A Travellerspoint blog

August 2019

Grandiose Hampton Court Palace, home of King Henry VIII

Building of Hampton Court Palace began in 1515 for Cardinal Wolsey but as Wolsey fell out of favor with King Henry VIII he decided to give the palace to the king

Building of Hampton Court Palace began in 1515 for Cardinal Wolsey but as Wolsey fell out of favor with King Henry VIII he decided to give the palace to the king

Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547; he was the second Tudor monarch and is well-known for his six marriages

Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547; he was the second Tudor monarch and is well-known for his six marriages

The Great Hall was built in 1532 and is famous for its hammerbeam roof; it was designed to impress and to proclaim Henry VIII’s power and magnificence

The Great Hall was built in 1532 and is famous for its hammerbeam roof; it was designed to impress and to proclaim Henry VIII’s power and magnificence

A highlight of the palace is the astronomical clock, designed in 1540; it shows the hours, days of the week, high tides, phases of the moon and signs of the Zodiac

A highlight of the palace is the astronomical clock, designed in 1540; it shows the hours, days of the week, high tides, phases of the moon and signs of the Zodiac

Fountain Court; Hampton Court Palace lies 12 miles SW and upstream of Central London on the River Thames

Fountain Court; Hampton Court Palace lies 12 miles SW and upstream of Central London on the River Thames

When constructed Hampton Court Palace possessed a 36,000 square foot kitchen, a toilet area that could seat 30 people, bowling greens and 60 acres of gardens; the world's oldest surviving hedge maze, designed in 1700, is here too

When constructed Hampton Court Palace possessed a 36,000 square foot kitchen, a toilet area that could seat 30 people, bowling greens and 60 acres of gardens; the world's oldest surviving hedge maze, designed in 1700, is here too

The King's Bedchamber is the most splendid room in the State Apartments; the ceiling is painted with the mythological story of Diana

The King's Bedchamber is the most splendid room in the State Apartments; the ceiling is painted with the mythological story of Diana

King's Privy Garden; first constructed in 1533, the privy garden was transformed into the Baroque style in 1702

King's Privy Garden; first constructed in 1533, the privy garden was transformed into the Baroque style in 1702

King's Privy Chamber; the timber and plaster ceiling of the Chapel (no photos allowed) is considered the most important and magnificent in Britain, but is all that remains of the Tudor decoration, after redecoration supervised by Sir Christopher Wren

King's Privy Chamber; the timber and plaster ceiling of the Chapel (no photos allowed) is considered the most important and magnificent in Britain, but is all that remains of the Tudor decoration, after redecoration supervised by Sir Christopher Wren

Hampton Court was the birthplace of the Church of England when Henry broke with the Roman Catholic church after Pope Clement VII failed to grant him an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon so that he could marry Anne Boleyn

Hampton Court was the birthplace of the Church of England when Henry broke with the Roman Catholic church after Pope Clement VII failed to grant him an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon so that he could marry Anne Boleyn

William III's toilet;  Hampton Court Palace was first opened for public tours during Queen Victoria’s reign and one of the many visitors at the time was Vincent Van Gogh

William III's toilet; Hampton Court Palace was first opened for public tours during Queen Victoria’s reign and one of the many visitors at the time was Vincent Van Gogh

The Pond Gardens; of Henry’s six wives, only one of them actually survived the marriage without execution, divorce or death from other causes

The Pond Gardens; of Henry’s six wives, only one of them actually survived the marriage without execution, divorce or death from other causes

The Great Vine is 250  years old and the largest grape vine in the world according to Guinness; grown on the extension method where one plant fills a glasshouse, as Victorian gardeners thought this method would produce a larger crop

The Great Vine is 250+ years old and the largest grape vine in the world according to Guinness; grown on the extension method where one plant fills a glasshouse, as Victorian gardeners thought this method would produce a larger crop

This is the King's Withdrawing Room (I loved the name!) where the king and his chief ministers could withdraw to meet and conduct business

This is the King's Withdrawing Room (I loved the name!) where the king and his chief ministers could withdraw to meet and conduct business

The Magic Garden was a crazy kid's playland with all types of activities to keep children occupied for hours; we joined in for some of the fun including the slides and obstacle course

The Magic Garden was a crazy kid's playland with all types of activities to keep children occupied for hours; we joined in for some of the fun including the slides and obstacle course

Painted by Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna between 1484 and 1492, the Triumphs of Caesar depict a triumphal military parade; thought to be Mantegna’s greatest masterpiece, the paintings are the best examples of their kind ever created

Painted by Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna between 1484 and 1492, the Triumphs of Caesar depict a triumphal military parade; thought to be Mantegna’s greatest masterpiece, the paintings are the best examples of their kind ever created

Reigning Queens: Queen Elizabeth II, Andy Warhol, 1985; the Cumberland Art Gallery featured hundreds of paintings from the Queen's Royal Collection

Reigning Queens: Queen Elizabeth II, Andy Warhol, 1985; the Cumberland Art Gallery featured hundreds of paintings from the Queen's Royal Collection

Portrait of Henry VIII, Hans Holbein the Younger, 1542; this is one of the few surviving portraits of Henry VIII painted during the King's lifetime

Portrait of Henry VIII, Hans Holbein the Younger, 1542; this is one of the few surviving portraits of Henry VIII painted during the King's lifetime

The Base Court is just one of several huge courtyards enclosed by the palace; the Royal Tennis Court, built in 1529, was closed during our visit as the palace prepared for a big food festival

The Base Court is just one of several huge courtyards enclosed by the palace; the Royal Tennis Court, built in 1529, was closed during our visit as the palace prepared for a big food festival

The Queen's Drawing Room; King William III undertook a massive building project in the 1600s as he intended for Hampton Court Palace to rival Versailles

The Queen's Drawing Room; King William III undertook a massive building project in the 1600s as he intended for Hampton Court Palace to rival Versailles

The Great Fountain Garden; Hampton Court Palace is easily reached by train from Waterloo station in London

The Great Fountain Garden; Hampton Court Palace is easily reached by train from Waterloo station in London

This opulent bedchamber was completed in 1715 to receive leading courtiers at the morning ceremony called the levee; the palace was the venue for the Road Cycling Time Trial of the 2012 Summer Olympics

This opulent bedchamber was completed in 1715 to receive leading courtiers at the morning ceremony called the levee; the palace was the venue for the Road Cycling Time Trial of the 2012 Summer Olympics

When the King dined he did it in style with starched linen intricately folded and shaped into heraldic beasts, vegetables and animals; maybe Mike and/or Gary can add this to their creative skill set!

When the King dined he did it in style with starched linen intricately folded and shaped into heraldic beasts, vegetables and animals; maybe Mike and/or Gary can add this to their creative skill set!

The King's Staircase; Hampton Court Palace has the largest surviving 16th-century kitchens in the world (200 cooks worked slavishly from sunup to sundown to feed 800 guests when Henry’s entourage was staying at the palace)

The King's Staircase; Hampton Court Palace has the largest surviving 16th-century kitchens in the world (200 cooks worked slavishly from sunup to sundown to feed 800 guests when Henry’s entourage was staying at the palace)

The King's Guard Chamber, completed in 1699, includes almost 3000 weapons and pieces of armor which were used to deter any adversaries

The King's Guard Chamber, completed in 1699, includes almost 3000 weapons and pieces of armor which were used to deter any adversaries

The kids playing in the Magic Garden didn't realize they were at the home of England's most famous king; the Palace did an excellent job though of having attractions to suit everyone

The kids playing in the Magic Garden didn't realize they were at the home of England's most famous king; the Palace did an excellent job though of having attractions to suit everyone

The Queen's Bedroom; King George II was the last monarch to live in the palace (he served from 1727 until 1760)

The Queen's Bedroom; King George II was the last monarch to live in the palace (he served from 1727 until 1760)

The Rose Garden mainly had British tea roses and they were past their prime; William Shakespeare and his company, the King’s Men, performed several of their plays for King James I in 1603 and 1604

The Rose Garden mainly had British tea roses and they were past their prime; William Shakespeare and his company, the King’s Men, performed several of their plays for King James I in 1603 and 1604

Posted by VagabondCowboy 11:08 Comments (0)

Sensational Kew Gardens with Chihuly glass exhibition

The Temperate House; Kew Gardens has an incredibly popular Children's Garden which is really a summer playground where kids are allowed to play for 90 minutes (there was a waiting line to get in!)

The Temperate House; Kew Gardens has an incredibly popular Children's Garden which is really a summer playground where kids are allowed to play for 90 minutes (there was a waiting line to get in!)

When the 19th century London Bridge made the jump over to Arizona, not all of it was needed; around 200 granite blocks didn't make the trip, so the building company that demolished the bridge offered them to Kew Gardens where they now line the big lake

When the 19th century London Bridge made the jump over to Arizona, not all of it was needed; around 200 granite blocks didn't make the trip, so the building company that demolished the bridge offered them to Kew Gardens where they now line the big lake

The Princess of Wales Conservatory was opened in 1987 by Diana, Princess of Wales, although the building is actually named for Augusta, Princess of Wales, who lived in the mid 1800s

The Princess of Wales Conservatory was opened in 1987 by Diana, Princess of Wales, although the building is actually named for Augusta, Princess of Wales, who lived in the mid 1800s

Twin spined cactus, Mexico; the Princess of Wales conservatory has 10 different climate zones under one roof; there are two major climates that take up the majority of the building: dry tropics and wet tropics

Twin spined cactus, Mexico; the Princess of Wales conservatory has 10 different climate zones under one roof; there are two major climates that take up the majority of the building: dry tropics and wet tropics

Self-peeling banana, also know as hairy banana and pink banana, NE India

Self-peeling banana, also know as hairy banana and pink banana, NE India

Summer sun, Chihuly, 2010; had we not had our London Passes, admission to Kew Gardens would have been close to $25 each

Summer sun, Chihuly, 2010; had we not had our London Passes, admission to Kew Gardens would have been close to $25 each

Looking up through the Hive, a multi-sensory experience designed to highlight the extraordinary life of bees; the Hive stands 17 meters tall and opened in 2016

Looking up through the Hive, a multi-sensory experience designed to highlight the extraordinary life of bees; the Hive stands 17 meters tall and opened in 2016

Oriental plane tree, 1762; one of Kew's oldest trees with some thinking it may have been planted as far back as the 1600s

Oriental plane tree, 1762; one of Kew's oldest trees with some thinking it may have been planted as far back as the 1600s

Kew Gardens also has a wild botanic garden in Sussex called Wakehurst; it has 500  acres and the world's largest wild seed conservation project

Kew Gardens also has a wild botanic garden in Sussex called Wakehurst; it has 500+ acres and the world's largest wild seed conservation project

The Orangery, completed in 1761, was found to be too dark for its intended purpose of growing citrus plants so they were moved out in 1841; it now serves as a restaurant

The Orangery, completed in 1761, was found to be too dark for its intended purpose of growing citrus plants so they were moved out in 1841; it now serves as a restaurant

Kew Palace, built in 1631, is the smallest of the British royal palaces; in July 1818 two royal weddings took place on the same day at the palace

Kew Palace, built in 1631, is the smallest of the British royal palaces; in July 1818 two royal weddings took place on the same day at the palace

Portable toilet in Kew Palace, 1810; these convenient rooms were fitted out with carpet but the commodes still had to be emptied by servants

Portable toilet in Kew Palace, 1810; these convenient rooms were fitted out with carpet but the commodes still had to be emptied by servants

Queen's Garden at Kew Palace; Sir David Attenborough buried a time capsule in the foundation of the Princess of Wales Conservatory in 1985, during the glasshouse’s construction which will be opened in 2085

Queen's Garden at Kew Palace; Sir David Attenborough buried a time capsule in the foundation of the Princess of Wales Conservatory in 1985, during the glasshouse’s construction which will be opened in 2085

Cattails and copper birch reeds, Chihuly, 2015; the gardens have their own police force, Kew Constabulary, which has been in operation since 1847

Cattails and copper birch reeds, Chihuly, 2015; the gardens have their own police force, Kew Constabulary, which has been in operation since 1847

King protea, South Africa; a canopy walkway was added to Kew Gardens in 2008 which takes visitors on a 200m walk 18m above the ground

King protea, South Africa; a canopy walkway was added to Kew Gardens in 2008 which takes visitors on a 200m walk 18m above the ground

Turquoise marlins and floats, Chihuly, 2015; Kew Gardens has more than 300 acres and receives 1.4  million visitors a year

Turquoise marlins and floats, Chihuly, 2015; Kew Gardens has more than 300 acres and receives 1.4+ million visitors a year

The Temperate House is the world's largest surviving Victorian glass structure and it houses more than 1500 rare and threatened species from around the world

The Temperate House is the world's largest surviving Victorian glass structure and it houses more than 1500 rare and threatened species from around the world

Kahili ginger, Nepal; Kew Gardens houses the largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world

Kahili ginger, Nepal; Kew Gardens houses the largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world

Red reeds, Chihuly, 2016; the world's most celebrated (and commercialized) glass artist exhibits pieces at Kew Gardens never seen before in the UK

Red reeds, Chihuly, 2016; the world's most celebrated (and commercialized) glass artist exhibits pieces at Kew Gardens never seen before in the UK

Luna red hibiscus; the Library, Art and Archives at Kew has one of the world's largest botanical collections, with over half a million items, including books, botanical illustrations, photographs, letters and manuscripts, periodicals and map

Luna red hibiscus; the Library, Art and Archives at Kew has one of the world's largest botanical collections, with over half a million items, including books, botanical illustrations, photographs, letters and manuscripts, periodicals and map

Chartreuse hornet polyvitro chandelier, Chihuly, 2001; you can travel by boat from London to Kew Gardens but it takes several hours

Chartreuse hornet polyvitro chandelier, Chihuly, 2001; you can travel by boat from London to Kew Gardens but it takes several hours

Blaze of Glory rhododendron; all azaleas are rhododendrons but not all rhododendrons are azaleas

Blaze of Glory rhododendron; all azaleas are rhododendrons but not all rhododendrons are azaleas

Persian column, Chihuly, 2019; Kew has one of the largest compost heaps in Europe, made from green and woody waste from the gardens and the manure from the stables of the Household Cavalry

Persian column, Chihuly, 2019; Kew has one of the largest compost heaps in Europe, made from green and woody waste from the gardens and the manure from the stables of the Household Cavalry

Kew Gardens appears several times in James Bond books including On her Majesty's Secret Service and You Only Live Twice in which the villain has a garden filled with deadly poisonous plants where people travel to commit suicide

Kew Gardens appears several times in James Bond books including On her Majesty's Secret Service and You Only Live Twice in which the villain has a garden filled with deadly poisonous plants where people travel to commit suicide

Scarlet and yellow icicle tower, Chihuly; the Kew Herbarium is one of the largest in the world with approximately 7 million specimens used primarily for taxonomic study

Scarlet and yellow icicle tower, Chihuly; the Kew Herbarium is one of the largest in the world with approximately 7 million specimens used primarily for taxonomic study

The Palm House, completed in 1848, was the first large-scale structural use of wrought iron; it is considered the world's most important surviving Victorian glass (all of the panes were hand blown) and iron structure

The Palm House, completed in 1848, was the first large-scale structural use of wrought iron; it is considered the world's most important surviving Victorian glass (all of the panes were hand blown) and iron structure

Newdymium reed and turquoise marlins, Chihuly, 2019; in the background is King William's Temple, built in 1837, which has a series of cast-iron panels set in the inside walls commemorating British military victories

Newdymium reed and turquoise marlins, Chihuly, 2019; in the background is King William's Temple, built in 1837, which has a series of cast-iron panels set in the inside walls commemorating British military victories

Victoria amazonica, the world's largest water lily; the world's smallest water-lily, Nymphaea thermarum, was saved from extinction when it was grown from seed at Kew, in 2009

Victoria amazonica, the world's largest water lily; the world's smallest water-lily, Nymphaea thermarum, was saved from extinction when it was grown from seed at Kew, in 2009

Paintbrushes, Chihuly, 2016; Kew Gardens station, which sits between Richmond and Gunnersbury on the District and Overground lines, is the only stop on the London Underground network with a pub attached

Paintbrushes, Chihuly, 2016; Kew Gardens station, which sits between Richmond and Gunnersbury on the District and Overground lines, is the only stop on the London Underground network with a pub attached

Alpine House; this space shows only 200 plants at a time from Kew's collection of more than 7000 alpine plants (species that grow above the tree line)

Alpine House; this space shows only 200 plants at a time from Kew's collection of more than 7000 alpine plants (species that grow above the tree line)

Kew has a connection to the infamous mutiny on HMS Bounty in 1789;  two Kew gardeners were on board the ship as it set sail for Tahiti to collect breadfruit plants but when the crew returned to sea there was a mutiny against the ship’s captain

Kew has a connection to the infamous mutiny on HMS Bounty in 1789; two Kew gardeners were on board the ship as it set sail for Tahiti to collect breadfruit plants but when the crew returned to sea there was a mutiny against the ship’s captain

Yellow herons and reeds, Chihuly, 2019; Kew Gardens was founded in 1840 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Yellow herons and reeds, Chihuly, 2019; Kew Gardens was founded in 1840 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Kew Gardens has more than 2500 species of orchids scattered across their different conservatories; critically endangered species from Montserrat and Southern India are grown at Kew

Kew Gardens has more than 2500 species of orchids scattered across their different conservatories; critically endangered species from Montserrat and Southern India are grown at Kew

I didn't expect to see huge eucalyptus trees outside of London; in SE Australia the trees can grow to heights exceeding 50 meters

I didn't expect to see huge eucalyptus trees outside of London; in SE Australia the trees can grow to heights exceeding 50 meters

Hebron vessels, Chihuly, 1999; access to Kew Gardens from London is easy since it is served by the District Line underground system as well as the North London Overland Line

Hebron vessels, Chihuly, 1999; access to Kew Gardens from London is easy since it is served by the District Line underground system as well as the North London Overland Line

Monkey puzzle, 1978; this type of tree has always been one of my favorites; it is the national tree of Chile and can live more than 1300 years

Monkey puzzle, 1978; this type of tree has always been one of my favorites; it is the national tree of Chile and can live more than 1300 years

The Hive is a lattice-work tower of aluminium, which uses sound and light to translate the real-time activity of bees on a scale we humans can see and hear, so it feels as if you’re in a giant hive

The Hive is a lattice-work tower of aluminium, which uses sound and light to translate the real-time activity of bees on a scale we humans can see and hear, so it feels as if you’re in a giant hive

Pitcher plant, Philippines; from August 15 to October 26 every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Kew will host Chihuly nights from 7:30-10:30 pm

Pitcher plant, Philippines; from August 15 to October 26 every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Kew will host Chihuly nights from 7:30-10:30 pm

Fiori Verdi, Chihuly, 2016; it was like deja vu after just seeing Chihuly pieces exhibited at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Fiori Verdi, Chihuly, 2016; it was like deja vu after just seeing Chihuly pieces exhibited at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Red hot pokers, South Africa; the flowers produce copious nectar while blooming and are attractive to bees and hummingbirds

Red hot pokers, South Africa; the flowers produce copious nectar while blooming and are attractive to bees and hummingbirds

Japanese pagoda tree, 1760; from 1792, exotic animals were kept in the paddock next to Queen Charlotte’s Cottage at Kew; the menagerie comprised colorful Tartarian pheasants and the first kangaroos to arrive in Britain

Japanese pagoda tree, 1760; from 1792, exotic animals were kept in the paddock next to Queen Charlotte’s Cottage at Kew; the menagerie comprised colorful Tartarian pheasants and the first kangaroos to arrive in Britain

I've heard of adopting animals but at Kew you can adopt a seed!; Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank holds over 36,000 wild plant species and you can adopt one of them as a gift for yourself or a loved one today for only $30

I've heard of adopting animals but at Kew you can adopt a seed!; Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank holds over 36,000 wild plant species and you can adopt one of them as a gift for yourself or a loved one today for only $30

Stone pine, 1846, Spain; stone pine nuts can be pressed to extract an oil that is packed with antioxidants

Stone pine, 1846, Spain; stone pine nuts can be pressed to extract an oil that is packed with antioxidants

Posted by VagabondCowboy 11:57 Comments (0)

Colorful, flourishing Busan-my favorite city in South Korea

Busan is Korea's second largest city with 5 million people; everywhere we went there was construction as the city was booming

Busan is Korea's second largest city with 5 million people; everywhere we went there was construction as the city was booming

The large department stores aren't organized by product categories like shoes or luggage; logically, in this country of conspicuous consumption, stores are organized by brand name

The large department stores aren't organized by product categories like shoes or luggage; logically, in this country of conspicuous consumption, stores are organized by brand name

This mermaid statue is made of plastic collected from Korean beaches; the plastic consumption in Korea is two times the world average so the statue is designed to bring awareness to the threats plastics pose to the world's oceans

This mermaid statue is made of plastic collected from Korean beaches; the plastic consumption in Korea is two times the world average so the statue is designed to bring awareness to the threats plastics pose to the world's oceans

Haeundae Beach is the longest and most popular in South Korea; we were told that in the summer you often can't even see any sand along the 1500 meter beach!

Haeundae Beach is the longest and most popular in South Korea; we were told that in the summer you often can't even see any sand along the 1500 meter beach!

APEC House hosted the 2005 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum; Busan is 112 mi from Fukuoka Japan and 195 mi from Seoul

APEC House hosted the 2005 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum; Busan is 112 mi from Fukuoka Japan and 195 mi from Seoul

The conference room at the APEC House where, in 2005, 21 world leaders met including President George W. Bush; of the leaders attending, only Putin remains in power today

The conference room at the APEC House where, in 2005, 21 world leaders met including President George W. Bush; of the leaders attending, only Putin remains in power today

Haeundae Beach is the largest in Korea and its most famous; new development includes a 101 story tower and 2 85 story residential towers, among the tallest in the world

Haeundae Beach is the largest in Korea and its most famous; new development includes a 101 story tower and 2 85 story residential towers, among the tallest in the world

Gwangan Bridge in Busan is the longest 2 deck suspension bridge in Korea and venue for the Busan Fireworks Festival every October which is the largest in Asia (1  million people)

Gwangan Bridge in Busan is the longest 2 deck suspension bridge in Korea and venue for the Busan Fireworks Festival every October which is the largest in Asia (1+ million people)

Busan Tower is an older observation tower that offered good views of the central part of the city; Busan is a sprawling city that is naturally divided by large hills and waterways

Busan Tower is an older observation tower that offered good views of the central part of the city; Busan is a sprawling city that is naturally divided by large hills and waterways

The Jagalchi Market is a modern facility right on the water so the fish go straight from the boat to the consumer; I was very impressed with the nice subway system which was the easiest way to get around

The Jagalchi Market is a modern facility right on the water so the fish go straight from the boat to the consumer; I was very impressed with the nice subway system which was the easiest way to get around

View of the large Jagalchi Fish Market from the Busan Tower; the Busan area is the largest industrial region in the country and  the 5th largest container port in the world

View of the large Jagalchi Fish Market from the Busan Tower; the Busan area is the largest industrial region in the country and the 5th largest container port in the world

Much of the movie, Black Panther, was filmed in Busan; the city is at the southern tip of the Korean peninsula so the weather is much better than in Seoul

Much of the movie, Black Panther, was filmed in Busan; the city is at the southern tip of the Korean peninsula so the weather is much better than in Seoul

Busan is a city in transition as huge residential skyscrapers are being built in many neighborhoods; I wondered how people here were able to afford such expensive homes

Busan is a city in transition as huge residential skyscrapers are being built in many neighborhoods; I wondered how people here were able to afford such expensive homes

Walking in Korea can often lead to sensory overload; the largest department store in the world is Shinsegae Centum City, situated in Busan

Walking in Korea can often lead to sensory overload; the largest department store in the world is Shinsegae Centum City, situated in Busan

SeaLife Busan Aquarium, right on the water at Haeundae Beach, is home to 30000 fish, penguins and even crocodiles; when we were there the weather was quite pleasant but the beach was empty and no one was in the chilly water

SeaLife Busan Aquarium, right on the water at Haeundae Beach, is home to 30000 fish, penguins and even crocodiles; when we were there the weather was quite pleasant but the beach was empty and no one was in the chilly water

In front of the Busan train station is their local red light district, Texas Street; I'd love to know how this street of sin and decadence got its name!

In front of the Busan train station is their local red light district, Texas Street; I'd love to know how this street of sin and decadence got its name!

Busan had several nice, pedestrianized market areas; the many new megacenters are threatening these areas as Korea is starting to experience the Walmartization of shopping

Busan had several nice, pedestrianized market areas; the many new megacenters are threatening these areas as Korea is starting to experience the Walmartization of shopping

The Jagalchi Fish Market is the largest in South Korea and opens at 3 am every day; the market was very clean for a fish market but the stalls seemed to have very similar offerings

The Jagalchi Fish Market is the largest in South Korea and opens at 3 am every day; the market was very clean for a fish market but the stalls seemed to have very similar offerings

A typical scene on any subway in South Korea is everyone on their phone; locals in South Korea dressed much more casually (like Americans) than the Japanese

A typical scene on any subway in South Korea is everyone on their phone; locals in South Korea dressed much more casually (like Americans) than the Japanese

Busan was added to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a "City of Film" in December 2014; the Busan International Film Festival, held annually, is one of the most significant film festivals in Asia

Busan was added to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a "City of Film" in December 2014; the Busan International Film Festival, held annually, is one of the most significant film festivals in Asia

Busan may be the summer capital of Korea but it does get snow an average of 5 days a year; with the hilly terrain and drivers unaccustomed to driving on the snow, the city typically shuts down when flakes fall

Busan may be the summer capital of Korea but it does get snow an average of 5 days a year; with the hilly terrain and drivers unaccustomed to driving on the snow, the city typically shuts down when flakes fall

Yeongdodaegyo Bridge was Korea’s first bascule bridge with a single movable section built in 1934; today, the drawbridge opens only once a day at 2 pm for 15 minutes

Yeongdodaegyo Bridge was Korea’s first bascule bridge with a single movable section built in 1934; today, the drawbridge opens only once a day at 2 pm for 15 minutes

Haeundae is one of the most popular spots in Busan to view the New Year sunrise, a popular tradition in Korea; since 1988, there has been a Polar Bear Plunge every January where swimmer's brave near-freezing waters

Haeundae is one of the most popular spots in Busan to view the New Year sunrise, a popular tradition in Korea; since 1988, there has been a Polar Bear Plunge every January where swimmer's brave near-freezing waters

Posted by VagabondCowboy 11:02 Comments (0)

Highlights from the Tate Modern Art Museum in London

Babel 2001, Cildo Meireles, 2001; this fantastic piece uses old radios to illustrate information overload and failed communication

Babel 2001, Cildo Meireles, 2001; this fantastic piece uses old radios to illustrate information overload and failed communication

Jeanne Hebuterne, Amadeo Modigliani, 1918

Jeanne Hebuterne, Amadeo Modigliani, 1918

Ishi's Light, Anish Kapoor, 2003; Kapoor is famous for the Bean in Chicago and the new Cloud Column at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston

Ishi's Light, Anish Kapoor, 2003; Kapoor is famous for the Bean in Chicago and the new Cloud Column at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston

Lobster Telephone, Salvador Dali, 1936

Lobster Telephone, Salvador Dali, 1936

Water Lilies,  Claude Monet, 1916

Water Lilies, Claude Monet, 1916

The Tate Modern had a Rothko room where he used a brighter color palette than the Rothko Chapel in Houston

The Tate Modern had a Rothko room where he used a brighter color palette than the Rothko Chapel in Houston

View of St. Paul's Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge from the Tate Modern; admission to the museum is free but the special exhibitions carry a hefty price

View of St. Paul's Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge from the Tate Modern; admission to the museum is free but the special exhibitions carry a hefty price

Fountain 1917, Marcel Duchamp, replica 1964

Fountain 1917, Marcel Duchamp, replica 1964

Ink Splash, El Anatsui, 2012; this piece is made of flattened bottle tops and reminded me of the Beer Can House in Houston

Ink Splash, El Anatsui, 2012; this piece is made of flattened bottle tops and reminded me of the Beer Can House in Houston

Whaam!, Roy Lichtenstein, 1963

Whaam!, Roy Lichtenstein, 1963

Portrait of a Young Woman, Meredith Frampton, 1935

Portrait of a Young Woman, Meredith Frampton, 1935

Hot Dog Sculpture, Colin Self, 1965; the blackened hot dog is supposed to represent the artists' anxiety about a possible nuclear war (not my first thought when I think of nuclear war but I don't have art in a museum either)

Hot Dog Sculpture, Colin Self, 1965; the blackened hot dog is supposed to represent the artists' anxiety about a possible nuclear war (not my first thought when I think of nuclear war but I don't have art in a museum either)

Sol LeWitt Upside Down, Haegue Yang, 2015; it's hard to tell but this piece is made of Venetian blinds

Sol LeWitt Upside Down, Haegue Yang, 2015; it's hard to tell but this piece is made of Venetian blinds

This 38 story building, completed in 2014, is usually called the Walkie-Talkie Building; in 2015 it was awarded the Carbuncle Cup for the worst new building in the UK in the previous 12 months

This 38 story building, completed in 2014, is usually called the Walkie-Talkie Building; in 2015 it was awarded the Carbuncle Cup for the worst new building in the UK in the previous 12 months

Bust of a Woman, Pablo Picasso, 1944

Bust of a Woman, Pablo Picasso, 1944

To a Summer's Day, Barbara Riley, 1980

To a Summer's Day, Barbara Riley, 1980

Composition B with Red, Piet Mondrian, 1935

Composition B with Red, Piet Mondrian, 1935

The Tate Modern Art Museum, dedicated in the spring of 2000, occupies a formerly derelict power station on the south bank of the Thames; in its first year the museum was the most popular in the world with 5.3 million visitors

The Tate Modern Art Museum, dedicated in the spring of 2000, occupies a formerly derelict power station on the south bank of the Thames; in its first year the museum was the most popular in the world with 5.3 million visitors

Mandora, Georges Braque, 1909

Mandora, Georges Braque, 1909

View of the Shard, completed in 2012, from the 10th floor of the Tate Modern; the 95 story skyscraper, designed by Renzo Piano, is the tallest building in the European Union

View of the Shard, completed in 2012, from the 10th floor of the Tate Modern; the 95 story skyscraper, designed by Renzo Piano, is the tallest building in the European Union

We couldn't decide if someone had stolen a painting here or if the painter was just on break; some of the art was definitely too modern for me

We couldn't decide if someone had stolen a painting here or if the painter was just on break; some of the art was definitely too modern for me

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Kyoto, Japan shines with endless interesting sights (pt 2)

Fushimi Inari-taisha Temple is famous for its thousands of torii gates; the custom to donate a torii started to spread in the Edo period (1603 – 1868) to get a wish to become true or to thank for a wish that became true

Fushimi Inari-taisha Temple is famous for its thousands of torii gates; the custom to donate a torii started to spread in the Edo period (1603 – 1868) to get a wish to become true or to thank for a wish that became true

Rock gardens are designed to embody nirvana; this garden is at Kanchi-in Hall which houses Japan's largest and most well-preserved collection of esoteric Buddhist writings

Rock gardens are designed to embody nirvana; this garden is at Kanchi-in Hall which houses Japan's largest and most well-preserved collection of esoteric Buddhist writings

Kyoto has 1600  temples and most of the complexes have similarly designed buildings; not all of the temples had good signage in English so I don't know the purpose of this unique building at Ninnaji Temple

Kyoto has 1600+ temples and most of the complexes have similarly designed buildings; not all of the temples had good signage in English so I don't know the purpose of this unique building at Ninnaji Temple

There were plenty of rules at Arashiyama Monkey Park like don't stare at the monkeys, don't crouch, don't take close-up photos, etc. but the monkeys generally ignored the tourists which was wonderful

There were plenty of rules at Arashiyama Monkey Park like don't stare at the monkeys, don't crouch, don't take close-up photos, etc. but the monkeys generally ignored the tourists which was wonderful

Kyoto's sister cities include Boston, Cologne, Prague, Florence, Kiev, Zagreb and Guadalajara; 1 of the 3 great festivals of Japan occurs here every July culminating in a massive parade July 17

Kyoto's sister cities include Boston, Cologne, Prague, Florence, Kiev, Zagreb and Guadalajara; 1 of the 3 great festivals of Japan occurs here every July culminating in a massive parade July 17

My visit wasn't during sumo wrestling season so I was spared that; buses are a great way to get around Kyoto with an all day pass costing only $6

My visit wasn't during sumo wrestling season so I was spared that; buses are a great way to get around Kyoto with an all day pass costing only $6

Completed in 1236, Tofukuji Temple is one of the five great Zen temples of Kyoto; the temple features a large number of Japanese maple trees and is most crowded during the autumn season when people flock to see the autumn foliage

Completed in 1236, Tofukuji Temple is one of the five great Zen temples of Kyoto; the temple features a large number of Japanese maple trees and is most crowded during the autumn season when people flock to see the autumn foliage

Photos of Tofukuji Temple in autumn are amazing with the colorful maple leaves; Kyoto was considered by the US as a target for the atomic bomb but ultimately escaped destruction during World War II

Photos of Tofukuji Temple in autumn are amazing with the colorful maple leaves; Kyoto was considered by the US as a target for the atomic bomb but ultimately escaped destruction during World War II

Shosei-en is the detached garden of Higashi Honganji Temple, and has been the property of the temple since 1641 when the ruling Shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu, granted the temple the land; the garden is only a 10 minute walk from Kyoto Station

Shosei-en is the detached garden of Higashi Honganji Temple, and has been the property of the temple since 1641 when the ruling Shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu, granted the temple the land; the garden is only a 10 minute walk from Kyoto Station

Inside the 120 meter long Sanjusangen-do (built in 1266) is a collection of 1001 statues of the Buddhist deity, Kannon; the statues at this UNESCO World Heritage Site were all made in the 12th and 13th centuries

Inside the 120 meter long Sanjusangen-do (built in 1266) is a collection of 1001 statues of the Buddhist deity, Kannon; the statues at this UNESCO World Heritage Site were all made in the 12th and 13th centuries

Founder's Hall Gate of Higashi Honganji Temple; summers in Kyoto are hot and humid with winters being relatively cold with occasional snowfall

Founder's Hall Gate of Higashi Honganji Temple; summers in Kyoto are hot and humid with winters being relatively cold with occasional snowfall

Kyoto Station had everything you could imagine and was always super crowded; luckily, our hotel was right across the street so wherever we went in the city it was easy to get back again

Kyoto Station had everything you could imagine and was always super crowded; luckily, our hotel was right across the street so wherever we went in the city it was easy to get back again

The Kyoyochi Pond at Ryoanji Temple was built in the 12th century; this UNESCO World Heritage Site was one of my favorites and it wasn't nearly as crowded as some of the others

The Kyoyochi Pond at Ryoanji Temple was built in the 12th century; this UNESCO World Heritage Site was one of my favorites and it wasn't nearly as crowded as some of the others

The internationally famous Zen garden at Ryoanji Temple is compromised of 15 rocks and gravel (created around 1500); I liked these peaceful, no maintenance gardens because there is nothing to kill and you can travel for months and not worry about it!

The internationally famous Zen garden at Ryoanji Temple is compromised of 15 rocks and gravel (created around 1500); I liked these peaceful, no maintenance gardens because there is nothing to kill and you can travel for months and not worry about it!

The Kyozo building at Ninnaji Temple was used to store Buddhist scriptures; most of the temples had an admission charge of between $5 and $10 so I figured my temple expenses in Kyoto easily exceeded $100

The Kyozo building at Ninnaji Temple was used to store Buddhist scriptures; most of the temples had an admission charge of between $5 and $10 so I figured my temple expenses in Kyoto easily exceeded $100

The giant Nio-man Gate is at the entrance to Ninnaji Temple; this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of 17 (I managed to visit 12 of them)

The giant Nio-man Gate is at the entrance to Ninnaji Temple; this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of 17 (I managed to visit 12 of them)

The Kamigano Shrine is one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan and is one of the seventeen Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto which have been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site

The Kamigano Shrine is one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan and is one of the seventeen Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto which have been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site

The shrine in the Goeida of the Nishi Kongwanji; convenience stores are everywhere in Japan so Coke Zero is never far away

The shrine in the Goeida of the Nishi Kongwanji; convenience stores are everywhere in Japan so Coke Zero is never far away

The main building at UNESCO World Heritage Site Nishi Hongwanji; entering any of the Buddhist or Shinto buildings required removing your shoes

The main building at UNESCO World Heritage Site Nishi Hongwanji; entering any of the Buddhist or Shinto buildings required removing your shoes

Much of the Nijo-jo Castle complex was being restored; this view of the UNESCO World Heritage Site is from the base of the keep tower

Much of the Nijo-jo Castle complex was being restored; this view of the UNESCO World Heritage Site is from the base of the keep tower

It was amazing how quickly you could escape the city; we took the subway and walked to this overlook where the water in the river was so clear that we could see the bottom

It was amazing how quickly you could escape the city; we took the subway and walked to this overlook where the water in the river was so clear that we could see the bottom

We were told that the baby monkeys were only 2 weeks old; they were very wobbly and couldn't really walk but the moms kept the kids nearby

We were told that the baby monkeys were only 2 weeks old; they were very wobbly and couldn't really walk but the moms kept the kids nearby

There was some consideration by the United States of targeting Kyoto with an atomic bomb at the end of World War II because, as an intellectual center of Japan, it had a population large enough to possibly persuade the emperor to surrender

There was some consideration by the United States of targeting Kyoto with an atomic bomb at the end of World War II because, as an intellectual center of Japan, it had a population large enough to possibly persuade the emperor to surrender

The understated beauty of the buildings (like here at Ginkakuji) often hides interesting details; each Japanese cypress wooden shingle is about 30 cm long with only 3 cm showing and they are fixed with bamboo nails

The understated beauty of the buildings (like here at Ginkakuji) often hides interesting details; each Japanese cypress wooden shingle is about 30 cm long with only 3 cm showing and they are fixed with bamboo nails

The Zen garden at Ginkakuji Temple represents waves with Mt. Fuji in the background; this UNESCO temple lies at the end of the popular Philosopher's Path

The Zen garden at Ginkakuji Temple represents waves with Mt. Fuji in the background; this UNESCO temple lies at the end of the popular Philosopher's Path

The rental of traditional kimonos by Japanese females was quite popular; they would then take tons of photos at the temples and shrines

The rental of traditional kimonos by Japanese females was quite popular; they would then take tons of photos at the temples and shrines

Zenrinji Temple had one of the rare painted religious buildings in Kyoto; few people smoke here and there are large areas where you can't even smoke on the public streets

Zenrinji Temple had one of the rare painted religious buildings in Kyoto; few people smoke here and there are large areas where you can't even smoke on the public streets

Amida-do Hall at Eikando Zenrinji Temple (1497); we had fantastic weather for our 3 days in Kyoto which was appreciated since there was a ton of walking required to see the city

Amida-do Hall at Eikando Zenrinji Temple (1497); we had fantastic weather for our 3 days in Kyoto which was appreciated since there was a ton of walking required to see the city

Kyoto has about 1.5 million people, about the same number as in 1980; I would definitely recommend including Kyoto on any trip to Japan

Kyoto has about 1.5 million people, about the same number as in 1980; I would definitely recommend including Kyoto on any trip to Japan

For over a thousand years, Kyoto was the former Imperial capital of Japan; in 1868, the capital was moved to Tokyo but much of Kyoto's treasured past has been preserved

For over a thousand years, Kyoto was the former Imperial capital of Japan; in 1868, the capital was moved to Tokyo but much of Kyoto's treasured past has been preserved

The Sanmon Gate at Nanzenji Temple contains stairs to an elevated viewing area which was the setting for a famous scene in a 1778 Kabuki play inspired by the story of the criminal Ishikawa Goemon who is said to have spoken of the beauty of the view

The Sanmon Gate at Nanzenji Temple contains stairs to an elevated viewing area which was the setting for a famous scene in a 1778 Kabuki play inspired by the story of the criminal Ishikawa Goemon who is said to have spoken of the beauty of the view

Not a single nail was used in the buildings of Kiyomizu-dera Shrine; in 2007, Kiyomizu-dera was one of 21 finalists for the New Seven Wonders of the World

Not a single nail was used in the buildings of Kiyomizu-dera Shrine; in 2007, Kiyomizu-dera was one of 21 finalists for the New Seven Wonders of the World

Kiyomizu-dera Shrine was more tourist-friendly than most Japanese temples since they were open from 6am-6pm while others were 9am-5pm;the highlight of Kiyomizu-dera Temple is the 42.6-foot-high veranda overlooking cherry and maple trees

Kiyomizu-dera Shrine was more tourist-friendly than most Japanese temples since they were open from 6am-6pm while others were 9am-5pm;the highlight of Kiyomizu-dera Temple is the 42.6-foot-high veranda overlooking cherry and maple trees

View of downtown Kyoto from Kiyomizu-dera Shrine; part of the fun of visiting Kiyomizu-dera is the approach to the temple along the steep and busy lanes of the atmospheric Higashiyama District

View of downtown Kyoto from Kiyomizu-dera Shrine; part of the fun of visiting Kiyomizu-dera is the approach to the temple along the steep and busy lanes of the atmospheric Higashiyama District

Posted by VagabondCowboy 21:25 Comments (1)

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