Seoul and University

Two memorable days, the first at Seoul National University and then a taste of Seoul.

Half of these photographs are courtesy of Professor Dong Woo Suh.

At Shingyongju station

At the station in Gyeongu

in the KTX where we received a message that In Gee Kim's daughter was born

Not completely sure where this is but could be in the main railway station at Seoul where we had lunch (bibimbap)

Translation service in taxis

Arrival at the guest house at Seoul National University

A lot of trees

Beautiful campus

This symbol formed itself from the random froth. Entropy permits this to happen but with very low probability.

An old Friend, Professor Dong Nyung Lee of Seoul National University. He told the story of the five, four and three fingers of the Chinese, Japanese and Korean dragons respectively. Of course, he also knows about texture!

This is where Dong Woo Suh used to work when he did his Ph.D. at Seoul National University

The desk in the corner was where he created great science

FIB/FEGSEM laboratory

FIB/FEGSEM laboratory

Scanning electron microscope

Nanoindenter, and this is Professor Hueng Nam Han who invited Harry to present a colloquim

The campus of Seoul National University

X-ray diffraction


Building 21 opposite is where pharmaceuticals are studied, where Dong Woo's sister graduated

The art museum as we leave SNU

The main gate with the symbol of SNU

Veritas Mea Lux - the truth is my light

The Metro Station in Seoul

The gate to Changdeokgung Palace in Seoul

The number of visitors is restricted so Coffee!

Cuddly bear - what are the chances?


The Gate to the Palace

The giant wooded gates are held together by steel implements

The building is the office of the King. The ministers stand next to the stones. The stones are numbered, and rank towards No. 1 as the King's location is approached

The miniterial stones

The Chandeliers are a late addition from European influence

An ancient video camera

The buildings are all elevated to provide the 1500 years established underfloor heating system

The white material is paper, which is moistened, fixed and shrinks on drying to provide a perfect flat surface

Notice the lock

Underfloor heating system

Intricate wooden grill

These rocks were a source of admiration.

The Ondol heating system. The word means "warm stone".

A time piece. The lines to be used to read time depend on season. We are currently in March so the time here is 11.22 a.m.

These are the containers which kept water for fire safety. There never was a fire at this Palace


This is the beginning of a 90 minute walk through a part of the secret garden. The number of visitors is controlled and entrance is by reservation only. It is peaceful and serene.

The word Gazebo seems to have been derived by combining "gaze" and making it appear Latin by adding "bo". Gaze simply means to look with some longing.

Some of the trees are centuries old

The inscription is in Chinese because common people could not read such complex terms so the King used this to show that he is uncommon

There are many Gazebos where one can sit and contemplate bainite

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a gazebo is a small building, particularly in a garden with a view of the surrounding area

The shutters which form the walls of these Gazebos can be folded away

... to leave open walls

Another clock in the secret garden. This one may not be necessary since time does not matter in this place.

Some of the books are now in Japan and in the process of being returned

What are the chances of meeting someone from Darwin College, in the Secret Garden in Seoul.

Helen Robinson came and asked "Excuse me, are you from Darwin College?"

Helen was a student in Darwin and left in 2008 to return to Australia

Her work done in Cambridge has been published in the Lancet

It was a real joy and a remarkable concurrence of events that led to this encounter

Helen's return flight to Australia was on the following day.

Professor Dong Woo Suh and Helen.

The focus here should be on the copper roof

This pond is carved like the Korean Peninsula

Dong Woo, looking into the distance

Shows the progress of time

By amazing coincidence, met Helen Robinson from Darwin College in the Secret Garden

A carpet of leaves

This was our wonderful guide, who spoke perfect English and had a deep knowledge of history

The backpack.

This tree is about 750 years old

This tree is about 750 years old. In special ceremonies, small branches from this tree are used for incense.

In the soul of Seoul

Dong Woo is like Mathew - he has a big camera


Vegetarian bibimbap

A large model of bibimbap

Incredible imagination

Another coffee stop

We left our mark at the Coffee Shop

At Insa Dong

This is Insa Dong, a cornucopia of shops selling crafts

Do not come here with money - it is a very tempting place

A river in Seoul, with stones arranged to crate turbulence and Fenshui. The flow is from right to left, and therefore against the gradient illustrated. A bit like uphill diffusion during spinodal decomposition.

An interesting bridge. Suspension bridge. Or is the suspension mainly decorative? The stream is Cheonggaechun.

The suspension mechanism is one I have not seen before

It is not necessary to have a big gap below the bridge so the suspension does not require tall towers

The wire rope appears to be stainless steel, but we did not have elementary tools available to check for magnetism or structure

Stainless steel

Students, explaining their case (protesting) against the costs of education.

These chocolates are made in England

This building surrounds the burnt gate to Seoul. This was the no. 1 National Treasure, caught fire two years ago, and is being meticulously restored

Abstract art everywhere

An incredibly imaginative sculptre

This is a special pure plum juice, which should be diluted, 70% water 30% juice. Courtesy of Jung Guensu's parents

It is a product of Gwangyang in South Korea. Cao Cao, the great general and the leader in ancient China, once was on a journey where his soldiers got thirsty and exhausted. He explained that over the hill ahead there would be a plum orchard, and he would let them to eat to their hearts content. The soldiers instantly thought about the plum and the sour taste of it. That made their mouths water, and they forgot their thirst.

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