As i had promised in the last post, I have put some pics i took from Building 63. Check them out @
I have also put the pics of Cheonggyecheon stream and places around it. You can also see them in the link above.. The view from Building 6 is breathtaking.. The seoul city looks really beautiful from up there.. So many lights at such high densities.. The location of the building near Han River (The largest river in Korea) makes the view from its observation deck much more beautiful… Cheonggyecheon stream is a stream restored as recent as 2005. Previously this was covered with a major highway which ran over it. With a cost of over $912 million, it was finally restored and beautified.
Recently I started gaining interest in High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. Actually an interest in this technique has been lingering in my mind for some time now. But i did not have enough equipment to shoot them. With my recently bought Nikon D40x and a tripod, I started learning about HDR Photography and experimenting with the technique. If you wanna see what HDR Photography is all about, click on the following link..
I know that there is some lack of originality which makes the viewer think that the pic might be fabricated and edited in Photoshop, but I assure you that I have not edited the photographs and they are 100% original.. Check the link above to see it yourself.. I feel that i am addicted to this technique and would keep on updating it whenever I get a chance..
I have also taken some HDR photographs of the Cheonggyecheon stream and one of the pics can be seen at the following link..
Now coming to the other part of my post. I had the slowest and the fastest journeys of my entire life on the same day that is on 25th September 2007. Lemme start from the beginning of my day. Along with three Russian friends I had planned to visit a lake which is deemed to be very beautiful. So we all started off to Choengju from the Express bus terminal bus station after traveling there by Seoul Metro. After a 125 KM long ride in two hours we reached the place. But surprisingly upon asking a localite about the location of the river, we were shocked to find that we were very very far from the actual place and she said that we had misunderstood the place name and that the place where we should have gone is Chungju..
Damn it… Cheongju… Chungju… Cheongju… Chungju.. what the hell.. We cursed our stars and took another ticket to Chungju from Chongju. We were appalled to find that this phase of the journey too was similar in distance.. About 123 KM. Having no other option left we took the $7.5 bus ticket and started the journey to Chungju… The bus driver seemed to think he was driving a ferrari i guess. Why i was saying was because, he was driving the gargantuan bus through the busy Korean roads in such a zig zag manner through the cars ahead of him that we all had to hold onto the seats in front of us to avoid falling down.. (and i am NOT exaggerating) .. He applied abrupt brakes as well as accelerated sooo fast as if his ass was on fire that even the heavy luggages on the upper rack was traveling front and back with such vehement force. Finally we reached after another two hours of drive to Chungju. By the time we arrived, it was noon and we went to a restaurant to have traditional Korean food called Bibimbap. Actually this is one of my most favorite dishes in korea. You can see the picture of the dish in the following link..
After lunch we went to the boat jetty and paid another $16 for the taxi. After reaching the jetty, we took a boat ticket which was overpriced for that day to $10 from $8 because of the festival there. Without bothering about all these at that time, we took the ticket and waited for the boat to arrive for our 1 Hr boat journey into the Chungju lake..
In one word I would say “Awesome”… I felt that all these hardships and the expenses on the way here was worth it. It was a picturesque journey through the green mountains and placid but gargantuan lake. Imagine you are drifting, with your feet off the ground, through something very peacefully with pleasant and fresh breeze kissing your face on the way. It was a similar feeling with huge mountain all around you. I have posted some pics HDR and non HDR at the links below.
The slowest journey of my life was that night when i was returning from Chungju to Seoul. As the distance back to seoul was somewhat similar (about 120 KM) , we got into the bus at 8:15 pm expecting for an arrival at 10:30 pm like the previous two equidistant journeys. But you have no idea.. The regular two hour journey seemed to take ages.. I slept in the bus thinking that i would take a short nap before reaching Seoul but after seemingly long time when I got off the bus at Seoul it was about 4 am. We took 8 hours to travel 120 KM (Avg speed of 15KM/Hr) on the usual roads where the normal average speed is around 100 KM/Hr. Thanks to the thanksgiving day 🙂 , there was such a huge traffic jam and we were sure that if we got down the bus and traveled along with it walking/running mix, we could have reached faster.. Never in my life did i travel such a distance so slowly.
Now about te fastest ride of my life… After reaching Seoul at 4 am, we were still 20 KM away from Stay 7, our home. So bidding farewell to Alexy and Anna, Sergey and Me took a cab to our home. Once we started our journey back home, I felt that i was flying. The cab raced us through the Seoul streets @ 120-130 KM/Hr constant speed and the $21 bill we paid the driver seemed to be worth the ride.. 🙂
So was how my first two out of the three days of Chuseok was utilized. The third day, that is yesterday, I went with my mentor and his G.F. to some Historical Korean places and had chicken + beer party in the night. I drank 750 ml for the first time of my life 🙂 .. Din feel any kick or sth but i decided to merge with the Korean social drinkin style though I would take care not to be a drunkard. 😛
That was my pretty busy 1st Chuseok celebrations.. Today also we are having a soccer match within the lab at 5 pm. And I also have a Korean Speaking test and Quiz at 6 30. Pray that I do well.