Today we went to what’s considered one of the best sites in Seoul, the Changdeokgung Palace Secret Garden. A genius had the greatest idea (sarcasm) to only allow visitors in if they take a forced 1.5 hour tour of these pretty but uninteresting gardens where they bombard you with the most useless information at the slowest pace possible; rest assured we stealthily betrayed our tour guide and escaped to go back to the palace.
What was spectacular was that it began to snow, not a little snow, in 20 minutes everything was covered in white. Eitan had never been in actual snowflakes falling as we did today and was mesmerized by the beauty. It was especially beautiful given the setting in the background.
We went for lunch and had our first experience with “not as friendly” Koreans. The women working at this restaurant seemed angry at Sarah because she didn’t appropriately mix her Bibimbop (veggie salad and egg with rice) and even tried to take control of her plate and chopsticks to mix the food. Given this treatment we ate fast and left. But apparently we didn’t eat fast enough because the next site that we went to closed 5 minutes before we arrived. It was the Jongmyo shrine.
It was suuuuuper cold and snowing out but we were committed to at least successfully complete an attraction for the day, so we walked along the river to visit the Dongdameun gate with is Koreas National monument #1 and the it was the main gate to the entrance to the city (Seoul has a fortress wall around its center).
Our next stop was the weird design center built by the renowned architect Zaha Hadid, which encloses art museums, exhibits and overpriced shops full of unnecessary pretty designed items. We walked around for a bit and then given our late night decided to head back for an earlier evening. Good Night!