Wednesday, October 17, 2007

DMZ Tower

Today was the obligatory trip to the De-Militarized Zone. We visited the Paju Mt. Odu Unification Observatory, or as I've often heard it called the Peace Observatory.

Some strange creatures on display:

Here are some views looking across the DMZ into North Korea:

Since it was getting to be lunch time, we found the only restaurant there at the observatory and sat down for lunch. We arrived at a good time, because as we were eating our meal about 200 people poured into the place to eat lunch with us! I ordered the Stone-Bowl Bibimbap (mixed rice meal) and TSP chose Samgyetang (Korean Chicken Ginseng Soup)

To my surprise, TSP ate the ginseng and other things which were stuffed inside the chicken along with the rice. In the past, I thought these things were only for seasoning! In fact, they continued to eat ginseng and other seasonings we encountered throughout the week. The worst was the ginseng-milk mixture they made me sample at the E-Mart the other day. The lady told me she put ginseng and milk in a blender and whipped up this drink. It had a strong taste, too strong for me. Well, after the DMZ we went to Namsan (literally "the south mountain") to visit the Seoul Tower. Oh, sorry, since it has been remodeled they call it "N Seoul Tower". Maybe it means NEW? NAMSAN? NEEDLE? I had a navigation problem finding the correct place to park. I wanted to take the cable car to the top, because TSM broke her toe on Sunday. Actually I drove by the cable car parking lot by mistake, and we ended up parking at the base of a long trail to the tower. The guard told us it was only a 200 meter hike to the cable car boarding place, so off we went. I would say it was close to 400 or 500 meters, but we found it and went up for our visit.

Unfortunately, even with the cable car ride, we still had several very steep flights of stairs to climb. Our timing for this visit was perfect. We got to see the city before sunset, at sunset, and in the dark.

Also, we saw some more strange creatures at the N Seoul Tower

Up at the tower, there was a computer photo sketch machine. We had two sketches made:

After the tower, we were so tired we decided to only have pizza for dinner. Lucky for us, there was a Dominos Pizza store just down the street from TSP hotel. Instead of the normal pepperoni or USA-style pizza, I ordered a couple of different ones that have been made for Korean tastes. We ate a Double Crust Steak Pizza and a Bulgogi Pizza, along with a bottle of Cass:

Finally, let me try another test of the Blogger movie capability. If this works, it is a short movie of our lunch today. This was taken by TSF, and I must say I had almost forgotten about the movie clip ability of my camera. My previous digital camera had this feature, but the result was pretty poor. But these latest generation of digital cameras make pretty decent movies. I would say the quality is similar to the old 8mm home movies.

NOT - the movie upload not only failed, but it completely messed up my post. I had to go back and edit it by hand to clean it up. I guess this feature is not quite ready for prime time.

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