Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Korea Trip -- Day 2

This is the look from our apartment room. We're on the 14th floor overlooking downtown Seoul. This morning was a pretty foggy morning. What you can't see is the mountains behind the buildings. Hopefully later in the week, it won't be so foggy.

This is just another view. 
After sleeping in, and taking our time waking up and getting ready, we took off for our first day of exploring Seoul. Koreans walk...a lot. So, we walked. 
We passed a McDonalds, and apparently here in Korea, McDonalds delivers. They call it McDelivery! 
Korea has several palaces from when they were a dynasty. This is the entrance of one. It was closed today, so we just walked through the garden part. 
We stopped in front of a statue for a family picture. Not sure what it says or what it's for, since I'm not yet fluent in Korean. 
After we walked through the gardens, we stopped by the bank to trade our American dollars for Korean Won. 1 American dollar is about 1000 Won. So, we all feel super rich. It's taking us some getting use to. Things seem like they're so much. For example, my hot chocolate was 3,500 Won. Which is really only about $3.50.
After we had our $$, we headed to the big palace. I believe I heard it's the biggest in Korea. This statue was out front. 
 Here, Kaden and his grandma are posing with a guard. They weren't as crisp as the British guards, but they didn't smile or pose or anything. 
This is once we were inside the palace. This building is where the main throne was. You couldn't walk in, but you could see in all the doors. 
 The Palace was very extensive, and most of it was gardens, walk ways & water. There are little "gazebo" like areas all over. 
 Outside of the palace was a garden area with a museum. It had all the animals for the "year of..." Here's Micah & Kaden with the rabbit. Kaden was born in the Year of the Rabbit.
 And Micah was born in the Year of the Pig. 
 I'm not sure exactly what this is. It was part of the Palace. There was so many different buildings. The stairs were blocked off. 
 After touring the palace, we walked around the town towards a Market area. This was a Buddhist Temple. We're not sure what the lanterns were for. People were filling out cards, and they would hang them from the lanterns. We're not sure what it was. 
 These guys were funny. They were making candy. They were quite entertaining!
After shopping a bit, and then returning to the room for a nap, we went to dinner. They cooked the meat on these little "grills" at the table. They cooked pork & beef and you wrapped it in lettuce. 

 We had a good time the first day. I feel like we've already seen so much, and there's still so much to explore!!