So I was really determined that we climb Hallasan Mountain, despite the weather trying to stop us. Sunday was supposed to be rainy in the early morning, then give over to strong winds. Perfect! We arrived at Seongpanak trailhead a little after 8. The parking lot was already full, so we just parked along the shoulder like everyone else. We sat in the car for a bit, hoping the drizzle would stop, but then just decided to go for it. I had my rain jacket, and we picked up a cheap poncho for Domingos at the trailhead shop. Continue reading
Next up, the Chocolate Museum. This was weird and random but also interesting. I think I would have gotten more out of it if I didn’t already know a lot about the history of chocolate as well as having visited a cacao plantation when I was in Grenada. The museum makes its own chocolates on-site, and the sample they gave us was some of the best I’ve ever had, anywhere. We decided to each part with some of our fun money to buy some chocolates, which were definitely on the pricy side! Having had a couple out of the box already, I can assure you that they were worth it. Continue reading
Hey look, another rainy, overcast day in Jeju! That’s okay, today was museum day. Our first (and best) stop was the Nexon Computer Museum in Jeju City. This museum was awesome, filled with old computers and the history of computing. They did an outstanding job putting it together. The reason I had even heard about the museum in the first place was an article on the most Instagram-able desserts in Korea, and the computer museum cafe serves up a waffle in the shape of a keyboard. Sadly, we weren’t remotely hungry at that point, so I settled for a picture of the waffle on a menu.
We were going to have lunch at an udon place by Hyeopjae Beach, Soo Udong (796-5830), but the wait was almost three hours, so we took a pass. Next time! Instead, we snapped a few pics of the beautiful beach, then got back in the car as it started raining again. We passed the Wollyeongri Cactus Grove, which was cool looking, but we weren’t inclined to get out in the rain for photos.
We made it from our house to Gimpo airport in good time for our 9:45 flight. The subway ride was only about 30 minutes, an easy one-transfer journey. Our flight was delayed 35 minutes, but we eventually set off and were on our way to Jeju Island. Once we landed, we went to the exit where the rental car shuttles were supposed to be, and there was a Sixt shuttle there waiting. Picking up our car was easy and fast, and the company gave us a detailed instruction sheet on how to use the Korean GPS (which spoke to us in English, conveniently). The best way to navigate on Jeju is to enter a location’s phone number. Continue reading
Despite waking up to rain and gray skies, we were determined to get some sightseeing in! Our first stop was Cheonjeyeon Falls, located right in the Jungmun Resort Compex. The Falls have three locations, and we chose to only look in at the first two. The first was not actually a waterfall, just a pretty pool. I think it has a waterfall when the rains are very heavy. Location two was a beautiful waterfall, there’s not a whole lot more to say about it.
I’ve had the Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon on my must-visit list for a while now, and last Sunday we finally decided to go check it out. It was a perfect fall day, sunny but not too hot. Continue reading
Last weekend, my awesome friend Jen invited us to a V.I.P. viewing reception for the Seoul International Fireworks Festival, sponsored by the Hanwha Group. The reception was in a cafe on the Han River right in front of the 63 Building, with a perfect central view of the fireworks. The best part might have been the chartered bus ride there and back, given the horror stories I had heard about public transportation during the festival. Continue reading
… Or, the story of how Anjali eventually doubled in size.
It must seem like I’m always eating amazing food here in Seoul. And I pretty much am. I should probably double up on my workouts. A few more delicious eats: Continue reading
Sunday afternoon, a couple of friends and I went to the opening exhibit of the new ARA Modern Art Museum in Insadong. This exhibit was an inspiring and creative presentation called “Life Is Beautiful” by pop artist Thierry Guetta, who goes by the name Mr. Brainwash. Guetta is a French-born artist based in Los Angeles.
The ARA is well suited to big art, with 4 stories of both large and small spaces and a big open area in the center. The exhibit was originally scheduled to leave September 25th, but has been extended to October 30th. Do yourself a favor and check it out before it’s gone! For only a ₩10,000 entrance fee, you will be introduced to a varied and fertile imagination. Continue reading
One beautiful September morning, we headed out on the subway to Bukhansan National Park to tackle the challenging hike to Baegundae Peak. As our destination grew closer, the subway filled with more and more Koreans wearing high-tech hiking clothing and carrying hiking poles and other trendy gear. When we got off the subway, we all laughed at the sight of the many Koreans in hiking gear standing in line to ride the escalator (we took the stairs). Though once we were well into the hike, we understood that perhaps saving themselves even an extra 20 steps was probably worth it! Continue reading
So we finally got around to taking one of those Han River cruises. I have to say, it was pretty bland. Maybe I’ve just been lucky to take some really cool river cruises in my day, like the one we did in Istanbul last summer. But, as always when with family, the company makes any excursion fun. Or at least better. And dusk is a lovely time to see the water, bridges, and skyline. Overall, though, I’d say you don’t need to put a Han River cruise at the top of your Seoul to-do list. Continue reading
I’ve been dying to check out the Trickeye Museum in Hongdae for ages, so I dragged my visiting family and reluctant husband there with me one day in September. I think we all ended up having a lot of fun and embraced the silliness of the expedition. For those of you who don’t know what a trickeye museum is, it’s a museum with lots of “art” that you can insert yourself into for really fun (or stupid) photo ops. There’s also a freezing-cold (literally, and obviously) Ice Museum inside the Trickeye building. Continue reading
After a delicious lunch at Myeongdong Kyoja, Dirk, Tracy, and I decided to tackle the walk up to N Seoul Tower. There were a few stairs along the way!
I realize that bibimbap is one of the easiest Korean dishes to make, but I thought it would be fun to sign up for a cooking class while Dirk and Tracy were visiting. This is the class we booked, and it was a really fun experience.
Curious Minds, by Janet Evanovich & Phoef Sutton: No matter how many collaborations Evanovich enters into, she never (for me, at least) recreates the magic of the first Stephanie Plum novels. This is a similar offering, cute but ultimately forgettable. I can prove that because I read it 6 days ago and can remember very little about it. Or maybe I’m just getting old. Still, if you like the over-the-top caper genre, you will probably enjoy this. Continue reading