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Published: June 22nd 2009
There is nothing better than family normally but it’s even better when they manage to make the long treck east to visit! After lots of discussion my folks finally arrived on South Korean soil. It was brilliant to have them here for a two week visit to see where I work and live and just to experience South Korea, a county that would ordinarily not be a spot I nor they would ordinarily think to visit.
After spending the night of their arrival catching up and chilling we woke up early the following morning for a tour of the Seoul sights. Since I had never done it and sine I figured it would be the best way to play tour guide, we got ourselves on a Seoul city tour bus, this after taking them on a very thorough tour of Seoul’s bus and train system between Incheon and centre. Now I’m not going to lie the Seoul city bus tour is a slightly unnerving tour, the bus hairs around like no one’s business and heaven help you if you don’t push the yogio button in time cause the bus screams past the sights, its really crazy. It also takes you
two missed stops to realize that the lady no board it not there to tour guide she is purely the bus usher so you have to wear the annoying head phones in order to know what stop is coming up next and if you want to know anything about the approaching stop. This being said it does make most sense to take the bus to get from place to place since it would take the individual too much time to navigate the busses and subway between the various stops. After missing Doeksugung completely cause it was the second stop on the tours we finally got ourselves ready to push the yogio bell so that we could stop at the national museum.
Seoul national museum, what an increasable place! Not only is the building itself absolutely astounding but the collection within the museum is just captivating. The museum is so well curated that you are captivated by even the smallest of items. It’s honestly possible to spend an entire day in this museum cause there is just so much to see but we were on a tight sightseeing schedule so we opted for a couple of hours in the museum
and them made our way back onto the bus headed for Namsan.
It’s now my third trip to Namsan but I never get tired of the walk amongst the trees and the lovely view and admittedly the previous two times I have been up its been freezing cold so it was lovely to go up on a stunningly hot day for a change! I am still waiting for a properly clear day though so that it’s worth a trip right to the top of the tower.
Mom had us amused, only a couple of days out of nature and mom was already having withdrawal so she was attempting to do some bird watching in Namsan, sadly the South Korea birdlife, in general, is very very limited at the best of times and in Seoul even more so, so spotting an unusual dove is a precious sighting!
Back onto the bus and next stop on the list was a trip to Gyeongbokgung palace. Sadly getting around Seoul takes time and the palace closed at 5pm so we had missed it but by this stage I do think that we were all a little weary specially my visitors who
had now suddenly lost 7 hours in transit but in an attempt not to succumb to jet lag we headed to Namdaemun for our first taste of Korean cuisine. I was a little disappointed cause it turns out that Namdaemun on a Friday night isn’t quite the same bustling place as it is droning the day; in fact a lot of the stalls were closing up so trying to find a spot the take the folks for their first taste of Korean food was proving to be challenging. What we settled for was Jokpyeon. Now I’m not 100% sure this was the best idea since this is a rather unusual kind of meat at the best of times let alone for a first meal. It’s safe to say dad wasn’t convinced but mom was a happy customer. After the meal of boiled pork, lettuce and side dishes we found something to make dad happy, a whole bag of chocolate peanuts for desert! It didn’t seem like we had achieved much by the time we started head home but admittedly the three of us were exhausted and very happy to head home for asleep before an early morning Saturday wake up.
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