19 000 steps has resulted in many beautiful pictures. But they are not as pretty as the real thing was, obviously. We did three things today. Namsan Park (where N Seoul Tower stands on top of the peak), Namsangol Hanok Village (a village down below the park with old traditional Korean buildings) and Seoul’s 10th anniversary Lantern Festival.
Today was very smoggy, so we decided not to go up in the N Seoul Tower today, it would have been a waste of time and money because we wouldn’t be able to see anything. So we just walked around the park among the amazingly and unbeliavable trees. How can trees even have that color??
Many stairs to walk up to the tower.
There is a cable car going all the way up. But where’s the fun in that?
N Seoul Tower at the top of the mountain.
Locks of love. Ridiculously many.
We managed to catch these guys ceremoniously lighting one of the beacons.
These trees were insane!! Nature is not supposed to be that intense! I couldn’t stop looking at them, or taking pictures of them for that matter.
No filters, I promise!
We quickly checked out the N Seoul Tower Plaza where they showed off some amazing 3D screens and other cool stuff. Lots of restaurants. We picked a Japanese one and it was so delicious!
Not all trees are beautiful. Fall is here too.
There are so many outdoor gyms here!
The National Theater of Korea. Very ugly from the backside.
Some branches even contained both red and green leaves!
Or this tree that looked like a stop sign.
A very old, and special in some way that I can’t remember, archery field. That distance was looong.
We found a squirrel! Does that bring good luck?
We walked in the red clay containing far-infrared radiation that cleanses toxins and is supposed to be good for blood circulation. Our feet weren’t as tired after when we put on our shoes again. But that could have been because of the ice cold foot shower we took.
NAMSANGOL HANOK VILLAGE
This village consisted of several homes from the early 1900s. Most of them were moved there from other places in the city and one was constructed anew because the original was to frail to move. Although they had constructed it very detailed and even made the ground as uneven as in the original spot. There, in that park, was also the Time Capsule that the city of Seoul buried in 1994, on its 600th birthday, leaving instructions for the inhabitants living of Seoul on its 1000th anniversary to open. It was a huge monument that contained 600 papers describing Korea’s history.
While we were in the village, all the phones of everyone there started beeping. Security alert: extreme! it said. And the rest only in Korean. Thank Google for the camera function in Translate. Apparently the smog will be really bad tomorrow. Felix told us yesterday that most of the smog actually comes from China, but still, all the cars with even numbers at the end of their registration will have to leave it at home tomorrow. We also used this app to learn what other signs said, for example, there was one in the park asking us to not pick up acorns, but to leave them to the squirrels. They are nice to animal life here. In Namsan Park they had similar signs but for stray cats living there. They fed them and everything.
Koreans way back were short.
Seoul’s 10th anniversary Lantern Festival
This was such a cute festival! There is a road in Seoul, Cheonggyecheon, that they redid in 2005. A river has always been there and used by the people, but it turned bad, unsanitary and with non-permanent buildings and such, so they made it all better and wow, it is so pretty there! I don’t know what it looked like before, but it is really pretty now. Cars are on normal level, and you have to walk down stairs to get to the water. Nice sidewalks on both sides, trees and lights and it felt very safe to go under the big car bridges. Such a pretty place. The lanterns were put in the water and there were so many of them. One part was about history and tradition, one was about dreams and passions and one about the future.Cheonggyecheon
This, is something that really confuses me. Asians don’t take pictures of things, they take pictures of themselves infront of things. Always making weird things. At one point in the Namsan Park, I got angry looks at me for walking, but seriously, three people were standing on one side of the road, each holding leaves, with their partner standing on the other side of the road taking the picture. What is the deal? What’s the purpose of always being the center of a photo? Why take a photo in front of a pretty lantern? The light from the lantern will make the person invisible and you can’t see the lantern. So why? It must be a cultural thing, but I have never really thought about it until now, when everyone is Asian.
Christmas decorations outside a Lotte Department Store. Oh, that’s another weird thing that I don’t really understand and honestly finds a bit creepy. There is this company, Lotte, which basically owns half the city. Buildings, stores, food distributions. It’s scary. They control everything. They are not as big as Samsung, but Samsung is global, Lotte is only Korean.
This is the street (Myeong-Dong) we walked along yesterday, during daylight. A completely street during the night. Stands selling food, millions and millions of people. I got a honey rice pancake as dessert. Real yummy!