Our first time through Monday, April 4th, we spent in Seoul, Korea. (Our second time through we spent in the airplane and making our way to our respective homes from Vancouver Airport. This is the story of our first Monday, April 4th – gotta love the dateline.)
We arrived shortly after dawn and headed downtown on the KAL Limousine Bus to the Koreana Hotel. We got upgraded to the Executive Floor and promptly went to bed.. well, after trying the electrically warmed toilet seat (wow, who knew it could feel so good?) and working hard to figure out the lighting system (that ended up having to wait until after our nap).
We had a room service lunch and showers and then headed off shortly after 1 pm to see what we could of Seoul. We were VERY impressed – so clean and nice and a nice balance of old and new in the same space.
A few random pictures.. This adorable police station.
The Admiral on the plaza, with Gyeongbok Palace in the background is the first picture below.
There are four or more beautiful palaces near downtown Seoul and we knew we only had time for one. Gyeongbok is the largest complex and had the advantage of being open on Monday ( Monday is not generally the best tourist day in Seoul.. even the tourist bus is shut down.). The site for this palace was chosen in the 1390’s by the founder of the Joseon Dynasty. It is a HUGE site and once had many more buildings. The palace was destroyed in the 1590’s during the Japanese invasion and not rebuilt until the 1800’s. It has a series of 3 large gates with gigantic courtyards in between.
At the moment we just have the first gate and the first courtyard with the second gate. The formal royal court is beyond the second gate and the more working areas beyond that, with housing areas, formal reception areas within ponds, stupas, etc beyond those. It was quite lovely. And we also saw the changing of the guard. We will just have to return to Korea to see more someday.
Then back to the airport , boarding about 6:30 pm.. thus ends the first April 4th.