Wow it was a busy day. First off we made it in safe Thursday night. We met up with some friends who arrived around the same time and are here for their court date too at the airport and rode the train to our subway station with them. We had a little trouble getting out of the subway station and but our apartment is a stone’s throw from the station so that was easy. We were beat and tired and hit the bed pretty quickly.
This AM I woke at 4 thanks to the time change and Clint was up around 5. We took our time getting ready and called and talked to my mom to check on the boys before we headed out a little before 7. We decided to walk up the road to find the Korean agency just to make sure we know where we are going on Monday. It was an easy walk and as we walked up it hit me that this is where Edric spent almost 3 months after he was out of the NICU and where he comes every month to be checked and get the packages we have sent. I choked up a bit just knowing he’s been there and that’s where we will meet.
And then we were off. We bought our T-money cards for the subway and quickly had that mastered. It’s a great system, the stations are clean and directions are easy to follow and everything is color coded. And there are random clothing shops and pastry shops scattered throughout the stations. I’ve figured out that riding the subway is little more then finding a train and then riding up and down a bunch of escalators in route either out of the station or to another line.
We headed to Namsan Park and found the trail to walk up it. There are 4 mountains that surround Seoul and Namsan is the southern mountain. We walked up a lot of hills and climbed a lot of stairs to get to the top. Along the way though we got to walk alongside part of the old city wall, it was first built in the late 1300s. Parts have had to be rebuilt over time, but it was so cool to see it and walk along a part of history. We made it to Seoul Tower and went up to the observation deck and looked out. I have failed to mentioned how HOT and MUGGY it was, but we were both drenched in sweat and it only got worse as the day went on.
We walked down the otherside of the mountain and into Seoul central where the old city gate Sungnyemun was located and ate our lunches in the shade there. It was quite the contrast to see the old gate (undergoing some restoration work) backdropped by sky scrappers and busy traffic.
From there we walked through Namdaemun market which is Seoul’s largest market and dates back over 600 years. There were stalls of everything from clothes, to kitchenware, to shoes, to food. We enjoyed just meandering our way through.
After a short rest back at our apartment (and more subway mastering) we headed out again and headed for Cheonggyecheon, which is a calm river stream going through the heart of Seoul. We walked along the river and over the bridges and even stopped and put our feet in for a bit with all the locals.
From there we headed up to Insadong which is another market full of craft workshops and galleries. We wondered through and just browsed and looked at all sorts of things from the painted fans, hanging scrolls, celadon pottery, and so much more. We also found a street vender with chicken kabobs that were great and a dessert store that made these funny shaped ice cream cones but we decided that they tasted amazing even if they looked funny
We walked around a bit more and then headed back to our little apartment. It was a great day and it has been an amazing city to explore. All in all today we did over 13.6 miles.