Some Unusual Korean Roads

I have told you about some of the roads in Seoul, but today, I went on some of those roads, and I told my Korean son in law who was with me to take his camera out and take pictures for you.  There are little narrow roads, and there are hills that are so steep it is like going on a roller coaster. These roads are all close to Korea Christian University.


You can see that the hill is so steep in one place that we can’t see below the woman’s knees that is walking on the street on the right dressed in white. I was offered by KCU to live in the white apartment building on the right. It is just up the street from KCU, but I could imagine having to park in that parking garage under that building. I had friends who lived there, and when it snowed, getting to their house was terrible on that hill.  I have known three different KCU professors who lived in that building.  They liked being just up the street from the school, but I avoided living on that hill.
We are going downhill in this photograph. This is the road that leads to KCU from the hill where we used to live.  I used to walk up and down that hill, and then another hill to get to KCU and back home.

Here are a couple of shots my son in law took from inside the car as we went down the hill.  This road is so steep that the first time someone took me on it, I thought the car was going to fall off the hill. I have lived all over the world, but this has to be the most steep road on a hill I have seen. At one point on this hill, there is hardly a slant, it is almost just going straight up with just barely an incline. It takes a strong car engine to get up this hill and shifting the gears into a lower gear for more power.

Look up on the wall on the right in this picture. You will see a mirror. Look under the mirror, and it says CCTV, Closed Circuit TV.

This corner is positioned that you can’t see around it, and it is a one lane road that goes two ways.  They have positioned mirrors so that the cars can see around the corners to see if cars are coming so they don’t run head on into another car. There are close circuit TV cameras everywhere in Seoul. Except for when you are in your apartment, you are seen everywhere you are.  My daughter says about 98% of people’s lives in Seoul are recorded somewhere on cameras around Seoul.

There is a truck in front of it with a man working just now, but you can see the other mirror around the corner from the picture above.  It helps you see if there is oncoming traffic. There are mirrors at that corner so drivers can see both ways. 
There are many narrow roads like this in Seoul. If you meet ongoing traffic, someone has to back up to the street before because there is no way for anyone to pull to one side and let you by.
This is another shot of the little narrow street that has the mirror so you can look around the corner with a mirror.  The street is so narrow that if you meet ongoing traffic, you have to pull to one side and let the traffic inch by you hoping their car isn’t so wide they will hit you. If you have a big car on these roads, you are in trouble and will probably get it scratched up. The building on the left is an apartment building with a parking garage under it.  On the right, you can see a brick wall with a gate. There would be a house behind that brick wall with hardly a yard. The car I drove first was cheaper than the one I drive now and bigger, and it was easily scratched on roads like these as cars inched beside me.
This was originally a two way street, but they decided to allow the cars to park along one side, so it was turned into a two way street with only one lane.  You have to look for a place where a car isn’t parked if you meet on going traffic, and one of you must be gracious enough to pull into the parking place and let the other car by.  This is close to KCU.

When the missionaries came to this area, there was nothing here, only rice fields.
They bought the land, built their houses, and began a preaching school that turned into a Christian college that turned into a Christian university.  The area grew up around the school. The dirt roads were paved and everyone built houses, apartment buildings, restaurants, coffee shops, and stores close to KCU.  It became very, very crowded, and the streets  were very small and remained that way.  No one had any idea it was going to grow so fast in such a short time. They began that preaching school in 1958 when there were only rice fields, but look at it today. Everyone is crowded up against everyone else, and the streets are crazy!


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