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Seoul perambulation

I took the subway into central Seoul yesterday. Probably due to a combination of a loss of familiarity with the subway map and my slight colour-blindness I stayed on a train overlong, thinking I was going towards Insadong, but instead the train went south over the river near what I’m pretty sure is the parliament building. The weather was very good yesterday, the air much clearer than usual, the sky bearing patches of blue between various cloud formations; it would have been good weather to take photos but I didn’t have my camera with me. It was a bit too warm for comfort.

Once I finally left the subway at City Hall I walked to the Starbucks that’s between there and the Cheonggyecheon for my customary grande latte and croque monsieur. After that I spent a good couple of hours walking round, reacquainting myself with the area. It was Sunday, so there weren’t too many people around – although there was some sort of rally at the head of the Cheonggyecheon and at City Hall, probably something to do with American beef (so ironic from a British perspective).

I attempted to walk from City Hall to Namdaemun to see what state the gate there was in (it was burnt down in January by some madman). I took a wrong turning somewhere and ended up approaching from the direction of Seoul Station. The gate was completely enclosed by boards displaying almost life-sized pictures of the gate as it used to be. Above, you could see some scaffolding and roof over the structure.

From there I went to Myeongdong – Seoul’s equvalent of Oxford Street, a maze of alleys and up-market shops more confusing than Soho. It was much more crowded than everywhere else I’d wandered through. Eventually I started to make my way home, with a final detour to the Libro Books at one of the Euljiro subway stations.

Overall, the day wasn’t terribly productive, but it was nice to see some of the heart of Seoul again.

As opposed to my home base in Nowon, right on the edge of the city. The part of Nowon where I work and live is about 15-20 minutes’ walk from Nowon Station and has a cluster of shops and restaurants around a main road junction. Beyond this small commercial area there appear to be nothing but 10-15 storey apartment blocks. Clearly visible when you’re looking down the right street, even through the pollution and damp air, are the mountains bordering the city. They’re not all that tall, but these ones possess impressive rock faces (where most are completely tree-covered).

Categories: Life, Travel
  1. Tracy Wall
    25 June 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Hope your cold’s better now Sean.
    Glad to hear you’re settling in – did you entice anyone back to your lurve hotel??? ;- )

    Glastonbury is filling up with festival goers – Hannah and Lottie went early this morning. I’m wishing I had a ticket now!!

    Good luck with the new job


  2. 26 June 2008 at 6:56 am

    Thanks, Tracy.

    The cold’s fine – just a bit of phlegm bubbling around my sinuses.

    The only love that went on in my love hotel was between me and my right hand. :p (You’re sorry you mentioned it now, aren’t you.)

    Hope everything’s well in jolly England.

  3. Tracy Wall
    26 June 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Hhhhmmm… I didn’t really need to know about the phlegm or the right-handed shenanigans – in usual Sean fashion – there’s the line…over you go!!!!!

  4. 28 June 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Line? I didn’t see any lines.

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