Last day in Seoul: Gangnam

Last day in Seoul has come to an end and I am now back home, all hairy again, sitting on the couch. It is like last week was a dream beacuse as soon as we were in the car back home, everything was normal again, not extraordinarily cool and exotic and time had just flown by. Crazy feeling.

It has been an incredible week with lots of new food, amazing colors, and basically everything was different. A completely different culture. Stressful people, a city that was alive like nothing I have ever seen. But still with nature so close by. Incredible place.

The whole city was so clean. All the public bathrooms were as fresh as anyone could imagine a public restroom to be (and all were free). What really boggles my mind is how that can be so? How can a city be so clean when there are no trash cans?? There were, of course, but very very few. Does everyone seriously carry around their garbage until they find a trash can half a kilometer away?

Something that I wondered for a long time was, where all the kids were? Doesn’t there live any kids in Seoul? We barely saw any!

Did you know that South Koreans use tunes for everything? When a metro train is incoming, a tune plays (most metro stations have different tunes). When the washing machine is done, a tune plays. It was funny!

It would be very interesting to see exactly how big the metro stations were on a regular map. I’m sure there is somewhere. But I can’t really understand how big those places were! Shopping centers connecting with the metro stations. I would not be surprised if it was almost as much space used under ground as above ground in that city. It was like there were underground cities under the real deal. If Metro 2033 (by Dmitri Glukhovsky) happened, then I think the Seoul metro system would be better to be stuck in instead of Moscows. Not that I’ve ever been there, but I can’t imagine it being bigger than this!

Anyway, that were just a few of the thoughts I had during this week. There were more probably, but I am getting pretty tired now and must have forgotten tons of them.

It has now been 45 hours since I woke up in Seoul yesterday. We packed everything, checked out and left for Gangnam where we went to WSP’s office building. We came in the middle of lunch, so didn’t meet anyone, but I was still there. Two floors in a skyskraper in Gangnam, not too bad. We walked around, took a look at the Gangnam Style statue, another temple and had a sweet potato pizza for lunch.

We also stopped at Samsung d’light, an exhibition on new technology from Samsung. Or more like their view on the future. It was really cool. Can totally recommend. Their version of the future seems amazing! Especially the full-body mirror which helped you exercise. There was also a personality test of sort where I turned out to be a Peace Barista – Making peace one spoonful of love at a time. There was also a 4D VR experience to try. It was going on the rollercoaster Tatsu from Six Flags in California. What are the odds? I have actually gone on that one for real. This experience was really cool and it felt surprisingly real.

We met up with Felix one last time to have Korean bbq for dinner. Then the metro to the airport.

When the flight took off, we had been awake for 17 hours. Another 16 hours until we landed in Gothenburg, and now 12h awake. I am glad that I managed to get some sleep on the first flight. I feel kinda normal now, but I am starting to see double. The sleep I got on the plane was definitely not of any greater quality because I remember being awake at several points to change positions. But all of a sudden there was just 1.5 hours left, when last I checked, we had only flown for 1.5 hours. That means 8 hours of sleeping. “Sleeping”. But it was enough to not be completely ruined today.

When I got home, I cuddled with the cats tons. They were really happy to see me. To keep myself occupied and from falling asleep, I have been cleaing the whole apartment. But it took so long because of the attention-seeking fluffies. They have been so cosy today. Almost aggressive in their snuggling.


This screen was the coolest thing! QLED 8K and ridiculously big!
Samsung d’light.
WSP occupies the third and fourth floor of this building.
Gangnam square.
Seoul airport.

Namdaemun Market, Olympic Park, Lotte World Tower, Gangnam

Day number 6 in South Korea is over and it resulted in over 19 000 steps and many memories to bring back. First we walked to Namdaemun Market, one metro station away from Myeongdong, then we met up with Felix and took a quick walk in the Olympic Park, then to Lotte World Mall where the 5th tallest skyskraper in the world is located: Lotte World Tower. And we then ended with dinner in Gangnam.

Namdaemun Market

Namdaemun Market is a several blocks big market with everything from food (except we couldn’t find where the main place for street food would be), to cutlery, and clothes. I bought a new belt and two pair of earrings. There was a whole block with indoor jewelery vendors, aisle after aisle with people sitting and making beautiful jewelery. It was called Daedo Jewelery. I love simplistic accessories and they had plenty and it was hard to not throw all my money at the vendors. But two pair of earrings for 10 000 won together was okay, they even matched, but from two different sellers!

Before our next stop we walked to one of the old gates to the city that was nearby, Sungnyemun Gate. Just an ancient piece of architecture in the middle of all the stress and life that Seoul offers 24/7. Like the palace we saw the other day, this looked brand new. They must have a crazy budget for maintaining teir cultural sites. The Koreans seem to be a very cultural people, so I am not surprised.

I just read that the gate was destroyed by a fire in 2008 and was reconstructed for five years. That’s the downside of all their palaces and architecture being made solely from wood. It was originally built in the 14th century and was one of three gates leading into the city. Today it is Number 1 National Treasure of Korea. Pretty cool! Of course, here comes the 360 pic of it where the contrast are clearly visible.

Olympic Park

In 1988, the summer Olympics were held in Seoul. Long before my time, but as a fairly sports interested person, I knew that it had been here sometime at least. After the visit with work in Lillehammer, Norway in September, this is now the 2nd Olympic place I visit this year. Winter Olympics was held in Lillehammer in 1992. It was a beautiful park!


Do you see the huge and disgusting spider?

Lotte World Tower

The tallest skyskraper today is Burj Khalifa (where I went in 2016, and it was so cool!), but after that one, not many people are aware of which skyskrapers follow. At least I didn’t. The fifth tallest is apparently located here in Seoul. And it is not N Seoul Tower that is definitely the more famous one, but Lotte World Tower. Owned of course by the mega multinational conglomerate. The tower is 555m, has 123 floors, and was opened just a year and a half ago in April 2017. On floor 118, there were glass floors. Scary stuff! Mom and I watched  the sun set into a mountain hidden behind a smog cloud. What’s so sad about this is that it is mainly not smog from the South Koreans, but clouds coming in from China. Depressing. This week has been really bad. Worse than usual. Bad timing I guess. But the visibility was better today than any other day so I am not too upset, even if it would have been nice to see the sun set behind an actual mountain instead of in a cloud. We did actually see N Seoul Tower in the distance. That’s some kilometers at least (like 11 – shit, this city is big!).


Down there in the beginning of the park, you can see the Peace Gate when entering the Olympic Park. That gate was huge!
Traffic in Seoul is insane.

The Lotte World Mall was mostly underground and was huge. We didn’t walk in it for too long, shopping didn’t lure us today. We took a look around outside and here you can see how tall the tower is from the ground.

Gangnam

Last stop of the day was Gangnam. It was very spread out and Felix looked around for a while before finding a restaurant which was closed the last time he was there but it was said to have amazing Jjimdakk. It is chicken, dumplings, fish cakes and glass noddles among other things in a soy sauce. It was really good! We shared one big three-persons-plate, because here dining is a social activity. It was spicy, even though we took the non-spicy version. But it was manageable and really good!