Today was my last full day in Korea and what a great day! It was actually the only day I’ve had since I’ve been here that I didn’t have a reason to be up at any particular time and I had nothing to do other than what I wanted to do…on my schedule. What an amazing feeling! Unfortunately it means that I’m no longer with the team…and our project is done, but sleeping in was SO NICE!!!
I woke to coffee. Which in my mind is a tremendous start to any day!
I finally rolled out of my hotel room around 1 PM (and no I didn’t sleep that late…I just relaxed and enjoyed the break). I picked a good day to wander around Seoul. I stayed at The Plaza which is right in front of Seoul Plaza and is a prime tourist spot.
Right outside my hotel I stumbled upon a theatrical display of “dogs” or “dragons” or something…well guys dressed up as dogans (haha). It was lots of fun watching them…especially as they hoisted a little boy on their backs and trotted around with him. The mom was a little unnerved…and I have to admit…it was a site to see.
There was also a stunningly painted drum.
After the display I walked my way down Sejong-daero to Gyeongbokgung Palace.
What a beautiful palace…and if you close your eyes and plug your ears you can almost imagine what life would have been like some 700 years ago. The palace itself was built in 1395 and was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty.
Cotswold enjoyed his time at the Palace and felt a little bit like royalty.
The grounds really were stunning.
Some of the locals were dressed in their “Sunday” best. I just love all the colors of the ensembles.
Upon exiting the palace I stumbled across a most peculiar site…
After my visit to the palace I strolled over to Bukchon Village. What a beautiful walk…and what an even more beautiful area. There were many locals out wandering, and lots of shops were bustling with traffic and good buys.
Such beauty and on such a beautiful day!
Somehow I always tend to find the dichotomy of the “old” buildings mixed in with the “21st” century.
I came across a random garden/building/palace…I’m not really sure what it was but it sure was pretty. I wandered around aimlessly taking in all the beauty of this wonderful day.
After 5 hours or so of strolling around I headed back to the hotel to meet Justin for dinner. One last hurrah before heading home.
And when given our choice of Korean cuisine…we settled on Korean BBQ…shocker I know! Such yummy food. And what more could you ask for…Korean BBQ and somaek (a shot of soju and a chaser of maekju – beer). What a great ending to my 3-week Korean adventure. And wouldn’t you know it…we talked so much and were having so much fun…I forgot to take a picture. 🙂
Upon the return to my hotel, The Plaza treated me like a VIP guest and left me wine and fruit to enjoy while Cotswold and I soaked in the tub (well Cotswold didn’t get in as he didn’t want to get his fur wet). I truly enjoyed one last bit of relaxation before the LONG trip home.
Now to figure out how to pack all of this stuff in 3 bags. I knew when I came to Korea that I would be going home with a lot of things…gifts, chachkies, etc., but I never imagined I would go home with the lifelong memories and friendships I made. And I am SO grateful for that more than anything else!
And with one last view of N Seoul Tower…
As I get ready to embark on the long journey home…I am grateful for my time in this amazing country, to have met such wonderful people and to have the memories of all the great times we had together. With that I will say:
jeongmal gamsahamnida (thank you very much) and
Anyoung hee gyeseyo, which means Goodbye “Please stay well”.