Sunday, August 16, 2009

Two Hundreds and Two Minutes at Changgyeong Palace with Vivilota

Changgyeong Palace is a palace located in Seoul, South Korea. Originally the Summer Palace of the Goryeo Emperor, it later became one of the Five Grand Palaces of the Joseon Dynasty.
The palace was originally built as "Suganggung" by King
Sejong for his father, Taejong, but in 1483 renovated and enlarged by King Seongjong at which time it received its current name. During the colonial period, the Japanese built a zoo, botanical garden, and museum on the site. In 1983 the zoo and botanical garden were removed.

Changgyeong Palace is very near from my dormitory where I live. I takes only 10 minutes by bus. Normally, I like to enjoy nature. If I get chance to enjoy it, then I try not to miss it. It was the same, when my friend Vivi, from Bulgaria asked me whether I would like to go to visit Changgyeong Palace. In one sentence, I said " Yeap" even though I went there two or three times before. Vivi came to Korea to visit her friend Sofia only for couple of days, but being interested about Korea (specially our dormitory friends), it tooks almost 6 months to go back herself to Bulgaria.
Anyway, when Vivi and I stood in front of the main gate (Honghwamun) of the place, I felt that I went back 500 years ago and got the burning smell of Honghwamun (it was first built in 1484 but burned down during the Japanese invasion of 1952 . it was rebuilt in 1616) . By the way, Vivi was very curious to look around the whole place and was busy to take pictures and to make video too. I tried to explain something about place (even though somethings I didn't know!!!!!!) to her. When she understood that I was telling lie, then she was srceaming with her nice voice my name .. AHIIII JAMALI.... Anyway, I miss it now.

I cannot remember which date we been there, probably it was middle of the March, 2007. There were many children in the place at that day, might be it was weekend. The children of different ages were playing with arrows. Vivi and I tried to do it with the children . For me, it is always nice feeling to play with children. Anyhow, neither Vivi nor I could not able to drop our arrow/stick into the hole of the big pot. After playing with children, we entered into the Myeongjeongjeon. Myeongjeongjeon is the main hall of the palace, where state affairs such as meetings with officials and royal banquets were held. It is the oldest main hall of all the palaces in Seoul. It is smaller than the two-story main halls of Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung because it was originally built as living quarters, especially for dowager queens, rather than as a throne hall.

Vivi was observing all the parts of the main hall with her curious eyes and was taking pictures from the different angles.. After looking around the main hall we went to the garden. It is not very big but there are many types of trees specially Bonsai. One of my colleagues of university used to make Bonsai and she gifted me one Mango Bonsai but I could not able to take care of it. I felt chugum (in Korean, a little bit.... I like to use this word always) sad for my mango bonsai. By the way, Vivi asked me whether I knew some of the trees' name or not. And such kind of condition, specially trees' name, I am very expert to tell lie but It was not difficult to understand for Vivi. I was telling myself " Woh poor Jamali, this is not good place to tell lie". Actually, It is really very difficult for me to differentiate the different kinds of trees except bamboo tree. After taking fresh air inside the garden, we went to look around the lake. We sat on the bench in front of the lake as we were little bit tired to walk almost three hours. After spending 22 minutes in front of the lake observing the ducks and fishes, we started to walk towards our dormitory. Thus I finished two hundreds two minutes'(202) tour at Changgyeong Palace with my friend, Vivilota.............

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