Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Asia Trip - Day 3 - Seoul, Korea

Wed 11 KoreanAirLines #471 6:30 pm ICN – 10:30pm RGN Yangon Myanmar (6 hr 30 min)


The view from our hotel window this morning. Foggy!
We had a good night. No complaints about the hotel whatsoever. I was awake at 4:15 am but that is really not the hotels fault. Since we thought we might be messed up a bit with the time difference James had set his alarm for 7 and that is promptly when he woke up. Our room fee included continental breakfast and we had been given vouchers when we had checked in. The girl told us to have whatever we wanted.
Yes, it was a full buffet with everything you can think off. Salad bar, soups, Asian things, cereals, yoghurt, fruits, the best smoked salmon I ever had, stir fried rice, stir fried noodles, selection of sausages, bacon, and and besides eggs freshly fixed however you wanted. Well, that was brunch for us of course.

Yesterday I had found this map somewhere. The red square at the bottom is our Pacific Hotel. We decided walking to the cable car and going up to the Seoul Tower. Do you see what I saw on the way to the cable car? Helen, take a good look! I reminded James that he had chosen the hotel, ha-ha.

Yup, there it is. We passed it with the intent to come back later.

It was a cold morning. We are so happy that we brought our wooly hats. We should have had gloves too. It's winter here. Everybody is bundled up. You see a lot of fur.
Everybody is really friendly here. I was gestured to go right up to the window in the cable car so I could see. Unfortunately there was not that much to see. Still fog. But the sun is shining so we hope that it might burn off.

Up on top there are different things to see. At several spots are chain link fences and they are all covered with padlocks. My goodness, there must be a fascination with it. And especially now because everywhere you are reminded of Valentine's Day.

This is a historic site. Beacon Hill! On several of the mountains all over the country there were these "ovens". They were used for smoke signals during the day and fire during the night if warnings needed to be made about enemies. "Old age wireless"?

This seemed to be a mascot and we thought it would be good to buy/get a new miniature as a friend for William but we couldn't find one anywhere.

Yup, close to Valentine's Day. It's all Made of cans of soft drinks.

We walked around. There were lookouts here and there and signs explaining things. Ha, what we could see if we could see what's there to see.

More padlocks! One said: 2015 - 20 years wonderful

We decide to have a coffee/tea break. The young man in the shop speaks just a little English to tell us it is special fog ... with dust. O.k. So it is not fog but smog and might not burn off that fast. No use sticking around much longer. We enjoy our coffee/tea though in a glassed-in place with an almost lovely view.
Where we bought the above they made these special waffles. They were either teddy bears with a heart or the tower. And you could have them filled with bean paste or custard.

Our coffee and Chinese quince tea.

I almost made the mistake and took these from the counter. They were for the customers before us. I think they splurged.

On the way back. One more photo. Oh my, The Lord must have told my guardian angel to really watch out because I missed the second of two steps when I wanted to get closer to take the photo of James in front of the pagoda. And the whole time up there we kept talking how difficult all these steps here and there were to see. I laid flat on my front. A bruise on one elbow and one on one knee and a hurt ego, otherwise all is fine.

This wasn't here when we arrived. A tent with costums I guess you can rent to be photographed in next to the "actors". There were plenty of customers.

On the way to the cable car. James pointed out the knobs on the railing which I had missed going up.
Totally forget taking pictures of the cable car.

On our way back to the hotel we passed the quilt museum again and went in. Almost everywhere they have senior discounts. You just have to ask. It's an incredible saving.
The elderly couple who seems to take care of it was very nice. Unfortunately they really didn't talk any English. After we paid she gave me some advertising brochures and postcards of quilts. Have to look at it later. She led us in and encouraged me to take photos before I had taken my camera out or asked even so there were 'no photography' signs everywhere.
The exhibition was quite small but a lot of fun. I have a good number of photos but show only three of the quilts here. I will write a blog with all and post it on my 'lace and quilts' blogspot. You can click on the tab in the header if you like to see it. It might take a couple days though.

When we were ready to leave the lady took over my camera. She really seemed to enjoy taking pictures. The front room had lots of tables and chairs and even a microphone so we think they must give classes.

There was still time before we had to leave for the airport so we decided to go to Namdaemun Market. Walking around in a town, trying to find your way, that alone is fun.
Have I mentioned that it was cold in Seoul? How cold? So cold that I often saw trees lovingly wrapped up. Some looked like they had Hawaiian skirts on. These here are wrapped up all the way into the branches.
James and I noticed that the whole town was very well taken care off. No trash anywhere. Not on the sides of the road to the airport either. Quite exquisite landscaping between the houses and skyscrapers. We were very impressed.

We did find the market and walked around hoping to not get lost. This (photo) shows kind of a way in. What came after that was chaos. Left, right, up and down. You had to squeeze past if somebody came the other way. Seems you can find everything here. You just have to know where it might be. We did finally found something we were looking for but about that later.
Totally forgot to take more photos. I had too much fun.

We made it in good time back to the hotel, used the bathrooms, claimed our luggage, and made our way to the bus stop. We didn't have to wait long.
What I forget to tell when we took the bus the first time we were told to seat buckle. And again now. The driver even came around to see like a stewardess.
The drive was very interesting again, this time in daylight. The airport is actually on the island Incheon. Traffic was very heavy again but we had plenty of time.
After checking our suitcases we looked to find a snack. James remembered that he had something called "bibimbap" on his earlier business trips to Korea so we decided that that would be fun. There were two versions on the menu and we ordered one each.


It was not as good as James remembered it but something totally new for me.

On the way to the gate we met a parade of historic characters.

Still more time to waste. Since we had only water with our snack we thought we should try Korean beer.

The plane was supposed to leave 6:30 pm but was delaid because of other passengers coming from connections. Oh well. Finally we are on our way.

Let me introduce you to Sonyeon. We met him at the market and he told us that he would like to come with us so he can later tell William all about our trip. Just like Cuy did in Peru. Papa called him the boy and I found out that Sonyeon seems to be the word for boy in Korean. I have linked his name (underlined!) to google translage. There you can find a little loudspeaker sign and when you click on it you can hear how it is pronounced. I think that is cool!

Sonyeon says good-bye to Seoul.

The flight progress on the seat monitor.

The 6.5 hour flight was fine and nothing was a problem with immigration or luggage. We were met by a driver which was great especially when it is midnight. Who wants to fight with the taxi drivers in a very foreign country at that hour? Or any hour for that matter!
It was lovely to step out of the airport into warm air. ! ! !
Now it is time to turn out the light.


  1. Looks like an interesting town. Kind of scary about the fog/smog. I'm sur William will enjoy hearing about Sonyeon's adventures

  2. I love that there was a quilt museum on your way to the cable car! And it might have been small, but it looks lovely. We were laughing about it after church on Sunday. Oddly enough, the church in Myanmar was in our prayers that morning. I was thinking of the two of you. I love all of the locks! Couples do that in Paris, too. Lovely tradition. Apparently so many people do it that the city has to periodically come with bolt cutters and take some off to make room!

    Please be careful with yourself – you don’t want to ‘pull a James’ ;-) and end up on crutches for your trip!