Friday was a slow day. Rebekah was at work and Anton had to head in to get his parents at the airport right after lunch. This turned out to be a good thing since I wasn't feeling the greatest. If anyone has suggestions for how to avoid catching a cold when traveling I would love to hear them! Since I spent the day mostly hanging out at the Hotel Ritz Friday's pictures are sparse. The random collage will have to do.
|Glass pop bottles; these fish looked surprised!; English language learning signs in the Guri Park; the Korean equivalent of Indian fry bread|
Saturday Rebekah woke up not feeling 100%, so she stayed home to rest while Anton, his parents and I went out exploring. (Maybe we aren't eating enough, and that is why each of us has had a sick day while I have been here.) First we walked around Guri so they could get a feel for the city where Rebekah and Anton live. Luba and Alexander liked the exercise stations sprinkled throughout the park.
I love this picture of Anton and his mom planning what to do. They both have the same look of concentration on their faces.
Saturday afternoon we went up Namsan Tower. It was a beautiful day, so the views from the top were great. There was a festival happening at the park on top of the mountain, complete with traditional dancers and drummers.
One of the things I enjoyed the most on Saturday was the realization that people would have assumed I was Russian. Anton and his parents mostly spoke in Russian to each other, and as long as I kept my mouth shut anyone looking at us would jump to the conclusion I was Russian too. I have no idea why I got such a kick out of this.
Sunday Rebekah was fully recovered and able to join us. Here we are, well, here our feet are, modeling some of the socks we bought at the market.
Rebekah made a delicious brunch for the five of us, then we headed back into Seoul. Our first destination was Namsangol Hanok Village. There are traditional Korean houses set up to view, along with displays of traditional arts and crafts. We were lucky enough to see a bride and groom doing a photo shoot. The little boy in the bottom right picture is spinning a traditional Korean top. I tried and failed.
Next we walked over to the Bukecheon Hanok area, which has a mix of old and modern homes. You can see the ripe persimmon in the middle picture at the bottom of the collage. Rebekah said persimmon trees In Korea are kind of like apple trees in Canada. There are random ones growing all over the place. And if you check out the picture on the bottom right you will see why Fergus shouldn't be worried about me transferring my affections to a Korean dog any time soon.
Insadong, a big tourist market, was our next destination. Sorry I don't have many pictures, but it is a crazy, busy place. We decided to split up while we shopped and then meet at a designated spot 45 minutes later. I was on a mission, and Rebekah went with me to help me accomplish my goal.
When we had dinner at the teacher's house a couple of weeks ago, the teacher was wearing what is considered to be a "modern traditional" Korean shirt. I am not the kind of person who is into clothes or fashion (unless wearing colorful hand knit socks counts), but the minute I saw that shirt I knew I wanted one. The very first shop we went into had exactly what I was looking for! If I get brave enough, once I get home I might take a picture of me wearing it so you can see what I am talking about.
We had told Luba about all the great socks you could find at the markets, and she had seen the ones Rebekah and I were wearing that morning. She was also a woman on a mission. I think Anton and Alexander's mission was to get us out of there!
After dinner, as the sun was setting on my last day in Korea, the five of us strolled along the path that runs along both sides of Chongyecheong Stream.
Anton's parents were still suffering from jet lag, so headed back to That Hotel. It was my last night and I wasn't quite ready to say goodbye to Rebekah, so we decided to go out for some Soju and a second dinner. According to Anton it is a very Korean thing to eat two dinners. I'm not sure if I believe him, but since we had eaten so lightly the whole time I was in Korea I had no problem being extravagant on my last night. We went to a Soju bar, which was a new experience for me. You get your own little room, complete with a TV. After our second dinner we decided we better go to Baskin Robbins one more time, too. The evening ended with us at one of our favourite spots - the shooting gallery.
I am now somewhere over the Pacific, reluctantly making my way back to Canada. I know I'll be glad to be home, but it was awfully hard to leave. I'm not quite done blogging about my trip though. I plan to write a review of my Love Motel, and possibly a wrap-up post with my reflections on Korea and its people. Thanks for going along on the journey with me, and for all you comments, emails and Facebook messages.