Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Intro to Korea

Our little escape to Seoul is now half way over and it feels so good to be back. Many things have changed since my visit in 2012. A lot of the places we went to are now closed, new shops and caf├ęs opened instead. Everythings looks quite grey and a bit dull, because there hasn't been a lot of rain recently.
And then there is this horrible smog coming all the way from China. But still, it feels good to wander through the streets of Hongdae again - crowded and loud as ever, but also lively and full of interesting things. I have already made some serious beauty related shopping, because Korean skincare is just the best! 


Climbing up the stairs to the rock carving of a Buddha at Bomunsa

Of course there has been some amazing feasting going on. Samgyeopsal and Galbi might be one of our favourites. It is nice to sit around the little grill on the table watching the meat and having some kind of a "indoor barbecue experience" together.

But still, it is always a little bit weird whenever we go out to eat. Most Koreans use this kind of opportunity to get together and talk. The food seems to be less important. It just creates an occasion to meet up. So they usually spend a lot of time at one place. We, on the other side, go out with this enomous longing for food on our minds. Hence, we sit there for maybe half an our in almost complete silence ans enjoy our meal. There is this occassional exchange of glances expressing utter happiness,but that's it. We might be the last ones to arrive, but we are certainly the first ones to leave!

A beautiful looking, but horribly tasting tea... well, there have to be a few mishaps, I guess
Tea and cheesecake... what else? :)

Today, we had the most amazing experience so far. We went to the Bukhansan National Park, which is quite close to Seoul, to hike. The Koreans can be categorized as a Nation of passionate hikers and when they go hiking, they do it fo real! Colourful hiking equipment and shoes are a staple for them. We had just our trainers and old backpacks. They must have thought we were crazy. Maybe we were, but it was damn worth it! On our way to the peak of Dobongsan (725m), we did not actually believe that we would end up there, but well, we did. The last few meters were horrible, but at the top you are rewarded with a wonderful view over the city of Seoul.

The beautiful view from the top of Dobongsan over Seoul

On our route was another peak and because we were still pumped from our first one, we went for it. Well, until we were almost there and the last bit was just to hard on us. So we made our way back to safety and - of course - food.


The view from the other side of the peak

What a glorious day!


Not what we ate today, but still an amazing Sukiyaki

Once I am back at home I will write down a collection about my favourite places inside and outside of Seoul, because what I really love about Korea is the fact, that it is so versatile. On the one hand you have a lot of mountains and the sea. There are big, modern cities like Busan and Seoul, pulsating and always evolving. But you also get to experience a lot of traditional aspects. 


Now there are five days left, which we intend to use wisely. Stay safe everyone and see you at home!

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