Wednesday, 23 September 2009

LOVE locked down

Some friends and I visited Namsan Tower and the Teddy Bear Museum in Seoul this past weekend, to celebrate our one-month anniversary in Korea. We were pretty thrilled about the perfect weather that Saturday brought us, and were absolutely entertained by all the sights and sounds that greeted us during our trip. Everything from cotton-candy (in cups, no less) booths and dried/smoked fish in paper bags were available as treats.

It was my first experience watching the seniors in Korea trudge up and down the hill with no sense of physical ailment or age. I was fascinated and humbled all the same. My friends who climbed Suraksan mountain in Seoul, said they've witnessed older Korean men and women climb the mountain as though it were a relaxed Sunday stroll through an even park... except the mountain is rocky and almost at a 90 degree angle.

This country and its people never cease to amaze me.

On that note, here's my thoughts about one of the many things that stood out during my trip. The following are a series of photos I took while around the Namsan Tower grounds. These are the Locks of Love that can be found on the fences, stairs and railings that surround the tower grounds.

From what I've read, these are locks that visitors to the tower grounds have purchased or brought and attached to the various areas of the grounds. They're meant to symbolize 'forever' kind of love and the idea is that if you attach the lock and dispose of the key... you're bound forever. But... just don't throw the key away, off the cliff.

This is just one of the many sections of locks. They went on forever, in all sorts of directions. There's locks upon locks of people from all over the world... couples who've left messages for each other, and some, with messages to the world. It's kind of neat. I wish some of you could see the real deal!

That's the Hangang river in the distance. This river flows right across Seoul, and it's truly majestic, as it winds it's way from east to west. I hope to see it at night soon. I've only seen it while taking the subway across town to get my Mac fixed. The view from the Namsan Tower grounds is truly humbling.

After we got over our initial shock at seeing all the locks, we decided to dig deeper and check out some of the messages. This is the first one I found. It reads: "I was lucky to come to Korea... It was a destiny to meet you... I LOVE YOU! Tyler + Jieun Forever."

I'm not quite sure why, but I feel this pronouncement of love is being made to the TTC in Toronto. I think it might be the way the bow is designed. Needless to say that after seeing the Seoul subway system, I don't share this lover's sentiments.

This one reads: ":) Yay! 4 months we've been together. I don't know when we are gonna come back to see this, haha, but I know I'll still feel the same way about you :) I really care about you and I really can't stop thinking about u (you!) :)." Annoying.... must be puppy love!

This was too cute to pass up. There were many locks on these fences, varying in sizes, shapes and styles. This pair was cute.

I saw this one and thought about SK's obsession with the H1N1 virus... Perhaps the key to happiness amidst the chaos caused by the virus is inside this lock/capsule?

This one seems classy and traditional... but almost sad. These love locks are all holding on to this one simple lock. A blend of modern combination locks and padlocks... I think I'm also amazed that heart-shaped combination locks exist.

This one was also kind of nice. It reads: "Joel, Mahal Na Mahal (which, I believe is in Tagalog). I wait for you. I will always love you. I will always keep you here inside my heart. Thanks for loving me."

I loved this one. The pink lock with the red heart stands out so simply despite it's small size. It doesn't have any messages on it or anything else. I wonder what the person's thoughts were as they attached it to the fence. I hope that they were either in absolute love... or absolutely hopeful.

I fell in love with the romance that this lock showcased... it was rusty and worn out. It caught my eye from a distance, and I decided I needed a closer look to get a sense of how long it had been up on the fence... June 27, 2009. Hmm.... well, depending on how you look at it, three months can be a long time, I guess...

I think this one is definitely one of my favourites... not because of the big, obvious, red heart, but because of the message. It reads: "Babe - I love you more 2day (ugh!) than I did yesterday. But less today (yay!) than I will tomorrow." The hopeless romantic inside me wished this was original... but I felt I'd heard these words before. A quick Google search when I got home showed that these are actually lyrics from Ku-U-i-Po; a song sung by Elvis Presley in Blue Hawaii. It still warmed my heart.

Then there was this one... It turned out blurry for a reason, I guess. It reads: "Hi Ella! I feel so happy to be with you here right now. Even though I might be getting angry, I hope you don't thik I am changing. :) You have no idea how thankful I am to have you in my life. Whenever I look at you I think that I love you so much more." ... Hmm... don't be angry, buddy! You're surrounded by love locks!

Talk about a locked fence! But just in case you didn't get the message... don't try to enter through the Love Lock Fence!

I hope you enjoyed these photos as much as I enjoyed experiencing them. Please share your thoughts with me when you have a moment.



  1. That is one of the places I really want to visit in Seoul. All of those were really sweet and some of the locks are quite creative.

    Hey, how did you make it where only one lock is colored and the rest are black and white?


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