The shower is an interesting feature here. It is a shower head on a hose attached to the wall in the bathroom. There is no separate shower stall in the bathroom. The water freely flows from the shower head onto the bathroom floor and into the drain below the bathroom sink. Once we got use to the idea, it was not a bad way to shower!!
After eating a banana, and drinking a glass of orange juice (thanks Aaron and Jeong Mi for the groceries), Kelly, Aaron, and I headed to a nearby bus stop to take the bus line 1300 into Seoul.
We travled about 40 minutes to a stop in Seoul where we met Jeong Mi. We purchased hot coffee IN A CAN and a scone and purchased a 10,000 won ticket to travel all day on the Seoul City tour bus which permits one to ride around Seoul and get on and off at designated tour stops in order to see different sights in the city.
The bus tour allowed us to explore shopping districts, huge outdoor markets with many vendors and opportunities for spending our money...many different sights, smells, and sounds...First tour sight:
Deoksugung was originally built as a residence for Prince Wolsan, elder brother of King Seongjong (r. 1469-1494). After all other palace buildings were destroyed by fire during the Japanese invasion of 1592, King Seonjo (r. 1567-1608) established a temporary residence here. King Gwanghaegun who succeeded King Seonjo, named the palace Gyeongungung in 1611. It was here in 1897 that King Gojong proclaimed to the nation and the world the establishment of the "Great Han Empire". The palace was renamed Deoksugung in 1907, when King Sunjong ascended the throne, and it has been known by that name to this day.
Korean War Memorial:
Such a huge memorial and museum, we were unable to do it justice in the amount of time we spent there. We stayed outside and explored some of the vehicles that participated in the War effort. The sculptures were awesome and the plaques naming the War Dead from all the countries that participated, was somber and sad. What little we saw was incredibly impressive. The 60 year anniversary of the start of the Korean War will be June 25, 2010... as of this blog entry, we are not sure if we will participate in any activities highlighting this date.
We stop off in Itaewon, a section of Seoul that is near the military base. We enjoyed ice cream at a Cold Stone Creamery. We drove up and saw the Seoul Tower from our Bus Window. We went to Insadong; Aaron refers to it as a traditional Korean neighborhood; it included a visual experience that was 3 levels of shoppes and delights!
We ate dinner at a pasta restaurant where we all enjoyed our favorite pasta meal, (I had linguini with pesto sauce and clams...) Drink: can not beat a Budweiser in Korea, and garlic bread! Yummy and very reasonably priced for the four of us! Still can not believe that there is no tipping in Korea!
We caught a taxi and took it to our bus stop; took the bus to the subway; purchased train tickets. What a clean fast subway train!