Yesterday afternoon I returned with a friend to the 2010 Hangang Yeouido Spring Flower Festival (also see here for info) and the 2km lane way that runs around the National Assembly Building.  We took a taxi to the area but got out about 8 blocks away from the actual 2km lane way because traffic was moving really slowly.  We then started walking down the sidewalk that runs parallel to the river.  There are quite a few cherry blossom trees here too . . . fortunately the crowds weren’t too bad yet.

My friend noticed this kite and I got this shot–not an easy one to get either with it moving all over the place really fast.

A few blocks later we saw this pink cherry blossom tree.  I pulled out my Canon 100mm macro lens and began taking pictures.  It was a little tricky cause I hadn’t brought my tripod . . . oh, and several Koreans kept wanting to get their pictures taken standing close to the blossoms on this small tree, and some would put their hands on the branches which would then shake the tree.  With no tripod, Koreans shaking the tree, and wind off the river I’m surprised I was able to get a few nice pictures, lol.

We finally arrived at the beginning of the 2km lane way–and it was PACKED!  I was really glad I’d come this past Thursday afternoon to do macro shots with my tripod because if I’d wanted to try that with so many people around it would have been impossible.  One of the favorite poses Koreans have at the flower festival is to crouch down and put their faces next to the flowers . . . as you can see below.  If I’d been trying to do macro shots with this many people all wanting to do that at the same time I’d have been bumped around a lot.  You can see my Thursday pics here.

We began walking down the lane way and I noticed these little banners . . . one of them was in English and it says, “North + South Korea PEACE.”

Later we came across some street performers doing their act.  My friend tried to get closer to see but the ring of people around the performance was probably 10 deep, and she was too short and unable to see . . . I held up my camera and snapped a few pics over the heads.  The crowd seemed to like what these guys were doing, and laughed and cheered for them several times for the brief minute I watched–but I was there to take pictures of the blossoms and moved on.

We then saw this monk asking for alms, well, he wasn’t asking for them but I know that the monks do this sort of ritual when they’re trying to get donations . . .

Suddenly, a blinding yellow light appeared, and exuberant university students posed for my camera, lol.  I then offered my email so they could get a copy of the picture, and they were all slightly amazed and nervous to have a small conversation with a native speaker of English on the street.   Normally, I try to avoid this kind of situation when I’m out on the street because it feels just a bit too much like teaching English when I’m on my free time–but these guys were funny and had a great energy so I didn’t mind.

A few minutes later this guy walks over to the sidewalk where my friend and I were sitting and taking a rest.  The area we were in didn’t have as much crowding, but this guy banged on a drum a few times, yelled something in Korean, and then climbed up onto a tall box and began performing; a large crow appeared in less than a minute to watch him and we had to stand up and get out of the way, lol.

Up till this point the sky had been very cloudy and the lighting generally dismal–and then the sun appeared and patches of blue sky began peeking through, yay!

This is one of the bigger cherry blossom trees on the lane way . . .

Some of the trees seemed to be more fluffy and white than the others.  This tree in particular really impressed my friend.

With the sun out and some blue sky I decided it was time to try and get a shot of the trees lining the lane way to give people outside of Korea a sense of just how many trees there are–oh yeah, and the crowds too.

Here are more shots of the fluffier looking trees . . .

I don’t know what this guy’s job was, but you have to love the hat!

Look for more pictures in part 2 of this post . . .

J

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