Saturday, April 26, 2014

Korea Day 7: Streets of Seoul

We spent today wandering in and out of markets and winding through subway stations and green spaces.

After a hearty breakfast, we patronized Insa-dong, a large market for Korean handicrafts and artwork.

Our group took its time finding souvenirs for those we love and admiring the colors, sounds, and tastes of the city.

When we had run our wallets' supply low and went to the bank to withdraw more, we stumbled upon a Buddhist temple called Jogyesa, which is the chief temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddism.

With Buddha's birthday coming up on May 6th, we took some time to celebrate, looking up at the colorful lanterns covering the place and sitting down for a brief meditation.

At the grand Seoul Subway Station, we stopped for refreshment at a lovely spot called Beans & Berries, where the gang stocked up on smoothies and pastries.

It was back to the bustle of the city then, with a visit to Namdaemun Market, the oldest and largest market in Korea.

We soon felt smothered by the crowd, and required a retreat to nature.

So we took the train to the area where Jisung grew up and took a peak at his old middle school. Nearby lies Yangjaecheon, a stream that flows through the city and has main road bridges crossing above it and walking and bike paths on either side.

Juan and I retired early, rounding out our time in Seoul with a commemorative visit to the food court for chicken curry, just as we started the trip.

We leave tomorrow, and I couldn't be more appreciative for the opportunity to have visited this country in this company.

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