Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Garden of the Morning Calm

On Sunday, Kellie and I headed to the Garden of the Morning Calm, which was one of the few places I haven't been in Seoul. It's about a 90 minute to 2 hour trek, depending on the trains and how long they decide to linger at each stop. We met up with Catherine and her friend Jeff.

The weather looked a little ominous in the morning and like it might rain, but we ended up being quite lucky and the clouds cleared soon after we arrived, which allowed for some wonderful pictures to be taken. I must warn you, I've been playing around with editing my photos a bit and used the pictures from Sunday to experiment quite a bit. I think they turned out great, but I might be a bit biased.

But first, the unedited pictures of us at the gardens.

The top picture is Catherine. Kellie is to the right and below this picture.

Kellie and I. And the a lack of flowers somehow, considering there were flowers everywhere!

The gardens are so beautiful. There is a huge variety of flowers and it's quite expansive. They were designed by a horticulturalist named Han Sang-kyung. The name comes from Sir Tagore, the  Indian poet, who described Korea during the Joseon Dynasty as "The Land of the Morning Calm." There are 5,000 different kinds of plants.

This is my favorite.
We walked around for quite a while, each taking tons of pictures, much to the chagrin of Jeff, I'm sure.

Just as we walked up these stairs, a man released a large amount of flatulence without pausing or flinching or looking the slightest embarrassed. Both Kellie and I looked at each other in alarm, but also started laughing. Jeff also heard it even though he was several meters behind us and definitely had not gone up the stairs.

The lovely Kellie and the lovely flowers.

 Kellie's thug look.

 Kellie joining in on the refusal to cooperate.

You can kind of see in this picture how large the gardens are, since what is visible here is just a small portion.
 Somebody being uncooperative.

 Kellie photobombing
 I like the reflections in this photograph,.

 Here I am joining in on the lack of cooperation.

 It was just so beautiful!
 The sun reflecting perfectly on the water.
 Kellie making her signature picture face.
There were a couple greenhouses that housed interesting plants.

Kellie on the subway back to Seoul.
We got Yeti, of course, which I believe was Kellie's favorite restaurant we went to during her visit. It is fantastically delicious and, as Kellie pointed out, quite generous with their naan. Seattle naan is minuscule in comparison.
 The new location of Yeti!

Luckily, they kept my favorite part of the old restaurant: a giant painted Yeti on the wall. You guys don't even understand how much I will miss this restaurant when I leave Korea.

These next pictures are my experiments with editing pictures. I boycotted for a long time because I felt it was cheating, until I realized that my pictures could look pretty awesome. I still try to limit what I do, but I do like making the colors brighter. I also enjoyed making some of them black and white, just to see. So here are my experiments!

This picture took a while for me to get right when I took it. I wanted it to focus just on the center part of the flower. After much shaking of the hands, I finally succeeded.

As my friend said, the garden looks like a dream!

The traditional Korean portion of the gardens was beautiful. I loved the reflections in the water.

 I loved how they mixed all of the flowers and colors together into giant bunches of flowers.

 There was a bee.

My friend told me these are called "Cosmos" in Latin.

It's great that you can make a shortish journey on the subway and you're no longer in the enormous city, but in the quiet mountains.

This was enormous. And beautiful.

The piles of rocks you'll find all over Korea, especially at or near the temples.

 I love this flower.
Here are my black and white experiments with the same pictures. Bear with me.

It was a fabulous choice to go to the gardens. They were quite beautiful. I marked it off my bucket list of things I need to see before I leave. Now if I could just find Banpo Bridge for the light show!

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