My trip to Korea was so, so much fun. I've been back for two weeks and have finally had time to process my photos and my trip. It feels so long ago already now that I'm back in the full swing of normal life with husband, baby, and job, but now my friends (both old and new) in Korea feel so much closer geographically. The entire week was a great combination of sightseeing, shopping, eating and celebrating. Above, beautifully detailed roof lines and buildings at Gyeongbokgung Palace, first constructed in 1394.
During a walk through the lush Secret Garden at Changdeokgung Palace, where I am wandering around in the photo above, I noticed some official-looking men wearing ear pieces lurking around us. I turned and saw Queen Silvia of Sweden and her entourage touring behind us! This was a bit of a hilly tour, as the garden was well known for following the natural course of the landscape; I really can't imagine wearing that outfit on such an excursion. (Or, really, ever.)
Seoul itself proved to be fairly easy to navigate overall. Though smaller side streets are rarely labeled on maps, we got around just fine (with a little help from friendly locals now and then). Many things are labeled in English, and the subway system is a dream -- especially because there is a stop directly under the hotel where we stayed (the JW Marriott). We spent considerable time wandering around Seoul's many different neighborhoods and tasting whatever looked good. Many, many things looked good...
Above, Veronica is exploring Insadong in search of the dopoki (a soft, spicy rice cake of sorts) at a tiny restaurant called "Eat, Rest, Pay, Go" (Mok, Swee, Don, Na) she saw in her omnipresent guidebook. Coursing back a little unmarked side street, we finally found those delicious chewy delights after getting lost a few times. We
I loved the sentiment of all the kitschy little hearts and messages (below) decorating the fences and landscape at Namsan Tower, the giant observation tower on the mountain in the heart of Seoul. There must've been hundreds of thousands. You write a special love note on a rubber heart (or, in some cases, a cell phone case), attach it to the fence or tree with a padlock, and throw the key over the side so that you and the object of your affection can never be separated. Very romantic!
Since I am not one to spend much time mulling over other people's vacation photos, I will stop there... But I do intend to write a post solely about my friend's beautiful wedding, because it was truly such a gorgeous occasion.
Here's a tiny sneak peek...