Hello! University’s officially back in session for the new school year and once again I’m running along trying to keep up with all my classes. But before I pitch myself back into the pit of schoolwork I need to share the last of my summer travels.
Seoul!We spent a number of days there exploring unfamiliar streets and eating lots of barbecue and shaved ice in the summer here. This is only the second time I’ve ever been to South Korea, but it felt like I really got to know it more this time.
I have a soft spot for culture and tradition and basically everything that isn’t modern in foreign countries (which is why I’m always running off to the countryside here in Japan on holidays). Seoul is a buzzing city surrounded by mountains—that juxtaposition!—with huge palaces that’ve stood for centuries. I’m not a history buff, but I still very much appreciate some ancient architecture when I see it.
And you know most of the memories I bring back home involve foodI’m familiar with a pretty standard set of Korean dishes, but the actual country had so much more than everything I’d known. I mean, I didn’t even know I’d like eating blood sausage that much.
Kimbap more like kimmmmbap.
A lot of food was so cheap too. Like this bungeoppang (taiyaki’s Korean relative), which was only a thousand won or a dollar for five. So! Cheap! I definitely ate way too much.
Because it’s hard not to when food portions in Korea are intense. Some of my favourites were those giant pots with ramen, kimchi, cheese and everything—you just threw it all in and had a feast with your friends.
I’m sorry for making this picture overly dramatic, but you should’ve seen the amount of cheese. It justifies everything.
Moving on to something more delicateI went to Myeongdong specifically with this rose gelato in mind. It was packed with tourists as I’d thought, but at least I got to see them carving a huge lump of gelato into this work of art so that was cool.
I went to the CU convenience mart and practically bought out their Rilakkuma bread stock to collect them all. Just because they have cute packaging and stickers inside. Why does this happen to me even outside Japan?!
Seoul’s street food outdoes itself. Just look at this one stall in Myeondong, they really love watermelon.
Went all the way out of the main city to visit Petite FranceIt was a bit of a chore walking up and down those hills and steps but all those quaint houses and beautiful colours made up for it.
Not forgetting our wiggly friend here—we went to the massive Gwangjang Market for traditional Korean food and a lot of stalls had little fish tanks where they kept their octopuses. Except they weren’t pets but the customers’ food. The shopkeeper fished this one out and served it to us right there and then, and it was definitely a dining experience of a strange kind.
Seoul was an amazing place to end summer vacation with, and it was the company I had that made me love it so much. Things are just better enjoyed with friends (like when there’s too much food to finish) and I couldn’t have had a better time without them
I actually have a whole bunch of photos from when we wore traditional hanbok dresses at the palace but I think I’ll reserve that post for another time in between the usual Japan updates. Or when I need to relive vacation memories while procrastinating on homework (as I am now). See you again!