Friday, 29 October 2010

That Very Long Bridge in Incheon....

For tourists arriving in Korea, this bridge should be part of the tour! At least on their way back to the Incheon International Airport.

Spanning about 21 kilometers connecting the Yeonjong Island (where Incheon International Airport sits) with the new Songdo City, this bridge is imposing, awesome and loooooong!

I usually do not cross this bridge on my way from Seoul to the Incheon International Airport, but thanks to my friend Seung-Ho; he gave me a ride and detoured from the usual route so that I would be able to finally traverse this very expensive bridge. Total cost? Almost two and half trillion won!  That’s ‘2’ with 12 zeroes!  I could buy a plane with that! Ha-ha-ha!

The bridge was built between 2005 and 2009, and according to its official information, the bridge can withstand a magnitude 7 earthquake! Its expected useful life is a hundred years.

Driving through the bridge, you can see these thick cables connected to the two main towers which form inverted ‘V’s.  This is why it’s called a cable-stayed bridge because cables help to support the whole bridge.

And for safety reasons, no vehicle is allowed to stop in the middle of the six-lane highway (three lanes to one direction). That’s why the photos I was able to take are all from a fast-moving vehicle.  But thinking we were driving over the deep, blue sea, I wouldn’t stop to take photos!  It was windy and I might just get blown away, down into the freezing waters!  My primary goal was to catch my flight, not drown in my travelling clothes. Ha-ha-ha!

 So the next time you have the chance to pass through the new Incheon Songdo City on your way to the Incheon International Airport, do try traversing the Incheon Bridge, which claims to be the fifth longest cable-stayed bridge in the world in terms of span. 

Enjoy the crossing and the view. But make sure your car doesn’t break down in the middle of the bridge, or….you will miss your flight!  Yikes!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Big Chill

Everyone in Seoul (or perhaps in the whole of Korea) is complaining about the sudden drop in the thermometer.

Due to the Siberian winds breezing through the Korean peninsula, everyone woke up to a very chilly Monday morning!  And as the flirty Korean weather girl said on TV, this will last for a few more days, perhaps until the end of the chilly week.

From 1 degree in Seoul to a negative ten (-10’) up on Mount  Seorak, these temperatures are making every one wonder if the autumn season is actually over, and that it’s time to bring out the winter clothes.  And I say not yet.

But why the big chill? Well, for one, we can blame the Siberian winds for these very cold days in October. But these drastic weather changes may be due to global warming, which means we have only ourselves to blame (what a surprise). 

From excessive burning of fossil fuel, deforestation, careless dumping of garbage, wasteful use of natural resources, pollution, to name the most obvious ones, part of the blame is on ourselves.

And instead of the big chill, we can all make the big change in the way we treat this planet, or we will regret it…..when it’s all too late.

In the meantime, everyone on the street is cold and bundled up, and hoping for a warmer weekend.


Back to Earth...

As they say in Pilipino, “Siya’y umalis at siya’y dumating”  (He left and he returned).

After arriving at my home in Hannam-dong, after unpacking the luggage, after cleaning the dusty home and of course, after getting rid of the jetlag, I think I am finally back …to Earth. Hahaha!

Although I miss writing again and posting a topic on this blog, I guess, like most travelers, I found it fun discovering new places, cuisine and meeting other people throughout the journey.

And while I will definitely continue to blog about what’s happening in Seoul or around Korea, I will share a few stories about my travels here. With photos, of course.

In the meantime, let’s all stay warm.