Oct 212014

2014-10-11 Seoul City Wall 119 banner2014-10-11 Seoul City Wall 059 map smallerWeekend before last, I did a nice walk along a good bit of the next stretch of the Seoul City Wall.  Maybe too much:  I did the Heunginjimun Gate Section and most of the Namsan(Mongmyeoksan) Mountain Trail, including right up to the top of Namsan Mountain.  (On the map to the right, I went from the 1st arrow at top-right to the second at bottom-middle.)

2014-10-11 Seoul City Wall 006I started at Dongdaemun Gate (left), where I’d ended up on my last City Wall walk (with a walk back home, which limits how far you’re going to go).  From there, it’s flat city walking for a little while, right through the Dongdaemun fashion district with the fantastic Dongdaemun Design Plaza (I also took a video of the Design Plaza, at http://youtu.be/ q7lzbQ0qxd0).

2014-10-11 Seoul City Wall 069Then, through the small Gwanghuimun Gate (which was hard to find) & a very short section of wall before the route switches to streets for a bit.  From there to the bottom of Namsan Mountain is a proper wall again.  The climb up the mountain was a bit further than I thought, and my recently-sprained ankle had had enough when we got to the plaza at the foot of Seoul Tower.

2014-10-11 Seoul City Wall 113So just a walk around there for the views(I didn’t go up the Tower), and then I took the cablecar & the funicular down to Namdaemun Market for a bite of lunch.  And finally a taxi home.

Funny thing is… I realize now that I didn’t take any pictures of Seoul Tower!  So here’s one from the Internet (credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/tokism/6909376149/ ).  Next time I’m up there, maybe I’ll take one and update this posting.seoultower




 Posted by on 21 Oct 2014
Oct 122014

I am endlessly fascinated by the rules governing public foot transportation here, specifically escalators & stairs, particularly in the subway. We saw some of that in Tokyo too, e.g., the “Do Not Rush!” signs that so amused me. Don’t get me wrong: a lot of these rules are a good idea! I’m just not used to seeing them publicized (nor obeyed!, especially after the previous 10 years in either Ireland or Belgium).

So, how could I resist this incredibly comprehensive poster on a Seoul metro? I’ve rotated the picture so that the top of the escalator in the poster is at the top… I was on the “wrong” side to get it properly oriented.

2014-10-11 How To Ride the Escalator

In order (L to R, Top to Bottom):

  • Priority to pregnant women (&/or with children) and to old people: Not a clear message in the image, but the text (Google translate) says to give seniors and caregivers priority. OK, I’m with that.
  • This looks like “don’t beat your head against the handrail!”. Google Translate isn’t helping… I’m just getting something about open wounds. Yuck. I don’t want to be that person!
  • Don’t need to translate this — sadly, it’s been in the news about new rules specifically prohibiting taking photos up women’s dresses. Double Yuck.
  • My favorite: Do Not Rush!
  • The Red Circle of Good Behavior: Standing while holding the handrail.  Not walking.  Standing.  In big department stores, soothing voices in 3 languages advise you to stand, not walk… at least I haven’t heard that on the subway (yet).
  • Don’t drink & ride the escalator. Hmmmm… if you’re doing that, perhaps you have bigger problems than a possible escalator accident?
  • Here’s what happens to those who don’t hold the handrail. You Have Been Warned.
  • Don’t slide down the bannister (or handrail in this case). No kidding. Perhaps (see above) you’ve been drinking?
  • Get Off the Escalator. Yes! One of my pet peeves: people who stop right at the bottom of the escalator. Even more irritating than people who stop in doorways for a cozy chat — at least then you can avoid bumping into them.Bottom line?

Conclusion?  Actually these are very sensible.  OK, I don’t agree with the”don’t walk” admonition in the Red Circle, and I’m surprised they include neither “don’t sit on the steps” nor “face forward”, but those are quibbles.

Now all I have to do is find out about the figure with open wounds…

 Posted by on 12 Oct 2014
Oct 122014

2014-08-10 Chef To Go 03 banner2014-08-10 Chef To Go 012014-08-10 Chef To Go 02A new lunch place opened up down on Seongbuk-ro, the big road at the bottom of our hill.  My friend Kathy is crazy about it, says she wants to work there to learn Korean cooking, and that the cook is, for now, the owner’s mother.  That’s the owner in the photo above.  Place is new, modern, clean & pleasant — that’s a nice change, as lunch places can often be a bit heavy on the formica and flourescent lighting.

In fact, I’d quite forgotten about this place, but ran into Kathy & Ann Marie when I was out for lunch & considering where to go & they’d just eaten there & said that I should go there.  So I did.

2014-08-10 Chef To Go 03Kathy recommended the Kimchi Prawns, but in the event I was served the Teriyaki Chicken.  Oh well.  It was OK, but I’m not a big fan of dishes with packaged sauce (in that category it was excellent… which gives it just OK overall).

So… worth another try, especially for the Kimchi Prawns.

 Posted by on 12 Oct 2014
Oct 112014

2014-10-08 Bugaksan Temple Trails 10 banner I’ve been out on the last two Wednesdays, having a nice hike with the Seongbuk-dong Expat Group.  Svetlana’s been leading the hikes, and there’s a good number of people so far.  The Seongbuk-dong Expat Group dropped the word “Ladies” from its name shortly before I joined, though that may explain why I hadn’t heard of it until then ;-)  They’re a nice bunch, but I haven’t made it to any lunches after the first that I went to, the timing has not worked well for me.  Maybe next month.

Both Wednesdays so far, we’ve walked on the north slope below the Bugak Skyway, where there’s a real cluster of temples.  I’ve been meaning to get down there sometime, and am sorry that I left it so long — there are some very nice trails in addition to all the temples.

Those Wednesday hikes have also been a bit of putting my toe back in the water (as it were) after spraining my ankle, and buoyed by how well my ankle felt after last Wednesday, I went on a very long hike today, of which more later hopefully.

Anyway, here’re the photos:



 Posted by on 11 Oct 2014