We landed in Seoul yesterday after a 12 hour journey from Los Angeles. It took about 90 minutes to get through Korean customs with our group of 30 but we managed to not lose anyone and made it to our gorgeous hotel, The Grand Hyatt, in one piece. South Korea is beautiful. Rolling hills and stunning mountain tops, wrap the busy high-rises creating a picture perfect landscape. The traditional Korean architecture mirrored with the modern buildings create a mesmerizing juxtaposition of textures and colors. Our hotel sits atop the southern mountain and overlooks the cityscape and river. It must be the place to stay because our very own Secretary of State John Kerry (and his brigade) are staying here as well!
This morning we took a special trip to the Samsung headquarters. A communications specialist spoke to us about the company mission and values. Its amazing how fantastic everyone's English is. I wish I was bilingual. What a special skill to have to communicate with other people. The HQ themselves were impressive. We toured the innovation museum and rewarded ourselves with a delicious traditional Korean BBQ lunch. Lots of condiments, kimchi, chili paste, and vegetables to fill our bellies. Delicious!
A quick change out of our formal attire, into street clothes and we discovered a beautiful palace in downtown Seoul. Our tour guide walked us through the expansive grounds. We were privy to hundreds of years of culture and architecture. I'm always intrigued with the delicacy and detail of Asian architecture. The amount of time it took someone to paint each detail, carve each beam, gold feather each column, or raise each bonsai is beyond impressive. Even with the thousands of others there with us today, the palace still felt intimate.
Beautiful colorful lanterns lined the streets to celebrate the Buddhist monks. We had a quick photo opportunity with a temple that was beyond the rainbow brite of colors. Women dressed in traditional garb helped create a small festival on the grounds of the temple. Buddhists were praying inside and tourists wandered the courtyard. It was a gorgeous way to end the tour day.
Onto a full dinner spread with dim sum, sushi, assorted vegetable and meat concoctions, and fresh seafood. The hotel designed the spread and kudos to them.
Tomorrow is interview day and unfortunately our last full day in S Korea.
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