Looking for a place where we could stretch our legs, Neil and I went to walk around the Olympic Park. In 1988, Seoul hosted the Summer Olympic Games with such pride and success. Neil told me it was the Olympic Games which brought about a movement towards democracy for South Korea. It was President Park Chung-hee who first proposed the idea for hosting the Olympics, wishing to receive international approval for his authoritarian leadership. Even though he was assassinated in 1979, South Korea’s efforts to win the bid for the Olympics continued.
The main entrance is lined with funny faces on totem poles, and leads to an arch of all the different flags. From this point you can see up in the hills people walking different trails. Neil and I first walked through the sculpture park. The descriptions of the different works were written in both Korean and English, but even those weren’t very helpful in deciphering what some of the modern art were supposed to symbolize.
It was a windy day, but the sun kept us warm enough. We walked through the trails and enjoyed the peaceful air away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Just coming out of winter, everything from the grass on the hills to the tree branches had a honey colored glow. There were no festivals or exhibitions taking place when visited, but I preferred to enjoy the quietness. Living in Seoul is fun and lively, but sometimes I just miss the stillness of things. Going to the Olympic Park was like stepping through a portal, where we could no longer hear the buses and taxis, only the leaves crunching under our feet and birds singing. We walked for so long and took so many pictures that we were so tired and hungry, so we ended the night by eating at Kraze burger! It will be interesting to see how Korea prepares to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Yuna Lee is a current instructor at Chung Dahm Learning. Yuna was born and raised in the D.C. metropolitan area and graduated from the University of Mary Washington. She has traveled to many different places including Honduras, Ecuador, and Nepal. However with her father being Korean, she wanted to learn more about her heritage, so she set off to Seoul, Korea to do some soul-searching. Now, she is loving the freedom and independence of her post-college life. Teaching at Chung Dahm has been such a rewarding experience. Follow her blog to read up on the interesting things she has to share!