Thursday, December 11, 2014

So Much More in Seoul!

With only one full day remaining of their Korean vacation, Dave and Melita were determined to do everything remaining on my suggested itinerary.  So we started the day on Friday, October 24, 2014 by hiking Namsan Mountain to see Seoul Tower. What a perfect time of year for a walk among the colorful trees!  Check out the strength and flexibility of the man we saw at one of many exercise areas along the path.  Everywhere David went, he was surrounded by hordes of teenage girls. I'm sure he left Korea feeling like a rock-star! This time, they taught him how to use a "selfie-stick".  We saw electric powered buses and love messages on locks and tiles. And near the tower we took the opportunity to dress up in "Hanbok" - traditional Korean clothing.

After a quick shower we feasted on some tasty Indian curry and then had Mr. Kim, our driver, take us to see some Royal Tombs nestled right in the heart of Seoul.  Seolleung is the tomb of the 9th King of the Joseon Dynasty, King Seongjong (1457-1494) and his third "consort" - a concubine who became the Queen. He became king at the age of 12 and ruled until he died at age 37.  Jeongneung is the royal tomb of King Jungjong, who became the 11th ruler when his older brother was overthrown in a coup.  A 500-year old gingko biloba tree grows near the tomb keeper's house, where we also spotted some pears and persimmons.


Mr. Kim dropped us off at Deoksu Palace on our way back home so that we could squeeze in one quick palace tour and watch the changing of the guard ceremony.

Myeongdong Market is where young Koreans like to "hang-out" on the weekends, so we pretended we were young and Korean! Joining the crowds, we filled ourselves with street foods for dinner.  And then, quite content with our invigorating day in Seoul, we took our seats at the Nanta Theater and sat back and relaxed while we were entertained Korean style.  The humorous, energetic, non-verbal show was a perfect conclusion to our fabulous week.  The only thing lacking was a Myeongdong soft-serve yogurt cone!

On Saturday morning, Melita and Dave had just enough time to wander around Namdaemun in search of some memorable souvenirs to take home. Namdaemun is Korea's oldest and largest traditional market and can be a haggler's paradise.  Although tourism has extinguished any hope of finding a real bargain here, it's still a fun place to shop.  With suitcases stuffed tight, we headed back to Incheon and tried to hold back the tears at parting.  So glad you came to see us in Korea!


Take those "Kimchi" smiles home with you, Dave and Melita, and spread a little Korean cheer wherever you may roam!