Saturday, October 15, 2016

Evening in Seoul, Korea

Day 18.  Sept 28

We were to be picked up at our Valdivostok hotel by our blond driver at 8, and when 8:15 came and she hadn’t showed up yet, we called the agency…but of course she showed up just then!  The traffic was horrific.. it took us about an hour to get to the airport.  The flight to Seoul was easy and on a bigger plane than our previous Russian flight.  Arriving at Incheon airport in Seoul was an experience.  It is HUGE.  We walked to immigration for it seemed like miles; and then more to find the train to Seoul.  We took the express train to Seoul station which was luxurious, taking 43 minutes.  We then decided to take a taxi to our hotel as it seemed rather complicated to take the subway.  Our taxi driver spoke no English and could not figure out the name or location of the hotel.  He finally called the hotel and I showed him where it was on my phone on google maps, and then he figured it out.  It really wasn’t very far.

Our hotel was amazing!   It is a small boutique hotel right near the Bank of Korea.  The people were nice, the hotel was lovely..modern and well equipped (so well equipped that it took a detailed manual to understand how to work the Japanese style toilet!).   It was an amazing hotel and we got our room upgraded to a suite.  It was really a treat.  Good shower, comfortable beds, and great wi fi!   We went out and walked around about dinner time and the neighborhood appeared to have thousands of restaurants of all Korean varieties; not tourist restaurants but grill restaurants or seafood all with bright neon lights in narrow alleys; very atmospheric.   Vic had a field day with pictures of workshops, cafes, and street scenes.   We finally decided on a grill restaurant with pork grilled with and without spice on a charcoal grill in front of us.  The waitress helped us understand how to cut up the meat (with scissors), grill it, wrap it in a lettuce or shiso-like perilla leaf with green onions, chili sauce, and other condiments.  Two kinds of soup; one hot and one cold, and beer and we had a great time!  Quite an eating adventure, followed by a walk in the area and in the downtown area we were in.

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