Traditional Korean colours used in traditional style architecture.
South Korea is a country that I intended to visit for a very long time. Contrary to many people who fascinated with neighbouring Japan delve themselves in Japanese language studies, splash out on sushi dinners once in a while or get completely consumed by the lively Japanese pop culture, I became enchanted by the sound of 한국말, the Korean language, and later on the Korean culture.
Whenever I met a Korean traveller surprisingly many of them would frequently about explaining the whereabouts of their homeland, ever so often referencing their neighbour – Japan. It is true, sadly, that the land of sushi and ninjas is far ahead of Korea in terms of popularity. I find that almost everyone is familiar with some part of the Japanese culture, from cute animes and mangas, through the mentioned ninja assassins, insanely wan geisha ladies, ending with raw fish. Who of us has never heard words like sayonara or arigatou? Or perhaps of such urban monsters like Tokyo,
On route across Bohol Island.
Our rental Hondas speed along the occasionally winding road that takes us across the densely forested island. After we pass Loboc, one of the few little towns that actually appear on the map, we go past only a small number of clearings where some unnamed hamlets sprung up on the roadside. Other then that, the road is surrounded by tall subtropical trees, bushes, and thick vegetation that all but encroach upon the tarmac.
A Bohol Island villager with his cattle.
After an hour’s drive the road, which is in a surprisingly good condition, leads us out of the forest into a large flatland that the local Boholanos use as a pasture and a couple of small farms. No longer protected by the thick canopy, our faces get pummelled by thick rain that comes down
Namsan Mountain (남산) and the N Tower.
Sitting comfortably in the heart of Seoul and overlooking its ancient palaces is Namsan (남산), which in Korean stands for the South Mountain. This name, a token of the past, is proof that in times long gone by Namsan Mountain demarcated the southern border of the once small Seoul city, a city that since those times has grown out of proportion. Surrounded by a leafy large public park, Namsan offers a number of hiking opportunities to the locals, while from the top one can admire the panoramic view of the vast urban sprawl that constitutes the South Korean capital.
Sun setting over Namsan and Itaewon disctrict.
Although Namsan amounts to mere 262 metres in height, it can be easily spotted from various
The Rochester Castle.
Rochester is a small town in Kent county, south-east England. Its history dates back all the way to the pre-Roman times, so over 2,000 years ago! On arrival one might think it is a pretty little place. Conveniently located by the River Medway, Rochester sports a beautiful medieval cathedral and a well preserved Rochester Castle which is famed for the 1215 siege that lasted for 2 whole months.
Rochester High Street.
I passed through Rochester a number of times when on a train journey to or from London. Observed from the window of a train, the medieval cozy high street and the wonderfully rectangular fortress always succeeded to catch my attention, making me wish for a stroll around the town’s small streets and stop over for a pint of ale in the local pub. Yet it wasn’t until the summer of 2011 when