Photo Of The Day: The Old And The New In Seoul, South Korea

As we’ve seen in Jonathan Kramer’s “The Kimchi-ite” series, South Korea is a country that embraces both its past and its future. That notion is captured perfectly in this Photo of the Day from Flickr user and photographer Ohad Ben-Yoseph, which depicts a colorful old temple set against a sparkling new skyscraper in perfect juxtaposition. Ben-Yoseph’s Flickr photo stream is filled with similarly evocative photographs, showing a country in transition.Do you have any great travel photos? You now have two options to enter your snapshots into the running for Gadling’s Photo of the Day. Upload your shots to the Gadling Flickr Pool, or mention @GadlingTravel and use hashtag #gadling in the caption or comments for your post on Instagram. Don’t forget to give us a follow too!

[Photo Credit: Flickr user ohad*]

The Shard, London’s Tallest Skyscraper, Opens To Public Today

Today London officially opens its newest landmark, a 1,016-foot skyscraper that has been under construction since 2009. As you can see above, the irregular pyramid-shaped building is entirely covered in glass, and resembles an icicle or chip of glass – hence the name, The Shard.

At 87 stories, the building is the tallest in the European Union. From the 68th to the 72nd floor, the new skyscraper has a viewing gallery and an open-air observation deck called The View from the Shard. Thanks to the fine folks at Visit London, I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of the new attraction just a few days before it opened to the public. Although it was a snowy, overcast morning, the panoramic views from the top were impressive. From the 72nd floor, it was easy to let your eye follow the dramatic curves of the Thames River and spot many of London’s famous landmarks. Officials said on clear days, visibility could reach up to 40 miles.

For those who are not familiar with London’s cityscape, The Shard has made things easy. Several telescopic viewfinders not only let you zoom in to various spots around London, but have also been programmed to point out historical and otherwise important places and monuments. As you point the viewfinder in any direction, the names of certain landmarks pop up on a screen. If something is unfamiliar, just tap the name to learn more. It’s a great way to orient yourself and learn more about the city – and even if it ends up being an overcast day, the markers can indicate what isn’t visible beyond the clouds.

Besides the observation galleries, the building will house 600,000 square feet of office space, 10 luxury residences valued at $50 million each, a Shangri-La hotel, and three floors of restaurants and retail space.

The building marks a new phase for an improvement plan in the surrounding area, which will soon be known as the London Bridge Quarter. In addition to The Shard, a shorter building called London Bridge Place will be built nearby, and major updates are underway in the London Bridge rail and Underground station.

Reports from London say Mayor Boris Johnson officially cut the ribbon for The Shard earlier today, and a couple has already gotten engaged at the top. Now that it’s open, the attraction is expected to draw more than two million visitors a year, and comes with an entrance fee of £24.95, or about $39, for adults.

[Photo credit: blogger Libby Zay]

Photo Of The Day: Chicago Skyline

New York’s skyline might be better known, but there’s few cities on earth that can claim a more impressive architectural heritage than Chicago. Today Flickr user Bens640 shares a good example of why Chicago has one of the world’s most impressive collections of skyscrapers, both modern and historic. On the left is the bluish sheen of the Trump International Hotel and Tower, now the city’s second tallest building. On the right, the gorgeous Wrigley Building, completed in 1921.

Taken any great architecture shots during your urban travels? Why not add them to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.

[Photo credit: Flickr user Bens640]

Photo of the Day – Empire State Building

For New Yorkers, there’s something strangely comforting about the Empire State Building. Maybe it’s simply the fact this solidly standing skyscraper has anchored citizens’ views for 80 years. Or maybe it’s because it’s become an iconic landmark of this famous city, an image burned into the subconscious of locals and visitors alike. Or maybe, as Flickr user Em_photos2010 demonstrates with today’s shot, it’s simply because the Empire State Building is a beautiful building – this Depression-era skyscraper’s angular lines, Art Deco design and tiered layer-cake structure are on display with this interesting close-up shot.

Taken any great travel photos recently? Why not add them to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.

Photo of the Day – Shanghai Architecture

If you’ve picked up a newspaper or been online in the last five years, you’re probably well-aware the media has crowned China the country of the 21st Century. It’s hard to visualize this abstract notion. What does it mean? Today’s photo, by Flickr user toffiloff, looks like what I picture when I think of “21st Century China”. Taken at Shanghai’s World Financial Center, the photo’s shiny mirrored surfaces, sleek angles and muted colors all suggest newness, modernity and progress. Is it a sign of things to come? Or simply a mirror of our what we expect China to be?

Taken any great travel photos during your recent journeys? Why not add them to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.