adventures

#Seoulid - part 3

12:00:00 AM

(Continuation)
But first, coffee
Seoul was such an adventure that two posts (one of which is dedicated to food alone) just doesn’t seem to be enough. It’s an amazing city for people who like to walk around aimlessly. If I had at least one more day, here’s what I would have done with it: I’d take a table by the window of a cafe in a busy street and just watch people walk by. I’m sure that by the end of the day, my mind would be filled with imagined stories about their lives that I will never be able to find out if they’re true, or at least close to being true. 
The other side of the gate 
Guards switching
But we made the most of our one whole day there by walking miles and miles out in the cold. After breakfast, we walked to Sungnyemun Gate, which is the nearest historical landmark to where we stayed. Kristoff took photos of everyone, myself included, while I pretty much just photographed the gate itself. We witnessed the ceremonial changing of the guards, and in my head I tried to picture what this same ceremony would have looked like during the Joseon Dynasty.
The Palace
Gate to the inner palace
Princess Hours
Lateral growth
We went to Gyeongbukgung Palace next. I loved that there were a lot of people in traditional Korean costumes walking around the place, moreso the big groups that made me feel as though I were traveling in time. The palace compounds was insanely huge, housing several pagoda-like structures that served both as the home and the fortress of Korean royalty also during the Joseon Dynasty. 

What amazed me about Seoul is how they seem to have struck the perfect balance between advancing in the modern world and preserving their culture and their history. I really wish we could do the same for the Philippines. 

I skipped the visit to Bukchon Hanok Village because I needed to rest a bit; I opted to sit in Athena Cafe with Kristoff and Arden and let the kids have their field day. 
Lit up
Follow the light
The Tower
Our last stop before heading back to the hotel was Seoul Tower, which we reached via cable car. I learned that you could opt to hike to the top for about an hour or two, but we didn’t have the time for that. It was already late when we got there, and the line was pretty long so what we saw was Seoul at night, its buildings and homes and roads glowing to fight off the dark.
The view
Lovelocked
Shopping was never my thing, but being in Seoul will make it your thing. I ended up raiding the beauty stores in Myeongdong - and not just for friends and family waiting back home, but for myself, too. I bought a shitload of face masks (haha!), and yes, some makeup. A couple of souvenir items made the cut (magnets for my best friend, Joandrea and my brother, Erroll), plus some snacks for the team, and for my winter clothing sponsor (a.k.a. lifesaver), Pauline.

One weekend wasn’t enough; as we drove to the airport the next day, I was already thinking about how or when I could possibly come back. I made a list of things to do for when I visit again, which included biking around the city and finding a dojo for jiu-jitsu training. 

The airport had a nice sendoff for those of us leaving Korea: they had performers playing traditional Korean music near the boarding gates. The melody played in my head as our plane took off.

isawisay

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Hello, reader! Thank you for wasting your time reading my blog. I do hope you enjoyed whatever you stumbled upon. :)