Thanks to the spreading CoronaVirus, we have been informally banished to Seoul in CoronaVirus exile. Prayers for all those effected! 🙏🙏🙏 We are sojourners at heart, but the extension of our two-week vacation into a month+ extended stay came rather unexpected.
Now we are working to keep the stress and worry at bay by finding cheap yet fun activities to entertain our time with. With our travel on a shoe string being held together with knots, we’ve been sharing sandwiches at coffee shops and subsisting on hard-boiled eggs from the C-Stores. 😁 How creative are we?! Life is always one great adventure.
We down-scaled our hotel to a cheaper one in Dongdaemun earlier this week (well, it was supposed to be cheaper – more on that later). The desk attendants are friendly and the bed is relatively comfortable for an Asian hotel, so we’re all good! 😊
Luckily, Seoul happens to have a special place in our hearts, so being stranded here is one of those blessings in disguise. The food and housing might be pricey, but Seoul has many things to do on the free side. Example in point – wandering the city parks is a great stress-free excursion!
Yesterday, we took the subway 16 stops to a station close to the river. Lucky us, we got a seat going BOTH directions! HIGH FIVE!!! 🖐🏻
Line 9 or Line 5 to Yeouido Station, Exit 3.
Walk straight out of Exit 3 until Yeouido Park. Head right towards the river by walking through the park.
Once you reach the river, you can head right alongside. At the bridge (see the Emart), you’ll see stairs up to the main road’s sidewalk.
Follow the main road and you’ll reach the National Assembly Station (Line 9), Exit 1 is there on the sidewalk along the main road. You can either take this or walk back towards Yeouido Station.
We had a late start and decided to grab lunch at a little café ‘Pig in the Garden‘ on the corner by the park. This area is a significant financial and political district, so you can imagine the restaurants are more than a bit pricey here.
The ‘Pig in the Garden’ was sort of health food-y — more image than substance. 😂🥗 We were saving money so we just turned some of their side dishes and a shared sandwich into a meal. 😉
There was a ‘grilled’ (reheated) ‘Apple & Cheese sandwich on whole-grain bread — mostly raw apple, but cute! 🍎 The potato salad was tasty –‘home-made-esque!’ — and some cole grilled sweet potato wedges that had cinnamon and maybe a bit of honey. Frankly the cold spicy broccoli was not my thing, but Liv like it 😋 Reheated, it might have been good! TBH, the ambiance was the best part — it’s bright and open, with natural decor. One table had a wooden porch swing hung from the ceiling — lovely place to watch the world go by!
*Sorry, no pics of the food – we were too hungry and forgot 😂
After lunch, we walked down through Yeouido Park — it used to be blacktop, but was re-designed as a city part in 1999 and now brings many locals out. Some were with their children playing, others just taking a stroll through the trees. There was even a college drama team filming some project!
- Paved open area for skating and playing
- Outdoor toys for children
- Great grassy areas for a picnic
- Walking trails and exercise equipment
The sun was shining, light breeze, 50*F+–just lovely!
I wish I’d had my good athletic shoes with me! There was the best workout circuit I’ve ever seen! Great equipment, smooth paved path, and clean restrooms. Sweet! I wish I had my good athletic shoes with me! There is the best workout circuit I have ever seen! Great equipment, smooth paved path, and clean restrooms. Sweet!
Teens and adults were in clusters playing basketball all across a massive courtyard. Maybe 30 or more backboards (I didn’t really count). A couple of guys started showing us their skills—one guy made a basket with a soccer kick! 🤣 We clapped appreciatively. It was a warm/homey place to sit and reconnect with humanity in general—as an introvert, that’s close enough!
We are trying to get better with our cameras (moving off out ‘auto’ – fighting! 🤞🏻) so we take thousands of photos. 🤣 There were cool history displays—the best is the big war plane and all sorts of art work.
We say one our all time favorite pieces of street art – it was magical! A square frame of hanging rectangles, made of colored plexiglass — they cast a variety of colors while moving in the breeze. Rainbow colored bars of color move gracefully across the ground.
Park benches let you sit and watch. The most relaxing and peaceful public place I’ve ever seen. Hypnotic really. I could go everyday and not grow tired of it. Then there were the reflections of the surrounding city. I love reflections and these multicolored moving reflections created a mythical otherworld that makes you think deep thoughts!
We were aiming to be at the river for the photographers magic hour of sunset. We were blessed indeed! The water. The birds. The cityscape. The mountains. Photographers paradise! 📸
The walk back to a different station was so very nice – plenty of food and coffee shops would make for a nice evening out sometime. The National Assembly is right there as well. The couples walking hand-in-hand taking selfies. The college students moving about working on a film project. The parents and children on bikes. All is right with the world. Gone the sun, God is nigh!