Looking Back

We have left South Korea but before we blog about that final week, we want to look back to the beginning of our time in Korea.  During our first week there, we traveled to Seoul for some orientation sightseeing.  We did not post much about it because we always thought we would return.  Little did we know the future.

When we visited Seoul that Saturday (middle of January), it was very cold and we were still very much in jet-lag mode.  We had other things to blog about at the time and just assumed we would return to Seoul and then combine our activities into one post.  It didn’t happen.

We rode the train to Seoul that day – about 1 hour ride.  Our MCC service worker met us at the station and showed us how to get to the subway which we rode.  We ate lunch at an Indian restaurant.

We walked to Gyeongbok Palace, the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty.  It was built in 1395, reduced to ashes during the Japanese invasion of 1592, rebuilt in 1867, and again extensively damaged during the Japanese occupation of the early 20th century.  Restoration efforts have been ongoing since 1990.  We took a tour and visited a number of the buildings on the nearly 100-acre piece of land.  It is a beautiful place with beautiful/ornate buildings.  We did not write down the name of the places we visited so we can’t tell you.  Just know that is was a remarkably interesting area.

We had wanted to see various other places in the vicinity, but the main street was packed.  Apparently, it is a custom in recent years to hold huge rallies/protests on Saturday on this street.  Some groups were wanting a former president released from prison; another group were demanding that the government investigate the Sewol Ferry tragedy; another group were advocating for recognition of the “Comfort Women” from the war.  And many other issues.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was our only significant time spent in Seoul.

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