Thursday, May 21, 2015

More Seoul pics

Once again I am typing this post during a layover at Tokyo Narita - but this time I am enroute back to Chicago! One last post about the visit to Seoul with more pictures.

I was lucky enough to be in Seoul when the annual Lotus Lantern Festival took place. Here are some snapshots from the festival's parade:

After the parade, we went to the Jogyesa Temple. The temple housed an absolutely stunning display of lanterns. This picture definitely does not do it justice:

It's hard to go hungry in Seoul. There are so many food offerings available everywhere. Here is a sampling of some local eats:
Upper left: Bibimbap
Upper right: Late-night mandu (dumplings)
Lower left: Adorable animal-themed bakery rolls
Lower right: A kimchee selection for the ages
Seoul hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics. The Olympic stadium and surrounding areas have been converted into a beautiful park with sports facilities, trails, and monuments. It is a haven of greenery in the middle of the metropolis. I got in a really nice 10-miler while exploring the park.

This is the World Peace Gate at one of the Olympic Park entrances:
It is purely a coincidence that I'm wearing a shirt that says "Chicago" on it. Way to represent, eh?
The flags are displayed for all 160 nations that participated in the 1988 Olympics:

In an amazing coincidence, my friend Haiying happened to be in Seoul the same time I was there! It was awesome getting to catch up with her - I hadn't seen her in several years. Here are some snapshots in Hongdae Park from one of the nights we got together:
Left: Haiying and me
Right: Helen and me (both trying to look tough)
The three of us went to dinner at a restaurant called The Beastro. Check out how one of the Beastro's chefs photobombed us. =D
From L to R: Helen, me, and Haiying

Helen and I had a little fun with a K-Pop display in the Apgujeong neighborhood (we picked a Gangnam one, of course):

Speaking of Gangnam, this display was right near Helen's apartment. If anyone was in the dancing mood, it was complete with flashing lights and music. (I found this out by accident when I hit one of the display buttons and "Gangnam Style" started blaring from the loudspeakers. All of the people passing by on the street turned their heads to see what crazy person had caused the ruckus (i.e., me)).

Here is Helen's street. The array of lights throughout the entire city was always amazing.

More stunning architecture and cityscapes:

My huge thanks go out to Helen for being such a wonderful hostess during my time in Seoul!!!

And now, back to reality for me in Chicago. I have a lot of catching up to do with all of your blogs. I hope to get back on track with everything over the next few days. Thank goodness for Memorial Day Weekend coming up!


  1. Wow, of that photo of the lanterns in the Jogyesa Temple don't do it justice, I can only imagine what it must have been like in real life! It looks SO beautiful! I also love those animal rolls: how cute! It looks like you had a fantastic time in Seoul - safe travels back to Chicago!

    1. The temple was definitely one of those settings where a videocamera or a very panoramic picture would have been really helpful! I can only imagine the number of man-hours it must have taken to prepare and hang all those lanterns. The animal rolls were so cute that it would have been tough to eat them, I think. =) Thanks!

  2. Such great photos! Glad you had a good time!

  3. Looks like a great trip! Lovely pix. And I loved the one with you wearing your Zooma Chicago shirt! :)

    1. Thanks Wendy! Ah yes - how awesome that you recognize the Zooma Chicago shirt, too. Total coincidence! It's actually one of my favorite race shirts. =)

  4. Seoul has some soul! I also like that Gangnam style stuff is still everywhere two years later! :)

    1. LOLOLOL at the pun. I was thinking that the Gangnam neighborhood would be over the song, so I enjoyed seeing the references, too. =)

  5. Seoul looks beautiful and fabulous and unique! I'm even more interested in making my way out there after seeing your pictures and hearing you gush about it!

    1. Amy, I think you would really enjoy visiting! If you and Stephen ever got the chance to go to the DMZ, too, you would be blown away at the military presence and all that they do there to serve and protect. I hope you get to go someday!!!

  6. Those lanterns look AMAZING! Did it make you want to get some for your place when you returned? ;)

    Did you try one of the little animal breads? Hee hee. I wonder how the bread there compares to here. It's interesting to try different baked goods around the globe!

    How cool that they made the Olympic Park in to a, well, park! It's great people use it and that you got your 10 miler in!!!!

    1. The funny thing was that during the lantern parade, some of the people marching in the parade would find random spectators and hand over lanterns! There was a little kid near me whose family ended up getting two of them! It would have been nice for me to bring one home but alas, they don't pack very well. Sigh!

      I was SO tempted to get one of the animal breads but ended up not doing so. Truthfully, even if I did, I don't know if I would want to eat it because it was too cute. It would have been weird to bring home an animal bakery roll as a souvenir, right?!?!?

      It was awesome seeing how well they repurposed the Olympic Park. It reminded me a bit of Central Park in NYC - a haven of greenery in the midst of an enormous city!