Sunday, October 19, 2008

Olympic Park

On suggestion from my friend and mother who were here visiting last week, we headed over to Olympic Park this weekend. This was the location of the Summer Olympics that were held in Seoul in 1988. The park is very big and very big... for a park in Seoul at least. It was nice to get out of downtown for a little while. The air wasn't SO smoggy. There's lots to see at the park. Supposedly there is an Olympic museum and an art museum, but we didn't even go to see those. We were entertained enough by just walking through the park.

The Olympics brought a lot to Korea. It ushered in a new era of democracy, encouraging the military dictatorship that had ruled the country for many years into electing a president. This was kind of the hope of bringing the Olympics to Beijing.. in hopes that it would bring more democracy. But no such luck. Though, I do think that the Beijing Olympics did one good thing. It made China face thier horrendous air quality issues. I guess the Olympics brings different improvements to different places.

The flags of all the countries that participated in the Olympics.

Lots of Korean parks have exercise equpment like this. Usually you see ajummas (women in thier 50's and 60's) using these sort of things... they are usually in much better shape than me. Here it was mostly kids using it as if it were a playground.

I've found that Koreans have a affinty for strange sculptures and outdoor art. The city is full of it, and Olympic Park seems to need one always in view of where ever you are standing. Here are some more examples.

What is it? We're not quite sure... but it is nice to see grass in Korea... especially grass that you're allowed to walk on....

Again... what is it? Art... I don't get it...
This was the most perplexing of any statues we'd seen yet in Korea. Giant thumb. Any ideas of the siginfigance?

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