Seoul’s Bridges: Week 25


Inside the observatory recital hall a piano struts before an audience of empty clear chairs. The floor is as transparent as the walls, which means I witness the golden sunset and the Han River rushing directly beneath my feet at the same time. Back outside it is just Barret, a metrosexual figure in a sheet metal suit, and I who enjoy the cool breeze sprinting through the railing of the Gwangjingyo observatory (which is one of only three under-bridge observatories in the world).


Just before sunset a parade of school marching bands performed in an outdoor amphitheater. Behind the musicians shell-shaped buildings rose from artificial islands in the Han River. When the sun set, their LED infused walls erupted into a mercurial swamp of neon.

Outside a makeshift convenience store on the first island, Barret and I waited for the longest bridge fountain display in the world. As the clock drew near 8 pm, camera bags unzipped and tripods unfolded. Suddenly synchronized jets spurt from the second tier of the bridge. While the limited range of the rainbow-hued stream felt robotic, the vista and architecture were both beautiful and unexpected.

How to get there:

Gwangjinyo– Cheonho Station Line 5, exit #2.

Banpodaegyo– Express Bus Terminal Station, Lines 3, 7, or 9.

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