Sunday, 17 June 2012

Yeosu Expo 2012: Sky Tower

We quickly realised we weren't going to be very good at sticking to the schedule. A combination of hunger and poor weather left us heading straight for lunch on our arrival! So, after a hearty bowl of bibimbap, it was time to start exploring what the expo had to offer! 

First stop on the list of things-to-do was the SKY tower and we were on our way there when we came across a rather exciting looking procession but we didn't hang around too long! 

On the introduction on the Yeosu Expo website, there is a German legend that tells of a mermaid named 'Lorelei' who used to sit on a rock and bewitch passing sailors with her enchanting songs. Once a cement silo, the SKY tower observatory is now a heart shaped pipe organ which actually holds the Guinness World Record for being the world's loudest pipe organ! 

It was from here onwards that we began to realise how vital our press passes would be if we were going to see more than one or two exhibitions during our trips. Faced with queues varying in length from 1-3 hours depending on the exhibit, flashing our press pass gained us instant access. 

Thank goodness! 

  Aside from functioning as a pavilion, the observatory, which stands at 67m ( ~220 ft) high above the ground, offers superb views across the expo. At least I'm positive it would have done, if it hadn't been incredibly overcast as you can see from the photos.
Now, I've never been someone who is scared of heights but then again, who really loves heights? Faced with the prospect of a transparent floor panel, I think everyone's knees went a little week. The panel offers a view all the way to the ground...and a quick look shows you the panel isn't very thick either. I have no doubt it is made of some super-strong material but still, it's strange how we react to something like this, even when we know it's perfectly safe. 

Brave Anna disappeared and cowardly Anna made a somewhat shy appearance... 

Then, the rain really took a turn for the worse. It poured, the temperature dropped and I thanked myself for donning jeans over shorts! 

Interestingly, the tower also serves as a water filtration and desalination system. 

First, the water is passed through is passed through a sand filter to remove large particle impurities and algae, then it passes through an active carbon filter that absorbs any organic matter. The third step passes it under a UV lamp, sterilising it. The fourth stage is a UF block, the elimination of impurities at a micro-organism level before carrying out reverse osmosis and finally, the fifth stage which involves the removal of any ionic substances in the seawater. When this is all done, the water is remineralised to produce drinking water by adjusting the pH and adding certain minerals.

You can even try the water! 

After rehydrating ourselves with the desalinated seawater, it was time to move on to the participant' pavilions (Samsung, Lotte, Hyundai and Daewoo). 

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