Although the new Seoul Station is now the main hub for travelers going to the provinces, I wonder what it was like in the early 20th century when the old Seoul Station was busy and grand.
Tonight, as I was switching buses at the Seoul Station, I got a glimpse of the old Seoul Station being bathed in light and its architecture literally highlighted. From afar, I was so amazed with the lights and shadows of this historic building that I decided to abandon the waiting and just crossed the street to get closer to the building. Even though it was closed since it was night time, and perhaps, even more so because it was still the Chuseok holidays, admiring it from the outside was perhaps better than looking into its interiors at night.
As I stood there in front, paying homage to a piece of Korean history, I discovered that I wasn't the only one mesmerized by the sight. There were a few locals, and surprisingly, a bunch of Filipinos, also taking pictures of the well-preserved structure.
I noticed couples and families with their luggage and traveling bags passing in front of the building. They were either walking towards the new Seoul Station, or were walking away from it. They must have been on their way to the provinces, or were coming home to Seoul. I have been to this corner of the old Seoul Station during daytime a few times when I visited the Korean Red Cross blood donation center. During the day, one could only admire so much of its beauty, but at night, it takes on a different character.
I was glad I switched buses tonight by the old Seoul Station and saw (and felt) its presence from afar. Otherwise, I wouldn't have had discovered its beauty hidden in the light and shadows. Although in the area, one may see a few homeless men lying by the side drunk or loitering around (also walking drunk), it seemed safe as these guys didn't seem to mind me taking pictures around their spot. Or maybe because I could see policemen doing their patrol in the area.
Though they may not pass through this building anymore, travelers still start and end their journey next to the old Seoul Station. And tonight, in its shadows, it included one more traveler on his bus journey home.