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Published: October 10th 2017
These girls all dressed up in Palace grounds
Well on the way to another adventure, but theory of "When Angels Travel" has gone up in smoke!! Left Melbourne on Thursday 5th to fly to Seoul via Hong Kong with Cathay, arrived Hong Kong late and misconnected our flight to Seoul....Cathay were absolutely pathetic handling this situation...in fact we could have made our flight as we had about 1/2hr...but they refused....I bet they were overbooked!!! Then an 8 hr wait at Hong Kong for another flight at 3.30a.m. with Asiana, had never heard of this airline, but they turned out to be very good, tried to get a little sleep on the flight but it was only 3 1/2hrs so just a catnap...arrived into Seoul 5.00a.m...had to get taxi as no one could meet us...arrived at Stanford Hotel...lovely hotel but only enough time to shower have some breaky and get on the bus for our first day of our tour...it was match sticks to keep the eyes open I can tell you! When getting on the bus our tour guide told us it is an 8 day public holiday here in South Korea so lots of people out and about having their holiday break.....were there people out and about!!!! Thousands
Fine looking buddha with lots intricate detail
of them!!! Off and on our way to Mt Seorak which is a Unesco Biosphere Preservation District....ginormous national park with many rare species of plants etc found in this park.....it ended up taking us 7 1/2 hrs to do about 250klm.....thousands and thousands of cars making their way in our direction, stopped for about 1hr for lunch and toilet stop....traffic was harrendous...freeways absolutely clogged in every direction! Then about 2 hrs out of Seoul as we climbed up into the mountains it poured rain....arrived at the National Park to take the cable car to the top of the mountains.....rain and fog....could hardly see a thing....great start! Then onto Inje Speedium Hotel which was a hotel right on the race track...our rooms looked out over the track...they only do F2 here but a very nice hotel and wasn't that bed looking appealing by 8pm. We had a typical Korean meal for lunch and dinner....bulgogi for lunch in soup form and a mushroom and pork dish that you cook on your table, comes with lots of small bowls of all different kimchi, other veges, rice and salads..very enjoyable and slept like a log. Up and off next morning to Andong, a village
Wet and dull day!
still lived in and working their farm land etc, gorgeous preserved houses of the Joseon Dynasty, had a long walk all around this quaint village where famous Prime Ministers have lived etc. Then onto Daegu city for the night near the convention centre, found a cute little bar and had a few well deserved beers....wine is just about non existent...no wine served in hotel and went to a 711 and they had some yellow tail but god knows how long that had been sitting there on the shelf...so gave that a miss! Sunday spent the day in and around Gyeongju visiting two different Temples, also visiting the National Museum, Cheomseongdae Astronomical Observatory and Royal Tumuli Park where there are all these tombs buried under huge mounds of dirt.....boxes built metres and metres down in the ground then an elaborate framework is built and then covered with all different materials and dirt.....there were 23 of these mounds scattered around this huge park....it was so interesting to see such an array of pieces that were excavated from these sites in the museum! What has really taken our eye is the amount of greenery, parks and open spaces here in South Korea...not what
So much cloud
we were expecting. They love hiking, walking, keeping fit and eating very healthy, nutritious food. There were literally thousands up on the mountain with hiking gear etc walking miles in the pouring rain. We are so lucky on this trip there are 14 of us and such a great bunch, 2 Canadian sisters from Novia Scotia, 2 guys Auckland, 2 couples from Adelaide, 1 couple from Sydney and Brisbane and then us! Lots of fun and so friendly! Monday back to Seoul to experience views of the city from Namsan Tower, still a bit foggy so view wasn't great but a beautiful park perched high up above the city, continued onto Cheonggyecheon Stream in the middle of the city and a walk around the commercial district. Back to Standford Hotel, all rooms 25.8 inside, very hot, no air con....my god! The blood pressure of you know who soared!! When we arrived back Tuesday, cake and bottle of wine with apology letter and offered to upgrade to suite but what the use of that still hot so stayed in our original room. Tuesday was a real highlight visiting the DMZ! Our tour guide says they are not afraid of what North
Korea are doing more about what China and USA are doing! Though today is anniversary of Kim Dynasty ruling and they wonder what he has planned! We took a little type of funicular thingy deep down into the 3rd tunnel located within the DMZ, around 300 metres underground, a 44 klm drive northwest of Seoul, also visited Dora Viewing platform where we could see across into North Korea of the Propaganda Village and Gaeseong City. We also visited Freedom Park dedicated to the 5 million people who left their families and homes in North Korea, lovely statues and memorials. Back into Seoul City to visit Changdeokgung Palace, one of the five grand palaces built by Kings of the Jeoson Dynasty, that was really beautiful. Then for an hour shopping in one of the quaint little shopping districts and dinner of grilled whole Mackerell which was delicious. South Korea done and dusted and flying off to Osaka tomorrow minus 4 people off this tour but I think we gain a couple in Osaka.
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