Visiting Norway has been a refreshing reminder of how beautiful it is here, but Asia will always stay on my mind. I’ve been traveling a lot this past week, from the north to the south of the country, and flying again tomorrow, so my uploads will remain a little off from my usual posting times for just a little bit longer.
The tallest building in Antwerp is the Cathedral of Our Lady, or ‘Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal’ in Flemish, measuring 123 metres in height. The church was completed in 1521 after 169 years of construction, and also functions as a treasury, featuring numerous artworks from historical Flemish artists.
When walking at night in Seoul, you will often see bright lights in front of stores to attract customers. Sometimes these lights come in the form of bright yellow inflatable tubes, but more subtle variants also exist. One safe tip when looking for a restaurant though is to go where the queues are the longest.
Prague is the capital of Bohemia, the western region of the Czech Republic. Bohemia has another association however: Bohemianism, whereby individuals live a nomadic, unconventional life. While modern-day Prague might not quite have this vagabond characteristic as some would think, it is nevertheless incredibly beautiful.
While taking photos over the city of Seoul, I kept wondering why there were so many green rooftops. I knew some families had gardens on their own rooftops, but it turns out these rooftops just happen to be green for the sake of waterproofing the houses. Blue roofs are apparently associated with royalty or nobility.
The Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof is the busiest railway station in Frankfurt and Germany, and the third-busiest in the world. The city is considered a major transportation hub in Europe more generally, with both shorter and longer distance trips available. There also happens to be tracks right by the Main River.
When learning Korean, you will most likely learn the standard dialect commonly used in Seoul. There are numerous local dialects however, due to the mountainous terrain dividing communities who then generate their own linguistic characteristics. The writing system, however, remains the same fortunately.
The Neumünster Abbey in Luxembourg City was rebuilt after the original Benedictine abbey was destroyed in 1542. The word ‘neumünster’ itself refers to this reconstruction. It later became a police station and prison after the French Revolution, but has since become a cultural centre, hosting concerts and exhibitions.
Thinking back on Korea, I’m mostly struck by how quiet the city had been. Compared to many other major Asian cities, Seoul is noticeably calmer. Despite being one of the largest metropolises of those same cities, it also retains a much warmer and more intimate vibe compared to its neighbours.
Hong Kong has a vibrant nightlife, and one of the best ways to appreciate the city is from one of its many rooftop establishments. Another bonus with these venues is the fact that they remain open until late at night, allowing you to soak in the city lights and views often obstructed at ground level for as long as you want.
A train arrived in North Korea yesterday, marking the first time in a decade that a train from South Korea visited its northern neighbour. South Korea had announced a potential railway link in the past, with this trip being part of a broader survey on North Korea’s railway system, potentially suggesting closer relations in the future.
To the right you can see a mural in Brussels dedicated to ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ comic series. The comics were created by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, who wrote under his pen name Hergé, with the series first published in 1929. The series focused on Tintin, a Belgian reporter, and his adventures in the world.
After touching down in Seoul, you have a few options in front of you: you could take a cab in to the city, use the bus network, or enter Seoul’s outstanding railway service. The trains can be found in a futuristic transport hub, and you can choose between either the regular railway service, or the high-speed train.
It’s been a number of years since I spent a winter in Norway. I’ve frankly forgot how cold it can be, not to mention how dark it becomes at night. The south generally has about 5 hours of daylight, and the north basically has no light this time of year, which also happens to be where I’m travelling to tomorrow.
Korea is an export-driven economy, accounting for over half of the country’s gross domestic product. Cultural exports are a major part of the economy as well, which includes licensing Korean music, television and films. You can occasionally see a spike in physical exports just before 'Chuseok', Korean’s autumn harvest festival.
When in Macau, the more to the north you walk, the more residential it seems to become. Residents of Macau are referred to as ‘Macanese’, which broadly includes Macau citizens, but the identity itself has been disputed. Macau citizens often speak both Portuguese and Cantonese, reflecting their mixed background.
Life in Seoul doesn’t really stop at night, but there is a notable divergence in what people tend to do. Seoul is understandably famous for its life, and there are plenty of drinking and party venues if that interests you. However, there are just as many 24/7 cafes and study spaces too if you need to remain productive.
Hong Kong has beautiful sunsets, but when living on Hong Kong Island, the numerous skyscrapers don’t help to enjoy the evening light. The main solution is to leave the island and enjoy Hong Kong’s natural beauty, with any of the hikes available to find new views, or with a boat ride further out into the archipelago.