Our first full day in Seoul was spent touring a little of the downtown area. We were up early to make fresh smoothies and plot our course of action for the day. After breakfast, we hopped on a bus and headed into the heart of the big city.
Our first stop was Gyeongbokgung Palace. This popular tourist destination was a great way to learn a bit about Korea's history. The girls both had their cameras in hand and together we tried to capture photos of every aspect of this architecturally and culturally fascinating attraction.
From the palace, we wandered through a fascinating shopping and dining district. While there were many places that caught my eye and made me want to stop, we were on a mission to find a suitable place to stop for lunch. By this point, the girls were focused solely on lunch and weren't interested in sightseeing any longer until they'd had a bite to eat.
After lunch, we trudged up a few hills to get to Bukchon Hanok Village. This is an area within the heart of Seoul's downtown that's famous for their old homes lining narrow alleys. We explored several of these narrow alleys and were quite curious as to what lay behind the doors and walls that we could see. On a couple of occasions, doors were opened when we paused too long and we were invited in to satisfy our curiosity. Some of the tenants have discovered ways to make a buck off of the curious folks like us and they charge admission for short self-guided tours of their homes or businesses.
By mid-afternoon, Rachel & Abby had reached their limit for the day and insisted that the rest of our sightseeing should wait for another day. We hopped back on the bus and made our way back to Jonathan & HJ's place in Seongnam.
Tomorrow will see us getting up early and heading back to the airport to fly to Osaka, Japan. HJ & Jonathan are joining us for a three day guided bus tour. On that note, we've gotta shuffle some belongings between suitcases to get ready for our brief Japanese adventure that begins first thing in the morning. Our next update will be coming from Japan...