Wearing down my shoes in Seoul

I’ve been having a wonderful time my first week Korea, and the soles of my shoes are considerably more heavily worn down then when I started  ^^  (I take this as an invitation to buy new shoes!)  I’ve been doing a lot of walking…and getting lost with my new friend Jason.

Pretty much my entire first week here, besides loving it, I have gotten turned around more times than I can count.  I hate to think of how many times I’ve back tracked around … and I’m still no closer to being able to figure out where I am XD  Anyone who knows me from back home knows I have a terrible sense of direction and rely heavily on taking the same path all the time.  Thus far I’ve gotten by on the shear knowledge that subway stops are very common, and from there I can always get back home provided I have my T-money card (subway card) on me … but that story will come a little ways down ^^

In my first five days here, I have been to 신촌 (Sinchon), the area around Ewha Woman’s University (but not to the university), gotten quite lost every in 홍대 (Hongdae), and briefly  명동 (Myeongdong) on the way to see N.서울타워 (N.Seoul Tower, AKA: Namsam Tower, AKA: Seoul Tower).

I haven’t been doing as well as I should be for taking pictures, but I’m getting better!  Expect more pictures to come!

I live in Sinchon, so I have been spending a lot of time walking up the road by my place to Sinchon Station.  On one such occasion it was to go to the Grand Mart to find a blanket … only to find that it was no longer quite so grand.  It had been reduced from five floors to two, none of which had blankets 😦   It took me three days to find a store that had a blanket for me to buy that wasn’t outrageously priced.  I’ve only been to the Ehwa area once, and it was on my first day so I don’t have any pictures, but I am dying to go back!  There were so many cute little shops that I want to visit.

Hongdae is another section of the city I want to visit more.  I found the cutest earings for 1000원 (~$1) each!  I also ran into a Hello Kitty Cafe (but sadly didn’t go in…next time) and found a cat cafe!! But it was closed 😦

I did see this confused little guy through the window though ^^  Another reason to go back and find Cats Living.  Which islocated right below … FUCKFAKE.  A clothing store…I think.

DSCF1716

Cats Living is open from 1-11pm and is located in Hondae here:

cats living

Forgive my rough map!

The ‘incredibly interesting night’ is also quite possibly the most lost I’ve ever gotten walking before.  It started out as Jason and I taking a pleasant stroll through Mapo-gu (the district that Sinchon is in) one night….and it ended 3 hours later with us having no clue as to where we were … and why there were now mountains in three directions.

route

Now, I’m not 100% positive this is the exact path that we took, but something along those lines.  It involved going up two very big hills and making a small loop through a park.  We also walked through the closing Yeongdeungpo Market.  I’ll have to go back another time when it’s open.  It looked rather interesting.  A marks the Daeheung Station (the subway station right near my place) and B is the station we used to get home.  It doesn’t look like much on a map, but we started out at 8pm and didn’t get home until 11pm, so…. I think I need to start carrying a map with me.  And my camera.

Entrance to the foot path up the mountain

On Friday I went with Jason to see Namsam Tower.  To get there we walked through Myeongdong, which was great, but also really pricey.  We ended up walking up the wrong hill, so we had to walk all the way down it again and find exit 3 on Myeondong Station.  From there you turn left down the street with a 7/11 and GS25.  After that it’s really easy to find the route up to the entrance to Namsam Tower.  It’s approximately a one and half hour round trip walk up the mountain.  For this time, Jason and I opted for the cable car ride up the mountain.  A one-way ticket up costs 6000원 (~$6) while a round trip is only 8000원 (~$8), so it wasn’t that bad of a deal. We went on a bit of a cloudy day, it even started to rain later on in the afternoon.  When we were there however, it was nice (if a bit chilly).  The view is great, and you can’t even begin to imagine just how huge Seoul really is!

We also saw these three cute 고양이 (kitty cats) climbing up the mountain from one of the view points … evidently they were more ambitious than I was today ^^

A nifty feature once you reach the summit of Namsam Tower is something called the ‘Love Locks’.  They have some a few trees, and almost the entire fence in this one area (the picture at the top of the page) are covered in padlocks.

These locks are put on by couples every year.  Some have been there so long that they’re completely brown with rust.  The couples often write little messages as well, either on the lock itself or on a plastic note/cellphone case.  The cutest ones I saw included little picture stickers of the couple that put the lock on.  D’awwww.

Classes start on Monday (December 3rd).  I’ve already bought my books (though, I was a bit of an eager beaver on that…I just got an email letting me know that I could have gotten 15% off if I had waited until the weekend, sigh) and am so excited to start studying…I have honestly never expected to say that 🙂

Till next time!

Me at the geographic center of Seoul

Me at the geographic center of Seoul

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