Happy Families - Part 2

Trip Start Aug 07, 2011
Trip End Jul 14, 2012

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Ichon, with family!

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Haha Mr. Mahoney!

We didn't go to Pyeongyang really! The North Koreans have closed their section of the train track unfortunately! Maybe next time...

Anyway, as you probably have guessed it's Fran here today!

After our surreal but awesome day trip to the North Korean border we came back to Seoul and had another home made dinner at Aunty's place. As it's Andy's first trip to Korea, Aunty had decided to do a different home made Korean dinner every night this week! They were all amazing and it's really made us miss Tash, Kayleigh and especially Owen. He would just LOVE the Korean food out here! Wish you were all here with us guys!

The next day on Wednesday it poured down all day long. We were going to head to the museum but had a totally chilled day instead where I read my books and Andy watched a movie on uncle's awesome HD TV.

Thursday was much better with blue skies all day so we headed out for a full day of sight-seeing in Seoul. First up was Changdeokgung Palace, where we had a walk around the grounds and buildings before a tour of 'Biwon', the 'Secret Garden'. It was a lovely garden but more of a forest and naturally wild than the manicured flower beds that we expected. Our tour guide was a particularly quirky Korean lady too!

Next to this palace was the Bukchon Hanok Village area. This area is famous for having lots of traditional Korean style houses and buildings, many of which are now guest houses or tea houses. It was lovely to walk around and we grabbed some yummy 'dolsot bibimbap' for lunch on the way to the next palace, Gyeongbokgung.

Gyeongbokgung is famous for the changing of the guards ceremony, which we watched before another English tour of the grounds and reconstructed palace buildings. The changing of the guards was very colourful and the palace buildings were even nicer than Changdeokgung.

We still had some good day light so just in case it rained again the following day we decided to make the most of it and see some more sights. We walked down through Gwanghwamun Square, where there are now two famous statues - one of King Sejong, who created the Korean language, Hangul, and the second is Admiral Li, whose famous turtle ships defeated the Japanese during their attempted invasion in the 16th century. These are new as they weren't here last time I was in Seoul in 2003.

We then jumped onto the metro to go up the N Seoul Tower on Namsan mountain to watch the sunset. The tower gives 360 degree views over Seoul and we watched the city transform from daylight to twilight. It wasn't quite as spectacular as Tokyo with Zareen but it's was still pretty.

Friday was a strange day. We wanted to be home with the family and had a strained day. We never snap at each other but we were just in a bad frame of mind. After our strained day we went and met Aunty after work with Elina. Aunty had some baseball tickets with her old school friends. It was nice to get out of the flat and we had a lot of fun playing games and messing around with Elina, like we had been all week. She's such a great kid and lots of fun and full of life. We watch the baseball which was so much more fun than when we watched the Yankees in NYC. Everyone was cheering chants all together which made the atmosphere awesome and our team, the Doosan Bears, won by two home runs! It was just what we needed to get out of our funk.

The next day on Saturday we had our Korean wedding present from Sasha and Shaun. The first part was a Han River boat trip so we went down to Jamsil and got a private water taxi all the way up to Yeouido. It was a good way to see Seoul and something I've never done before. It made us realise how many apartment blocks there are in Seoul! So, so many! We even spotted the Park Tower, where uncle and aunty live. Then we hopped on the metro to Insadong, an area famous for Korean traditional culture and craft shops. The second part of the wedding gift was a traditional Korean BBQ (or braai as Sasha and Shaun would say!) and luckily we found a brilliant little place in an alley. The beef and pork BBQ was soooo delicious and we had a cheeky beer to wash it down with. Thank you Sasha and Shaun! :0)

After a bit of mooching and shopping around the area we headed back home. Uncle Jay was back from his week of working away so we all had dinner and then we all went out for an evening together at Elina's school. Elina absolutely loves her British school in Seoul and we all went there with Danielle on Saturday night to have a look around (very impressive!) and to watch her high school's performance of 'Back to the 80's'. As most of you know, 80's music is Andy's favourite and uncle's a big fan too so we had a really fun evening and sang along to all the songs. By the end of the evening the girls were deciding which part they want to play when they reach high school. Super sweet!

This was our last night in Seoul as tomorrow we are leaving to start our adventure around Korea. Although this is my fourth time in Korea I normally spend all my time in Seoul so I am excited about seeing more of what Korea has to offer!

See you later!
Mrs. M xx
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