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When the idea of traveling to South Korea was discussed, I was very excited. I had never been to that side of the world before and I was up for the adventure. But reality seeped in and I realized that I would be on an airplane for a very long ride. Lets just say I’ve never been on an airplane for 15.5 hours – ever! I’m not a good flyer, especially traveling overseas. I put my big-girl panties on, I sucked it up and we booked our flights.
The travel gods were with me the whole way…the two seats next to me were empty- the couple missed their flight on the sold out plane!!! I had a pang of guilt at how happy this bit of news made me – but not for long 🙂 I was able to spread out and be comfortable, I watched several movies and for the first time in my life I slept on a plane – amazing.
We were a bit tired when we landed in Seoul. We had lost an entire day between flying and the 13 hour time difference. We decided to get a good nights rest and wake up refreshed and hit the ground running.
The South Korean people are very kind and gentle. The language barrier wasn’t a real issue. Some people spoke some English or we resorted to the universal hand language and we managed very well.
Seoul is a very big city. I was struck by the fact that they have retained a lot of the traditional architecture, temples and statues throughout the area…
And that they have so much creativity with new art structures – even though I couldn’t figure out what most of them were 🙂
I didn’t realize that South Korea is 70% mountainous. Therefore, land is very precious. While traveling the countryside I could not get over the fact that homes didn’t have yards – they had gardens. Even businesses had gardens planted next to them. Driving down the highway all you could see on any vacant land were commercial agriculture and rice paddies. When we ate at restaurants the vegetables for our meal were picked that day from their own gardens. It was my first time seeing rice being grown. As this is harvest time all of the rice and vegetables were ready to be picked. The orange colored fruit are persimmons.
Sunset at the Yellow Sea…
The Incheon airport is rated second in the world and we quickly discovered why. Major shopping, wonderful restaurants and my personal favorite was the Korean Cultural Center. This is Mi holding a piece of artwork that I created (for free) at the center. It was done in the traditional way by pouncing cotton and ink onto mulberry paper over a decorative stone. A great way to pass the time at the airport. We were also treated to three musical performances.
This is just a snippet of our trip – I took over 1,000 photos and it was difficult to narrow down the shots. Next week I will share about the food and shopping experiences. Both were amazing 🙂