworst" I honestly didn't have a problem with them). Their in-flight magazine did a story on Dubai, and one of the little inset pics showed indoor skiing in the desert city. Couldn't believe it. I thought to myself "How cool [I often use puns when talking to myself] would that be, to go skiing when it's burning hot outside!"

Well, to add to this incredible trip...guess what Busan has? That's right, it's the Snow Castle is right on this very same hill. And, even though they were just getting ready for a grand opening August 11, we happened to be there on a day when they were having a by-invitatation-only event to have people try the facility out. We thought, for a few minutes, that we were going to actually be able to rent skis, equipment, and such. But, turns out we needed to have been invited. Still, Kwon was able to talk them into giving us 2 entry passes so we could at least take pictures from "the slope."

From below freezing to back outside, where it was 87-degrees and very humid. Off we went to the Westin Chosun, Busan. George W. Bush stayed in this hotel during the APEC summit in 2005. In fact, he rented the entire hotel for security purposes. Or, rather, I helped pay for him to rent the entire hotel during his stay.

We walked from the Westin to the actual APEC Center where the conference actually took place.
A glace over my shoulder revealed the beach which I'd seen during my trip to the Busan Aquarium. However, Professor Kwon told me that this weekend over 1 million people would be on this beach EACH DAY. Couldn't believe it.

So, here I am in front of the space-ship looking APEC center...which is now pretty much a museum dedicated to this bit of international relations in Dynamic Busan.

Me in front of the tapestry that welcomes visitors. In it are the 12 symbols of longevity: sun, cloud, mountain, rock, water, crane, deer, turtle, pine tree, herb of eternal youth (!?!), bamboo, and mythical peach.

Where President Bush sat. Joined on each side by Vietnam and Thailand.

An "artistic shot" of the conference center. I took this just before the thunder we'd been hearing was joined by rain and lightning. We ran to the car in time to get stuck in having 1 million beach goers come off the beach.

With no more captive audience, the advertising blimps were grounded.

So, with the rain pouring down, we went shopping at the Korean version of Walmart...E-Mart.

Impressions on that next time.

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