먹쉬돈나 eat rest money out. This restaurant is famous! It's been on TV in Korea and in magazines in Japan. I know, because clips of them decorate the walls of this place. There's always a line outside. We were lucky that our line moved quickly before us.
After a filling lunch we went to visit a few palaces. Also a temple, which is probably the first Korean Buddhist temple I've ever been to.
Apparently during the lantern festivals and Buddhist's birthdays it's amazingly beautiful.
There were three golden Buddhas and the ceiling was covered in lanterns. There was a festival of sort, and heaps of people were inside, praying.
Ssamzigil is popular for its many boutiques. The ambience is young as well as traditional. There are always many Korean couples visiting on dates, as well as foreigners.
Upstairs under the burning sun we enjoyed a bit of a tour of the wall of... what do you call these?! Promises of love forever, as with the locks in N Tower.
Now onto the real reason the pack met up on this day - to take a tour of the Secret Garden in Changdeokgung. This area of the palace was reserved only for the Royal family.
The sky was blue and the air hot. It was a shame the leaves hadn't yet turned red and golden. It must have changed by now, though.
Feel the harmony between the pagodas and the nature, our guide told us.
I imagine it would have been wonderful to have such a private garden in which to cool off and think or read or take a nap. Also for exclusive parties with a few select friends.
An hour and a lot of walking later, our tour ended. We were all pretty tired, already, but our day wasn't over yet.
In fact, there was a lot more walking to come.
We walked along Chungyecheon, where there were busking musicians gathering a crowd, drawn by their fresh young energetic voices.
As well as the music, interactive arts approached us, literally. This work is 'Metamorphosis', after the work by Kafka. I'm reading the book at the moment, actually. Imagine waking up one morning to find that you've been transformed into an insect. Eek.
The day was turning into night. We had a last destination on mind, though. Duksugung is one of the smaller palaces dotted around the Korean capital city. It's my friend M's favourite palace. I think it's also because she's an artist, and there's an art gallery in the palace.
We came for the light show. Which was cool, but only lasted about 10 minutes. Oh..
Well, we had packed a lot into one day, and our energy was really draining by this time. On a faim ! we cried. Andong chicken, not spicy, please. It's chicken and potatoes and noodles in a special kind of sauce. Andong is a region in Korea, I think. This is the regional speciality. Yum!
This is Viv, a Kiwi girl who enjoys meeting new people and learning about new things - gaining experience is really important to her.
Having lived and worked in Auckland, Paris, Seoul, Melbourne, Bordeaux and London, she has finally returned home to her beautiful Aotearoa/New Zealand.
An online communications specialist in a travel company, freelance translator, food/travel blogger, amateur runner with restless feet for dancing and exploring, here is a snippet of Viv's daily musings.