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September 10th 2014
Published: September 10th 2014
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Dog on PlaneDog on PlaneDog on Plane

This is the dog in a bag which was on the plane.
Sunday morning up bright and early to depart the lovely apartment we were staying in at Costa del Sol to go to the airport to fly to Seoul at lunchtime. Thank you so much Julie & Roddy from Scotland – we loved it.



We arrived at the airport far too early – check in wasn’t for almost 2 hours!! Could have stayed in bed longer… was pretty tired. Then, the plane to Rome from Malaga was delayed for about an hour and a half. Ugghhhh. When we arrived in Rome we had a few hours stopover so that was Sunday and arrived in Seoul on Monday at 3.30pm.



As we got off the plane and onto the bus to take us to the terminal we noticed that one of the passengers had a dog with him! Apparently yes, they are allowed. Unsure if they have to put in a request or anything though… or perhaps pay for a ticket…



While we were on the bus driving to the terminal, we were driving alongside a plane taxiing on the runway – seemed very odd and one landed not far from us.

Road crossingRoad crossingRoad crossing

Obviously shows you which side to walk on. We found that not everybody obeys this.


Incheon Airport is on an island and is about an hour & half away from Seoul itself. We caught the bus and there was quite a bit of confusion amongst the bus staff about how we should get to our Apart- Hotel. Most didn’t seem to know where we had to get off as they had a route they followed and our hotel wasn’t on it. The bus driver dropped us off in Seoul somewhere and pointed to a taxi so off we went and jumped in a taxi and off we went.



John paid the taxi driver when we arrived at our hotel, and he took off like a bat out of hell!! John had paid him the equivalent of $40 instead of $4!!! No wonder he took off. There are just so many zeros after the numbers on the Won – can get confusing when tired or not used to the currency… or both but it was funny and reminded us of our friend Chucky doing the same thing in Bali..



The currency here is Won and it’s approx. 1000Won = $1.



We checked in to an apartment
Plane taxiing on the runwayPlane taxiing on the runwayPlane taxiing on the runway

We came along side this plane while in the bus - seemed a bit close to me...
in a 40 floor complex which is a mixture of permanent & short term & has everything we could want in it. The complex has some unusual inclusions to cater for the Korean lifestyle – a 20 bay driving range (Koreans are golf crazy), brilliant pool & spa facilities, squash courts & a good selection of restaurants & retail shops.



The days we are here (Mon,Tues & Wed) represent their biggest holiday break know as Korean Thanksgiving when tradition requires families come together to celebrate & also offers an opportunity for divided families between Nth & Sth in limited numbers to meet & in some cases for the first time since the war. Needless to say the city area is very quiet where we are as it appears to be where the Financial, Govt. & major Corporations are located which are closed for the holiday. Tomorrow the area will be awash with people & traffic. The buildings are enormous, beautiful architecture & very modern.



We have been favoured with great weather 27-32C, shorts & T-shirt wear, however come winter & you can experience temps down to as low as sub zero is not uncommon
The third tunnelThe third tunnelThe third tunnel

This is the tunnel John went into along with a lot of others - no photos were allowed inside it.
hence why the shopping mall is located underground.



Our first night here we decided to go to the hotel restaurant for dinner – we decided after looking at the prices for a bottle of wine to just stick with water – prices are crazy here for wine from about 80000 Won = $80 for cheaper wine that you would avoid in Oz.



We seem to have suffered some jet lag as we haven’t slept much during the night and as soon as we get back to the apartment we need a power nap, no we’re not getting old we are jet lagged….. honest.



We found a huge 4 level underground shopping centre (about the size of Westfield Marion Shopping Centre) not far from us so checked that out and John bought me a beautiful gold chain and pendant belatedly for my birthday. It’s really lovely. The shopping centre had all the usual names, including Uni Qlo, H & M, Zara etc plus heaps we haven’t heard of before.



Today we did quite a tour. We went to DMZ which is based round a presentation on the Korean War
North KoreaNorth KoreaNorth Korea

It has only been the last month that taking photos of North Korea from a particular area has been allowed. Guards circulate among people taking photos to ensure they are taking photos of North Korea from only this area
in the 1950.



The presentation highlighted the surprise attack of North Korea on the ill prepared South Korea. At one stage Sth Korea was obliterated until the intervention of the United Nations and their forces. The interesting part is the ongoing push by Nth Korea and this was shown that Nth Korea was completing tunnels under the DMZ and these tunnels weren’t discovered until 1975 and onwards. A North Korean engineer who defected confirmed that 22 tunnels were dug and to this date because of the granite substrata only 4 have been discovered. John took the walk down tunnel 3 which went down 70 meters for a distance of 300 metres on a slope to the tunnel then 200+ meters of tunnel. They forgot to tell us that the tunnel was not built for 6 foot tall people & John spent that section doubled over. He was exhausted when he finally got out as well as hot and sweaty!



History is full of aggression from North Korea from various methods to attempt to control South Korea. All acts of unification over the years have been strongly supported by South Korea and this would appear
North & South Korea MapNorth & South Korea MapNorth & South Korea Map

Shows delineation of both sides.
to be thawing out the relationship between the two parts of Korea.



The current project to complete a railway line across the DMZ and into North China is regarded to be one of the biggest highlights which when finished will link South Korea through the Korean peninsula to Europe. It was a great day of learning history about the ongoing issues between North and South Korea. A day well spent.


Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


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IFC Shopping CentreIFC Shopping Centre
IFC Shopping Centre

Can you pick us out of this lot. Interesting that they have a screen and seemingly throw balls for people to catch but it's all on screen... bit hard to explain..
Unification CentreUnification Centre
Unification Centre

It was from the side of this building that we were allowed to take photos of North Korea
Golf driving range in hotelGolf driving range in hotel
Golf driving range in hotel

This is only a small part of the inside driving range and putting area. Extremely well done.
MonumentMonument
Monument

The Koreans love their monuments and have photos of a few of them but this one was the brightest!
Office buildingOffice building
Office building

Example of the modern buildings in South Korea


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