Downtown St. John’s Busker Festival

First of all, sorry for my absence. This has been a somewhat busy month between being away, my birthday and our anniversary. I have also been actively setting up a baby’s room and getting prepared for our little arrival who will be here this month. Thanks for coming back and keeping up to date with us.

Last weekend, the weather was hot and sunny! It was a great weekend to get out and enjoy some street performers. We headed downtown to the annual Downtown St. John’s Busker Festival here in St. John’s, Newfoundland. We didn’t get a chance to catch all the acts by the buskers, but we did manage to watch two.

The first performance was called Twin Tango. This act tells the story of a shy and dorky man who eventually gains the courage to woo the woman he wants.

Most of the show is him clowning around, with a finale of him doing some jaw-dropping stunts on a pole which is being held up by four volunteers.

We had a much better view for the second show we saw by The Circus Fireman. This Aussie Brother duo put off a show of stunts and laughs while dressed as firemen.

They noticed that I was in the crowd and taking photos, so they made sure I got some nice and quite hilarious poses from them.

The grand finale of their show was of both brothers on separate ladders juggling fire sticks.  Definitely something not easy to do on solid ground, let alone while balancing on a ladder.

Last weekend was a very hot summer day. It was a great day to get out and enjoy the skills and talents of buskers from around the world.

Want to know more info on the festival and the performers. Please check out the links below.

Downtown St. John’s Buskers Festival

The Circus Firemen

Twin Tango

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7 Things I’ll Miss About Seoul

1. Transportation in Seoul is cheap, extensive and easy to use.

2. Seoul has a number of great palaces to explore how Korea used to be, especially for its royalty.

3. Street food in Korea is inexpensive and tasty.

4. The city hosts a number of festivals throughout the year. My favorite has always been the Seoul Friendship Fair.

5. The mighty Han River.

6. The friends we have made from around the world.

7. I’ll miss the challenges and joys of teaching. As well as the amazing children.

Bonus: I’ll definitely miss my home church here. I’ll miss everything from the community of my small group to the challenging teaching times and everything in between. If you need a home church while in Korea check out Onnuri English Ministries (www.onnurienglish.org).

For those of you who have lived here, currently living here or have visited Seoul; what do or will you miss about Seoul?

All Lit Up! Seoul Lantern Festival 2011

Fall has settled on Seoul. November is here, the hot days of summer are forgotten and the freezing days of winter are fast-approaching. Fall doesn’t just bring a change in the weather here in Seoul, but brings one of my favorite festivals, the Seoul Lantern Festival.

The popular Cheonggye stream in downtown Seoul is transformed into a watery stage for about 30, 000 lanterns.

The lanterns are lit up daily from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Citizens of Seoul and tourists alike can come and see the well-designed lanterns for free.

Some of the lanterns are placed in groups to form various scenes depicting Korea’s rich history.

Some of the lanterns are replicas of Korean landmarks. This is a lantern showing Seoul’s Namdaemun gate. The original gate was completed in 1398 and is currently being repaired after an act of arson in 2008.

Other lanterns make groups of animals appear to be swimming in or on the stream.

Towards the end of the parade of floating lanterns, are lanterns for the young and the young at heart. There are popular Korean cartoon characters and the superheroes we all love like Superman and Batman.

Fall in Seoul brings a change in temperature and beings out your warmer clothing, but it also brings the beautiful and creative Lantern Festival. The festival has lanterns for all ages, is it a popular location and the best part is it’s…free!

Looking for more photos? Click here.

Flowers! Flowers! Flowers! Spring Flower Festival

I’ll admit, I’m not much of a flower guy. I much prefer to go to a zoo and stare at animals then go to a park or garden and smell the roses. I’m just not much of a flower guy. I do however, enjoy the annual Spring Flower Festival here in Seoul. Well, I enjoy it once I get there.

This year it seemed everyone was going to the festival to see the trees in bloom with beautiful pink cherry blossoms. It also seemed that everyone took the subway! Once we got off the train, it was a long 15-20 slow moving march through a throng of people to the exit. On a normal day it would take about five minutes to exit the train, go up the stairs, scan my T-money (subway) card and find the nearest exit. Not on this day!

There were tons of people at the festival

Once we did make it to the street lined with pink cherry blossoms it was worth it. The street pretty much makes a semi-circle around the back of the National Assembly and is closed off to traffic. The only traffic is pedistarian traffic. Families walking together, elderly enjoying the traditional Korean music, couples enjoying he romantic setting and photographers trying to find the perfect shot.

People enjoying the traditional Korean music

I would much rather a day at the zoo looking at the exotic animals but, the annual Spring Flower festival here in Seoul is worth attending even if you’re not a flower guy or gal.

Check out the rest of the photos here.

Stuffing Our Faces

There’s an annual event that the city of Seoul puts off in May called the Seoul Friendship Fair. It’s an opportunity for Seoulites to experience some of the multiculturalism that is in their city. People can come and taste food from around the world and watch performances from a wide variety of countries. The three-day festival takes place near Seoul plaza which is in front of city hall and some of the surrounding streets.

As much as I enjoy a good cultural performance once in a while, I went there for the delicious food. It’s just a chance for me to stuff my face with food from everywhere for dirt cheap prices.

Eating a delicious empanada

We had wraps from the Egypt booth, amazing empanadas from the Paraguay booth, delicious vegetable stir fry from the Sri Lanka booth. That’s just to name a few. We ate food from 9 different countries in all.

Taste Testers

The highlight of the day was definitely the food but, a close runner-up would be the random Korean man in a full suit dancing up a storm on the street. He drew a crowd for sure! Check out the video in my pictures to see this and to have a good laugh.

The Seoul Friendship Fair is an annual event that I try to make it out too. Nothing like stuffing my face with amazing food!

Check out the pics here!