Korea Diary



We had a very successful "solo" outing today—without our guides, Hal and Carey. Didn't get lost a single time!

Our first activity was to climb the summit in Namsan (남산) Park, which contains a hill/mountain of nearly 1000 ft. right smack dab in the middle of this very urban area.

It was a pretty strenuous climb, mostly accomplished through very long flights of stone stairs, but the views of the city were marvelous and we enjoyed it very much. We saw lots of Korean fitness hikers and several groups of cute school kids on field trips. [continued below]


view from Namsan Park

Kathy and Sally enjoying views in Namsan Park


structures and schoolkids

lots of cute kids exploring the "beehives"



sculpture in the Park


steep climb

part of the trail was quite steep


view of the city

view of Seoul from Namsan Park



Namsan Park flowers


Seoul Tower

Seoul Tower (엔 서울타워) in the trees


mountain view

view of the mountains around Seoul from the Park

More Namsan Park photos are in this Flickr set.

From Namsan we took a bus (this was quite an accomplishment, since the buses aren't nearly as non-Korean-speaking-friendly as the subway, where the upcoming stops are even announced in English, as well as the maps being all bi-lingual) to Namdaemun (남대문) Market, an amazing place of tiny narrow streets filled on either side with small booths selling everything from coat hangers, to socks, to ... Astros jerseys! Yes, that's my souvenir for myself, got it for a good price, too. One of the streets was just open air kitchens serving all kinds of really strange food—strange even by Korean standards, which, believe me, is pretty strange. [concluded below]

Henry at the market

Thanks to Sally for this picture of Henry at Namdaemun


Another view of Namdaemun

Here is the gate near the market that was attacked and heavily damaged in 2008. In 2005, during our visit, it looks like they were working on some of its surrounding infrastructure:

Namdaemun Gate

Speaking of Korean food, we had a nice dinner with Hal (Carey had to work late) at a Korean bbq place in his neighborhood where they bring you the cut-up meat and veggies and you cook them yourselves on a little grill built into the table. The food was quite tasty and Henry enjoyed the opportunity to grill away from home.

Unfortunately, you can't see the grill mechanism in this photo, but notice all the tiny dishes—Korean dinners involve eating a lot of different courses, with a wide array of condiments:

family at bbq restaurant

More photos of eating, and other miscellaneous activities, are in this Flickr set.