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Seoul – Again.

September 8, 2011

Have to do another entry on Seoul, as it is a place worthy of note on this side of the world.

We stayed at the Somerset Palace Apartments http://www2.somerset.com/south_korea/seoul/somerset_palace.html in the city center of Seoul.  A studio apartment was $140/night,

extremely well appointed and livable at that.  The apartment had everything one needed to live comfortably with – in about 350 sq. feet of living space.  Spare, tidy and clean.  If anyone asks; two people can indeed live well in 350 feet of space.

One of the perks of the Palace is a large and very full buffet breakfast each day.  If one plans right, one may obtain a good portion of their daily nourishment from this buffet.  They had lychee – a fruit Pauline loves, but virtually unknown on the mainland.

I would work every day while the Pheebs would go off wandering.   We were near an district known as Insa-Dong, the arts center for Seoul.  This, of course, suited the Pheebs just fine.

Hundreds of galleries and art shops were scattered about the streets of Insa-dong, including this multi-story art mall.  The Pheebs was able to pick up her famous pink coat in here.

How she navigated this mass of humanity is a mystery to this very day.

The immensity of this city is nearly impossible to grasp.  Only a trip to the top of Namsan provides some perspective.  Sadly, it does not translate well photographically.  Those are love locks, an Asian tradition in full force atop Namsan, in the foreground.  Namsan is in the center of Seoul, so one may have a 360 degree view of city from this eagle’s nest.

 If I had to characterize Seoul, I’d use the Cheonggyecheon river to illustrate.  The river (don’t ask me to spell that twice) was once covered up and under the largest freeway interchange in the city.  With the past shaping its future and a foot firmly planted in tradition, the mayor of Seoul (now president) ordered the freeway demolished and the river uncovered.

The river is now a central gathering place, year round, for residents of Seoul who are fiercely proud of their ability to define progress in terms of advancements in quality of life as opposed to reductions in the daily commute.

Cognizant of the past, rooted in tradition, but with an eye on the future,

This is Seoul.  One of the world’s great cities.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2011 10:22 am

    Lycee….makes my mouth water. Pheebs

  2. September 8, 2011 10:23 am

    I meant Lychee…oops

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      September 8, 2011 5:20 pm

      The stuff reminds me of the fragrance used in soap; I can’t eat it without seeing (in my mind’s eye) little Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” with a bar of soap in his mouth.

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