photography

Part Four: Birthday in Seoul!

If ever you feel sad about aging, just plan a really cool trip that will make you forget all about it! I turned the big 3-0 in Seoul this year and, up until my trip, I was a little sad. I was feeling very nostalgic and at a loss. Now that my birthday in Korea has come and gone I feel very happy and have nothing but good memories. What a great way to start a new decade!

On my birthday I decided that I wanted to catch the Seoul City Bus tour since we had been walking a lot. For about 24,000 won, which is around $20, Peter and I hopped on the bus tour. It was nice to be out of the cold for a little while.

First stop:

Deoksugung Palace

In the middle of the city lies Deoksugung Palace. We made it just in time to watch the changing of the guards.  As we entered the park, Peter spotted the gift shop where we rested and had some hot cocoa before exploring all the different buildings.

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We walked around the palace looking at all the beauty. We passed a gorgeous pond and fountain, though both were frozen, they were still pretty.

Yongsan – I Park Mall

We stopped at the I Park mall to grab a snack and buy some more winter clothes at UniQlo then caught the next bus.

Namsangol Hanok Village

By the time we arrived at this traditional Korean village, I was so sick from the bus ride. Driving in Korea is an experience all on its own. The blast of cold air was welcomed and made me feel a lot better.

We walked up a narrow street to the entrance of this village where we saw the restored homes.

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This photo shows traditional shoes warn by Koreans. There is usually someone making these shoes but I think we had arrived too late and missed the show.

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What I found most interesting were the fireplaces underneath the rooms. They were used to heat the floors and warm the room. Our hostel had heated floors; although, they weren’t heated by a fireplace.

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The village and frozen pond were lovely!

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From here we could see the N Seoul Tower, our next stop.

N Seoul Tower

The last stop on the bus tour for us was the N Seoul Tower. We made it just in time for sunset and a view of the whole city. It was amazing!

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We had a short hike from where the bus dropped us off and then a quick elevator ride up to the observation deck.

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There were TONS of people here. It was nice to see the city lights and read how far and in what direction different countries, cities, and continents are from the tower. We spent a couple of hours here and then back down to leave our lock of love on the Christmas tree.

Hongdae

Again, we ended another night in Hongdae. We found this cat café near Etude House. I was SO excited! This was on my list of things I MUST do while in Seoul.

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We took our shoes off, ordered a drink, and read the kitty rules!DSCN8017

I haven’t pet a cat in awhile and was so happy to finally get the chance. There were so many cute cats I didn’t know where to begin. I sat down on the ground and watched as the cats went about their business, which consisted of sleeping near the heater. Peter started to pet a cat when it attacked him! It was so funny and sort of sad. I guess if I were a cat in a room full of cats and people, I’d be grumpy too. I got attacked by another cat who was trying to get away from this kid who kept poking him. So I decided to just watch them and that was good enough for me!

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Next up: Goodbye Seoul!

Sitting on Top of the World

I don’t know the significance of these crosses on top of the hill near Leo Palace. We’ve passed them a few times on our way to the red dirt trails, but this time we stopped on the side of the road to follow the path up to see what they were. We sat in the grass and watched the clouds pass by and the hills illuminate as the sun set. Tons of young, microscopic grasshoppers jumped all over us, but we were too mesmerized by the view and calmed by the breeze to care. Just another beautiful day in Guam.

Things To Do In Guam: Tarzan Falls

 

I went on the quick, muddy hike to Tarzan Falls a couple of months ago. Once you spot the multiple pairs of shoes hanging from the power lines, you’ve arrived! Even though this is an extremely easy hike, try to stay on the path because there are sudden drops and lots of mud. At one point, I had to crouch and slide down a muddy hill because I had absolutely no traction on my shoes. I stepped in mud that came up to my ankle! Definitely bring your hiking boots, bug spray, sun block, water and a swim suit. Although, the water looked a bit too murky for me so I decided not to swim.

During the hike, Peter and I were talking about how all our friends and family back home think we’re living in some jungle, 3rd world country with crazy animals. We then started talking about the animals in Guam, including wild boars and what to do if we come across one. While I was laughing and mocking my friends (sorry!) I heard a rustling in the bushes. It sounded like it was getting closer and following me. I slowly turned around and saw a large bush moving wildly. I froze in my place as an animal jumped out of the bushes and came racing toward me! I yelled for Peter! At first I couldn’t recognize it, but as the animal came pouncing closer I realized….it was just a happy dog! I felt pretty stupid. My legs were shaky after that!

I’m from Oregon, so I’ve seen some really beautiful waterfalls. Tarzan Falls is very tame compared to the other falls I’ve seen. Still beautiful, the surrounding jungle just adds to its beauty.

I recommend this hike to everyone. If you visit Guam, this is a must see! 🙂