Saturday, January 28, 2012

Jan 22; Climbing the fortress and celebrating New Years Eve in Korea with the Chinese (How did Cinderella do it?)

Day 14
Back home (Canada home), today would be a big deal. Cleaning the house, preparing a 10 course meal, putting up decorations, and generally getting stuff ready for the new years....This year was kinda sorta, not really the same.

Before the celebrations even happened, the Canadians headed off to the Seoul Fortress Wall. Getting there was easy, but once we were actually in the vicinity and trying to get in and navigate inside the fortress...  that was something else.  
Diana, Sigrid, and Kristie on the subway. Unprepared of what awaits us.
first trip on the bus!
So basically, you check in to Sukjeongmun (main gate) and you can walk around the whole fortress which will take you the whole day. Literally. We ended up walking from Sukjeongmun (main one) to Changuimun gates which took as about 1 and a half hours to walk 2 kilometres, one way. 2 kilometres is not that much, but it was so much more intense because of the stairs. We had to check back in the main point by 5pm, so we had to turn back early.  All together, we walked for about 3 hours and climbed approximately 4028 stairs today at the fortress alone. What a workout.
Off the bus and trying to find the main gates
I had no idea what this was but here are my numbers! (i'm gonna try to figure it out later....)
In Korea, you can't hug trees or you'll start a fire. 
a view of Seoul from above
Diana looking all happy!
Catherine enjoying the view
Mt. Bugaksun in the background
There are random outdoor parks of exercise equipment that is free for anyone to use. 
4028 later and still going strong!
(Photo Cred: Cat)
 I wanted to see the Cheonggyecheon River so we made our way there only to find a deserted Korea. It was the emptiest I've ever seen Korea, probably because it was New Year's Eve..
Korean Theatre
Cheonggyecheon River... It's prettier in the summer.

On our way home, we made a stop of Lotte Mart to do some shopping. Yes, Lotte has started to become an end of the day tradition.
The electronics department is called "Digital Park" in Korea. 
We ran into the Chinese students at the store and they ever so kindly invited us to their dorm to celebrate Chinese New Years with them. How could we say no to that?

Korean celebrity endorsements are so big in Korea. Faces of famous popstars are everywhere!
Big Bang on the subway to Lotte Mart
Big Bang on juice in Lotte Mart
Secret Garden guy on tea that Lotte Mart

Before heading to their dorm, some of us went to a restaurant where the drama Secret Garden was filmed in! 

Boys Over Flowers was filmed here as well?
gogi (means meat) for the meatatarians
Naengmyeon for the vegetarian
yay veggies!
cooking the meat
Catherine eating veggies! = O
bulgogi + naengyeon = 8300 per person 

And finally, we celebrate the New Years with the Chinese people!
Look at all that food!
The girlies
April and her Chinese decoration
April, Matt, Lewis, and Ziru
The Chinese people and Lewis

Me and the Chinese signs that I can't read!
Oh my gosh! Korean monkey! oh wait, it's just Matt.
Yay Australian monkey!
Ya, we moved from the room to the hallway....
kai, bi bo (Korean rock paper scissors)
Oh hey! It's Pam and Tanya who have come out of their dorms..but went back in.
(But Crisitan stayed!)
Hand of cards
Annnnnnd as the clock was at 11:55, we all returned back to our dorms by curfew (11:59pm)

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