Saturday, August 8, 2009


Gyeongbokgung Palace (27): main palace of Chosun Kingdom + National Folk Museum

Insa-dong (24): popular art and antique district

Deoksugung Palace(2): royal guard ceremony (at 11:00, 14:00, 15:30 every day except for Monday)

Cheonggye Plaza (31): artificial river between buildings

Jogye-sa (34): if you are interested in temples

Namsangol Hanok Village (13): traditional fork viallage

Namsan Seoul Tower (16): marvelous and beautiful view of Seoul

Myeong-dong (12): trendiest shopping area young people like

Namdaemun Market (3): one of Korea's largest wholesale markets, busy and active

Dongdaemun Market (20): Korea's largest wholesale and retail shopping for clothes and more, active at night

Southern region of the map below

National Museum of Korea: huge museum about Korean history

War Memorial: about Korean war and weapons

Itaewon: markets for foreigners

Coex: modern Korea

Seoul City Bus might be a good choice to see all these.

Central Area of Seoul (Google Map)

Sightseeing in Seoul reviewed by Prof. Jozef Gruska

1. Gyeongbokgung place.

Huge, very interesting.

Highlight; Gyoenghoeru pavilon in the middle of a pond

Highlight - National Folk Museum - especially an illustration of

thousands ways of making kimchi

2. Changdeokgung palace

World Heritage palace - you have to take an (English speaking) tour

Highlight - Biwon - Secret garden, beautiful and poetic

3. Dongdaemum market

A world unique huge wholesale and retail shopping area. Very busy.

Best way to go there is in the late evening. Likely after midnight

4. Korean folk village

Huge area full of surprises, excellent place to be in

Highlights (for me); illustration of thousands year old floor

heating systems

5. War memorial museum

Huge and impressive, by design and also by content.

Much broader and more interesting than the name indicates

Highlight: A special ship that helped to protect Korea from an invasion

6. National museum

Huge, quite new, impressive

7. Olympic park

Very enjoyable. One can see very nice sport pavilons, to have nice

walks in a nice nature and see a lot of nice huge sculptures in the

park and also several art galleries/exhibitions.

8. National theater or Nanta theater or Cheongdong theater

I want to see one of them.

9. Insadong

Pleasant shopping and eating street full of shops of (folk) art products

Highlight: restaurant (Sanchon) with buddhist monks food (and small dancing show)

10. Itaewon

Busy shopping area.

Highlight: suits making shops - in 2-3 days

Extra: to have dinner in one restaurants from which you can see Seoul

at night with hundreds of red neon crosses on the top of churches

A Brief Personal Guide to Seoul and Korea by Prof. Hai-Woong Lee

* Royal Palaces

I remember that, when I first visited the Forbidden City in Beijing, I was overwhelmed by its size. Korean palaces are much smaller in size, but they have their own "small" beauties with gardens, pavilions and ponds. Among many palaces, the three best are Gyeongbok Palace, Deoksu Palace and the Secret Garden (Changdeok Palace). The Secret Garden offers three daily English tours. Each palace has an entrance fee of about three U.S. dollars.

* Insa-Dong

Two or three blocks of narrow street lined with antique stores, small galleries, and Korean traditional restaurants and tea houses. I remember that I took some visiting physicists to this place in the past and they loved a small tea house offering Korean traditional teas.

* Itaewon

A multi-cultural town full of delicious foreign foods and shops. You can see many foreigners on streets here and communicate in English in restaurants and shops. The Thai, Bulgarian, Mexican, and Italian restaurants I tried here are excellent. Plan to spend fifteen to twenty five U.S. dollars a person in restaurants here.

* Kyobo Bookstore

This may be the largest bookstore in the world. Most of the books in the store are Korean books, but it also has English and Japanese books and magazines.

* War Memorial of Korea

This museum contains a memorial to those lost in the Korean War and exhibits related to Korea's military history, as well as an outdoor display of tanks, war planes, etc. I once visited this place only to see some special exhibition held at that time. This must be a nice place, because Jozef Gruska, who surely knows Seoul better than I, likes it.

* Korean Folk Village

This outdoor village of Korean traditional houses is located ~30km (1/2~1 hour of drive) south of Seoul. A good place to visit if you want to experience Korean traditional culture and lifestyles centuries ago. It has daily performances of a Korean traditional wedding ceremony, acrobats, music, and dance.

* Korean Food

There are many Korean dishes I can recommend, but I here name just two. The first is "Galbi", grilled short ribs prepared in Korean style. It can be made with beef or pork, but try beef (cost: ~30 U.S. dollars). The second is "Bulgogi", slices of beef barbecued in Korean style (cost: ~20 U.S. dollars).

* Performances

Two famous nonverbal performances known to be popular among both Koreans and foreigners are Nanta (a performance integrating Korean traditional rhythm with comic and drama, ticket:~50 U.S. dollars) and Jump (a performance of spectacular martial arts and acrobatics with a comic story set in an average Korean home, ticket:~40 U.S. dollars). If anybody wants to go see either one, please let me know. I have seen neither, and I want to go see them myself.

There are usually many good concerts, art exhibitions, etc. in Seoul. Those that I would recommend that are held during AQIS'08 are a classical music concert by European Union Youth Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy on Aug. 27, a concert by the Japanese new age pianist Yuki Kuramoto on Aug. 26, an exhibition of the work entitled "Ocean Without a Shore" of the famed video artist Bill Viola, and a popular rock musical "Line 1" made in Korea and sung in Korean (with English subtitles on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays).

Friday, July 17, 2009


Towns and cities in alphabetical order


Arcos |ACoruna | Antequera | Altea | Almunecar | Algeciras | Alicante | Aledo | Almeria | Ayamonte | Alhora | Alhaurin | Almerimar | Adra | Archidona | Avila | Alhaurin de la Torre


Barcelona | Benidorm |Bilbao | Burgos | Benalmadena | Blanes | Barbate | Badajoz | Baza | Blanes


Cadiz | Cordoba | Casares | Cabezas San Juan | Calatayud | Caceres | Ceuta | Carmona | Calella Cambrils | Castellar | Coin | Cartama | Calpe | Cartagena | Castro Urdiales | Cuenca | Crevillent | Cuidad Rodrigo | Calafell | Castellon | Chipiona | Conil | Castril | Cúllar | Castropol | Cambrils


Denia |


Estepona | Ecija | Estartit | Elche | Elda | El Mojan | El Rocio |Estepa |


Fuengirola | Frigiliana |


Granada | Girona | Guipuzcoa | Guadix | Getxo | Guaro


Haro | Huelva | Huesca |


Italica | Isla | Isla Canela | Islantilla | Istan | Isla Canela


Jerez | Jaen | Jimena |


Logrono | La Linea | Leon | Lugo | Lloret de Mar | Lorca | La Santa | Lo Pagan | Loredo | La Manga | Los Alcázares |


Marbella | Malaga | Madrid | Mijas | Merida | Manilva | Malgret | Magaluf | Monda | Mar Menor | Mojacar | Moguer | Mazagon | Mar Menor | Muxia |


Nerja | Novelda | Noja |


Ourense | Ojen | Orihuela | Obejo | Olvera | Orihuela


Puerto Banus | Puerto de la Duquesa | Pontevedra | Pineda de Mar | Palma Nova | Pamplona | Petrer | Palma de Mallorca | Pedrena | Punta Entinas |Puerto de Santa Maria |


Ronda | Reinosa | Roquetas |


Seville | Sotogrande | Santander | Salamanca | San Sebastian | Sabinillas | Sitges | Salou | San Pedro | Santa Pola | Sax | Suances | Santillana del Mar | Santona | Segovia | San Javier | Setenil | Santiago de Compostela |


Tabarca | Tarifa | Tarragona | Teruel | Toledo | Torre del Mar | Torremolinos | Torrevieja | Torrox | Tossa de Mar | Totana | Trujillo | Tudela | Tabernas Desert


Ubeda |


Valencia | Vilafortuny | Vitoria | Villena | Valladolid | Vejer de la Frontera |Vigo


Zaragoza | Zafra


Rank Urban sub-area Population Status Ceremonial county
1 London 7,172,091 City Greater London, City of London
2 Birmingham 970,892 City West Midlands
3 Liverpool 469,017 City Merseyside
4 Leeds 443,247 City West Yorkshire
5 Sheffield 439,866 City South Yorkshire
6 Bristol 420,556 City Bristol
7 Manchester 394,269 City Greater Manchester
8 Leicester 330,574 City Leicestershire
9 Coventry 303,475 City West Midlands
10 Kingston upon Hull 301,416 City East Riding of Yorkshire
11 Bradford 293,717 City West Yorkshire
12 Stoke-on-Trent 259,252 City Staffordshire
13 Wolverhampton 251,462 City West Midlands
14 Nottingham 249,584 City Nottinghamshire
15 Plymouth 243,795 City Devon
16 Southampton 234,224 City Hampshire
17 Reading 232,662 Town Berkshire
18 Derby 229,407 City Derbyshire
19 Dudley 194,919 Town West Midlands
20 Newcastle upon Tyne 189,863 City Tyne and Wear
21 Northampton 189,474 Town Northamptonshire
22 Portsmouth 187,056 City Hampshire
23 Luton 185,543 Town Bedfordshire
24 Preston 184,836 City Lancashire
25 Milton Keynes 184,506 † Town Buckinghamshire
26 Sunderland 177,739 City Tyne and Wear
27 Norwich 174,047 City Norfolk
28 Walsall 170,994 Town West Midlands
29 Bournemouth 167,527 Town Dorset
30 Southend-on-Sea 160,257 Town Essex
31 Swindon 155,432 Town Wiltshire
32 Huddersfield 146,234 Town West Yorkshire
33 Poole 144,800 Town Dorset
34 Oxford 143,016 City Oxfordshire
35 Middlesbrough 142,691 Town North Yorkshire
36 Blackpool 142,283 Town Lancashire
37 Bolton 139,403 Town Greater Manchester
38 Ipswich 138,718 Town Suffolk
39 Telford 138,241 † Town Shropshire
40 York 137,505 City North Yorkshire
41 West Bromwich 136,940 Town West Midlands
42 Peterborough 136,292 City Cambridgeshire
43 Stockport 136,082 Town Greater Manchester
44 Brighton 134,293 Town East Sussex
45 Slough 126,276 Town Berkshire
46 Gloucester 123,205 City Gloucestershire
47 Watford 120,960 Town Hertfordshire
48 Rotherham 117,262 Town South Yorkshire
49 Cambridge 113,442 †† City Cambridgeshire
50 Exeter 106,772 City Devon
51 Eastbourne 106,562 Town East Sussex
52 Sutton Coldfield 105,452 Town West Midlands
53 Blackburn 105,085 Town Lancashire
54 Colchester 104,390 Town Essex
55 Oldham 103,544 Town Greater Manchester
56 St Helens 102,629 Town Merseyside
57 Crawley 100,547 Town West Sussex






















Italy has a long recorded history that the biggest problem facing the traveler is to choose among the nation's endless cultural attractions. All main centres, most of the provincial cities and many quite small towns have museums. Of all the countries in the worls, there is none more magical than Italy, a traveler's dream destination. Ancien monuments and archeological sites are perfectly preserved; the museums afinest sons: Raffaello, Michelangelo, Tiziano, Canova; contemporary architects are still inspired by ancient buildings and squares (piazze). Italian cities are veritable living bursting with the genious of Italy's

UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Italy

According to UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural branch, two thirds of the world's historical artistic heritage are in Italy. Tuscany, which is only one region of Italy, by itself possesses more artistic treasures than the whole of Spain, which is the second country in the world for cultural heritage. Practically all major styles of Western architecture can be found in Italy.

The following Italian sites have been placed by
UNESCO on its World Heritage List:

1979 Rock Drawings in Valcamonica (Lombardy)
1980, 1990 Historic Centre of Rome, the properties of the Holy See in that city enjoying extraterritorial rights, and San Paolo fuori le Mura (Latium)
1980 Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci - Milano (Lombardy)
1982 Historic Centre of Florence (Tuscany)
1987 Venice and its Lagoon (Veneto)
1987 Piazza del Duomo - Pisa (Tuscany)
1990 Historic Centre of San Gimignano (Siena, Tuscany)
1993 I Sassi di Matera (Basilicata)
1994 The City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas (Veneto)
1995 Historic Centre of Siena (Tuscany)
1995 Historic Centre of Naples (Campania)
1995 Crespi d'Adda - Capriate (Lombardy)
1995 Ferrara, City of the Renaissance and its Po Delta (Emilia-Romagna)
1996 Castel del Monte - Bari (Apulia)
1996 The Trulli of Alberobello - Bari (Apulia)
1996 The Early Christian Monuments and Mosaics of Ravenna (Emilia-Romagna)
1996 The Historic Centre of the City of Pienza (Siena, Tuscany)
1997 The 18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex (Campania)
1997 The Residences of the Royal House of Savoia (Piedmont)
1997 The Botanical Garden, Orto Botanico - Padua (Veneto)
1997 The Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande - Modena (Emilia-Romagna)
1997 The Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Ercolano, and Torre Annunziata (Naples, Campania)
1997 Villa Romana del Casale - Piazza Armerina (Enna, Sicily)
1997 Su Nuraxi di Barumini, Cagliari (Sardinia)
1997 Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) (Liguria)
1997 The Amalfi Coast, Costiera Amalfitana - Salerno (Campania)
1997 The Archaeological Area of Agrigento (Sicily)
1998 Cilento and Vallo di Adriano National Park with the Archeological sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula (Salerno, Campania)
1998 Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia (Udine, Friuli-Venezia Giulia)
1998 Historic Centre of Urbino (Marches)
1999 Villa Adriana (Tivoli - Latium)
2000 City of Verona (Veneto)
2000 Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands, Sicily)
2000 Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites (Umbria)
2001 Villa d'Este, Tivoli (Latium)
2002 Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-eastern Sicily)
2003 Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy
2004 Val d'Orcia (Tuscany)
2004 Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia (Latium)
2005 Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica (Sicily)
2006 Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli (Liguria)
2008 Mantua and Sabbioneta (Lombardy)
2008 Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Cultural Landscape (Switzerland and Italy)