MontanaRon

An English teacher's blog about his travels and his digital art.

Month: March 2010

Jasan Park

To continue, somewhat belatedly, from my prior post, I was at the top of the hill where Jasan Park is situated, near Odong Island. Here’s a view of one of Yeosu’s residential areas. Notice the odd-looking structure, the white building, in the upper left.

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Here’s a cropped, zoomed-in shot.

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I’d seen this building before, but I’d never gotten close enough to find out what it’s function might be. Is it a convention center or a post-modern art gallery? We’ll find out later, because I was determined to walk to it.

In the meantime, I walked to the other side of the park, which overlooks the construction site of the new bridge from Dolson Island to this section of Yeosu.

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It should be an impressive addition to the Yeosu transportation system when it’s finished in time for Expo 2012.

Continuing down from the bridge overlook, I stumbled across this small (one building) temple near the bottom of the hill. Below is a shot of the building and a few close-ups of some details.

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If I thought that Hyangiram had a sea motif, I would probably say that this small out-of-the-way temple has a tiger guardian theme.

I’ve got a lot more to post about this walk of a few weekends past, but there’s too much to put into one entry, so I’ll spread the whole thing over several posts. Stay tuned for the New Dolsan Bridge, Hamel Light, Jongpo Ocean Park and the Mystery Building.

P.S. Weather today in Yeosu–2 inches of rain, according to the Korean Meteorological website, with just as much forecast for tomorrow.

Yeosu 2012 Expo Site

Well, maybe Spring is finally here (oops, just jinxed everything again :smile:). Today was very nice, temperature in the 60s F and a light breeze during the morning and early afternoon, which turned into a howling banshee around 4 o’clock this afternoon. I did an early morning jog of 50 minutes and then I took off on a three-hour ride on my bicycle for the first time, riding up and down the hills of Yeosu, down by the ocean, up into the hills again and back to the campus. A bit too much for the first time–I’m totally wiped out. Probably shouldn’t have taken the jog.

As the day progressed, the haze in Yeosu became pretty bad, with some of the mountains obscured by whatever was in the air. At least last weekend was clear. As I mentioned in a previous post, I took some photos in a walkaround down by the Expo 2012 site and elsewhere. Here are a few shots from then.

First, here’s an artist’s depiction of what the site will look like when the Expo opens. Looks pretty nice.

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If it actually ends up looking like this, it will be pretty spectacular. Right now, the reality is quite different from the final expectation. There’s a lot of demolition going on at the site, structures being torn down, areas being leveled, new roadways going in.

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The next shot, an overview of part of the site, was taken from the top of Jasan Park, which is situated high above the Expo site and Odongdo. Lots of work to do yet, but I’m sure it will all be finished in time.

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There’s quite a nice Expo 2012 Visitor’s Center on the site. Here’s a shot of the lobby. There are two floors, a conference room, auditorium, and many exhibits documenting the themes of the Expo, the construction of the site, the importance of the oceans in relation to the environment, and the expectations of the organizers.

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Koreans, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and other people around the world (but especially here in East Asia, it seems) love to create androgynous, cartoonish characters to represent their special events. Here are the mascots for Expo 2012, YEOny and SUny (my capitals), a play on Yeosu, positioned outside the visitors’ center. Read about what the names mean here. Cute and adorable, eh?

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Finally, here’s a shot of an eyesore right next door to the visitors’ center, an amusement park. I’m not too amused, and I hope it’s taken down and/or moved, but that’s just my opinion. I imagine it’ll be history soon. I’ve walked in the area more than a few times and this place never seems to be all that busy. Nothing against the owners, but it just doesn’t fit in with the overall look of the area. Perhaps it can be relocated.

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I hope I can continue working here until 2012. That’s my desire, and if it comes to pass that I’m still here until then, I’ll try to document the ongoing construction of and subsequent opening of Expo 2012.

I have quite a few more photos to post from last weekend, including one of the most bizarre buildings I’ve ever seen, and there’s an interesting tale of shipwrecked Dutch sailors in Yeosu. Stay tuned for more later.

Weather Woes

As I figured a few posts back, I jinxed Yeosu by talking about the nice spring-like weather. Sure enough, we had around an inch and a half of rain yesterday. Though it was warm while the rain was coming down, as soon as the front passed through, cold air followed. It was near freezing this morning and a vicious wind snapped at me as I walked to work this morning. The skies are clear and the sun is shining brightly right now, but the temperatures are still somewhat low and the wind is still whipping around. Sigh. In reality, spring doesn’t officially arrived until the 21st. Hopefully, we’ll see the permanent arrival of spring soon, but rain and cooler temperatures are forecast for the upcoming weekend.

Meanwhile, I’m sure the people in South-East Asia could use some of our rain. They’ve been experiencing one of their worst droughts in decades, with the Mekong River running (barely, in places) at its lowest levels in memory. You can read about it at the The Voice of America website: and in another article, Drought in the Mekong Basin. I talked to my friend Nai last night, and the drought is affecting him and his family. One the one hand, they have a water pump (courtesy of yours truly) to bring water to their crops; on the other, there is sometimes no water to pump. He tells me that the cost of drinking water and electricity has shot sky-high, and many Lao people are putting the blame on their government (for the prices) and on China (for all their dam-building upstream on the Mekong). Then there’s the heat: I check the Vientiane weather every day, and for the past several weeks, except for a few days last week, the daily high temperature has been in the mid-90s to low-100s. Hopefully, they’ll get some relief soon, and I’ll continue to help them out when I can.

Then, there were the series of snowstorms in the eastern and north-eastern areas of the United States this past winter. A lot of people who think that there’s no such thing as global warming going on, such as Sen. James Inhofe, seem to think that all the snow and cold disprove global warming. Yet, at the same time the east was being buried, Canada was experiencing it’s warmest winter ON RECORD. You can read about that here at Dr. Jeff Masters’ weather blog at Weather Underground. Not that either of these events proves or disproves anything–I’m just sayin’.

Early NASCAR at Daytona Beach

I used to be a huge fan of the American auto racing series, NASCAR. I’m not anymore, due to a variety of reasons, chief of which is that it’s just become too corporate and buttoned-down for my taste; too controlled, in my opinion. I first started to enjoy the races in the late 1970s, when “King” Richard Petty still ruled the track. Petty won a record 7 Daytona 500 races, NASCAR’s biggest event, which is also called “The Great American Race.” It’s a harbinger of spring, since it’s held near the end of February in Daytona Beach, Florida. (I guess it’s almost always spring in Florida in February, if not summer. :smile:)

I was just browsing around when I found this photo essay that was published on the 50th Anniversary Race. It mostly features some of the early races at the beach and at the racetrack. Yeah, they used to race right on the beach. Awesome!

Here’s a photo I lifted from the Time site. I hope they don’t mind–I am giving them credit, but if they have a gripe about me using the photo, I guess I’ll have to pull it, not that they’ll notice this little backwater blog. The caption on the website reads:

Airborne
A competitor in the 1953 race hits a pothole on the beach. The early road course, over four miles long, was notoriously treacherous.

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If you enjoy vintage auto racing, I encourage you to visit this web site to see more of these classic shots.

Spring, At Last (I Hope)

Finally, we had a nice Saturday in Yeosu, one that saw me walk for several hours in the morning and early afternoon around Odongdo and the downtown area near that part of Yeosu. I took quite a few photos near the Expo 2012 site, up in Jasan Park and at the new walkway on the harbor, Jongno Ocean Park. I have to go through all the shots and process them, but I hope to have some of them posted soon.

In the meantime, because I think (hope, pray, beg) that spring is here at last, I’ve changed the banner photos at the top of the blog, from the wintry scenes to a few spring photos I took around campus last April and a few spring-like shots from Meknes, Morocco. The banner photo should change every time you reload or revisit the blog. Now that I’ve jinxed myself, we’ll probably see the return of cold, freezing weather. 😕

New Class

My schedule changed, so I haven’t really had the time to post in awhile (either that, or I’m sometimes lazy or not much has been going on–take yer pick). I had yet another class given to me. I knew about this class, sort of. My boss talked about it a while back, when she asked me if I was going anywhere for the one-week break in the middle of this semester. I said no, I would be staying in Yeosu. She said there would be a one-hour class at 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday that week and would I like to take it for some extra overtime. Sure, I told her.

Well, come to find out, it’s a 7-week course, which I didn’t know about originally, and it started this week. So now I have 31 contact hours a week, which is keeping me quite busy. No problem, though, because I can always use the extra income.

It looks like we might finally get some spring-like weather today and this weekend. We’ve been having a lot of rainy, cloudy, gloomy, windy days lately. Hopefully, I can get out and snap some photos this weekend. It’s supposed to be sunny, with temperatures near 60F. Stay tuned.

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