Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bargains, Buildings, Blossoms and Boats

A trip to Korea wouldn't be complete without doing a little bargaining at the markets.  That's just what we did on Friday, April 3, 2015.  Our first stop was the Korean Folk Flea Market where Sandra found all kinds of treasures, including a beautiful inlaid jewel mask from Tibet.  We visited Insadong, where she picked up some artwork and scarves.  Cosmetic face masks, Korean treats and other souvenirs were found at Myeongdong and Namdaemun markets.

Later that evening, we went to dinner at Jyoto, our friend, Aastha's, Indian Restaurant.  A Korean musical comedy called "The Wedding Show" entertained us the remainder of the evening.  The best part of the show was when Parker was selected to go on stage where he was instructed to dance by just imitating the moves of a couple of the actresses.  He totally rocked the joint and had us all laughing so hard that our eyes were wet with tears!  (Unfortunately, no photography was allowed.)

 On Saturday morning, Bob, Doug, Sandra, and Alex did a session at the temple, while I took Parker over to Times Square Mall to see what a "real" mall looks like in Korea.

We stopped at a little Korean mandu (also known as dumplings or pot-stickers) and bun restaurant near the temple for lunch.  Later that afternoon, we took the subway over to Yeouido to see the cherry blossoms which were just beginning to bloom, and to explore the parks and activities along the river.  Our exit was near the Korean National Assembly Building, so we decided to take a closer look at the impressive structure.

 Unfortunately, the blossoms were just not quite as impressive as they would be in another week.  But we enjoyed walking around and taking in the sights and smells.
(The trash collection methods just lack a certain appeal!)

Then, threatened to be outdone by Dave and Melita, who ate squiggly raw octopus when they came to visit, Doug took the challenge to eat something even more disgusting.  Yep, those are live sea snails, which Doug managed to easily slurp down, along with some crunchy roasted silkworm larvae!  YUCK!  Just the smell of them cooking will about knock you out!

With "yummy" food on our minds, we headed toward the docks to board our "love" boat for what we hoped would be a delicious and satisfying dinner cruise.

Although we were disappointed that the colorful musical water fountain show was not yet being displayed off the Banpo Bridge, I think we can call the river cruise a perfect way to end our week!  "BEST meal of the entire trip", according to Doug's family!  And Bob and I will agree - it was quite a delicious spread!

 One last ride back to our apartment for our city slicker subway experts!

 I think Doug, Sandra, Alex and Parker will always have a soft spot for Korea in their hearts!

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