So here's how the impromptu holiday happened....
The Hong Kong Education Bureau decided to close all Primary schools and Kindergartens for 14 days due to swine flu.....so, I had no children to teach! After a few days at a child-less kindergarten, on the Monday, work were kind enough to give me five days off in a row! So, on Tuesday I met up with a friend and we booked a flight to South Korea! Such is life! I worked on Wednesday and Thursday, then Friday rolled around and we were up early for the 3hr flight to Seoul.
First up, a Korean BBQ went down well. We sat on the floor as is traditional, and enjoyed the local beer. It was a learning curve as well, once about 10 dishes were put on the table, along with the hot coals and the thick bacon on the barbie. The lady kindly showed us how to eat our dinner, dipping different things here there and everywhere before wrapping it in a lettuce leaf!
The first day was wet, so we donned a poncho each and walked to the palace nearby. The only option was an hour and twenty minute guided
tour in the rain, so we decided to move on to the next palace. After walking for about 40 minutes, under the subway and along further, we arrived to the next palace. Deja vu, it looked pretty much the same, but we took pictures anyway, again only a guided tour for an hour and 20 mins....slowly it dawned on us that we were in fact at the samepalace!! We had walked back on the other side of the road after the subway, and were back where we started!!! Funny moment!
So of course, after our wet walk in a circle, it was time for chocolate! The cafe near our hostel named chocolate was calling to us.....the most amazing chocolate souffle in the world....quite unlikely in Korea! It became a regular necessity of course! (http://www.chocolatemuseum.org)
For the rest of our holiday we enjoyed lovely sunshine, and no humidity! Such a nice change from the hot box of Hong Kong. We went in search of a park for a picnic, and walked up namsam park.....not a spot for a picnic because it's actually a hill, but got a view of Seoul, and determined as we were, laid out our picnic
blanket on the decking.
We had a successful picnic blanket moment at the race course park, wide open spaces and laying in the sun. Strolling down Insadong was nice as well, a pedestrian street with things to look at on the way, mainly shops.
The locals were mostly friendly, always waving as we passed by in the subway. One man was particularly intrigued by our card game in namsam park, he squatted down to watch for a while.
One specialitly we saw a lot of was cooked silk worms, I confess I did not try them, but they are a food loving nation it seems, with cooked pigs heads for sale in the market....and garlic, garlic everywhere, in every dish.
We had a good relaxing time, enjoyed the Korean barbecues, and the local beer. Mostly enjoyed the blue skies and sunshine, and a bit of culture along the way! The palaces were very impressive. Of course, chocolate souffle was a highlight as well...what a good tourist! hehe!
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