The tale continues.
There are some things you just have to do when you’re a tourist in Seoul and one of those things is climb Namsan Mountain, go up the N Seoul Tower and ride the cable cars. So that’s what we intended to do on this day. My boyfriend is a huge sucker for mountains of all colors, shapes and sizes and if it had been entirely up to him we might have climbed every single one of the mountains surrounding Seoul. Me on the other hand? I’m lazy and don’t really enjoy walking where it’s not at least sort of flat. Usually. But I did really want to climb this mountain, just for the hell of it.
We took a bus up to the National Theater of Korea (only time we had to venture outside of the excellent subway for transportation within Seoul) and from there it was very easy to find the trail. Calling this ’climbing a mountain’ or even ’hiking’ is a little strange, given the roads, not tracks, roads, and stairs, that lead us on our way. It was quite lovely with lots of beautiful green forestry, and it almost felt like we’d left the huge city and ended up in a forest somewhere. But dear lord was it hot. It had been really hot the entire time we’d been in Seoul, and I had been quite bothered by it up to this point as well (I just don’t like heat, okay?) but since I hadn’t really had to do any strenuous activities (except for that one time when we worked out), I hadn’t experienced the full-blown effect that such a humid heat can have on you. The path we took was kind of steep, at least parts of the way, so it probably would have tired me out even if it had been in Sweden, but combined with the heat and humidity I really felt like I was going to die. I really don’t like feeling sweaty, but, yeah. There was no real way of avoiding that here.
This photo is stunning and I’m very proud of myself for taking it.
It was sweaty, but it was also stunning.
But we did eventually make it up, and after a quick stop at Starbucks to regain some energy, we headed for the N Seoul Tower, one of the most well-known landmarks in Seoul. Not only is it a pretty high tower, but given it’s position on a mountain the views we got of almost the entirety of Seoul were very impressive. Sadly there was a bit of smog in the air, so the photos I got from there aren’t quite what they possibly could have been, but I think you’ll get the picture nonetheless.
Just imagine what the view could have been if it had been a clearer day.
After we’d come down from the tower (having spent way too much time up there browsing through a billion overpriced souvenirs) we went off to buy a padlock, because if you aren’t aware of this already, the railings around the N Seoul Tower is a place where couples leave padlocks with their names on them as a way of professing lasting love, just like in Paris etc. Of course we knew that we’d have to do this, as you can’t go there, as a couple in love, and just not do it! What kind of message would that send? So we went to buy one and then spent some time trying to write cute things on it. I am not the best at expressing my feelings, especially not in words or in writing, so this did feel a little awkward to me, but it was also an incredibly sweet moment that I will for sure cherish the memory of.
We locked our padlock onto another padlock already on the railings (getting a spot on the railings themselves seemed impossible), put the key in a designated ”mailbox” (which someone had puked in/near, which kind of took us out of the moment) and then we headed off to try and find the cable car station.
So. Many. Padlocks.
Some Chinese tourists took the cutest photo of us ever taken.
We took a cable car down from the mountain and while that did give some great views of the city, it was also absolutely terrifying and I spent large parts of the ride trying to keep my cool while clutching onto my boyfriend. I know exactly how Luhan felt; those things are flying death traps!
This is the only photo I took from within the cable car, because well. The horror.
After we’d made it down the mountain we ended up in a part of Seoul that we had yet to be in, which made our search for food a wee bit harder. Somehow we ended up in a fancy department store, but their food court was just closing, so we had no luck there. Instead we decided to just head home, since we knew there were some restaurants close by there that would probably still be open. We went to have bibimbap, but after finishing we were still hungry, so we went to the place next door to have some kimbap as well. We could have stayed in the same restaurant and just ordered some more, but we didn’t want to be judged…
Some parts of Seoul are very fancy, and that demands a certain kind of behavior.
By this point it was about time for us to do laundry, and we knew that would take a long time, so since we were pretty tired from all our adventures we stayed home, attempted to do laundry (we only accidentally turned one clothing item a color it hadn’t been before). But after being home all day and not really eating all that much, once 9-ish PM rolled around, we were both experiencing some strong cravings for french fries. So we, using our lovely map app, figured out where the nearest McDonald’s was, and headed off there. Then after having fries we ended up in a little bar where we had some beer and shared a portion of tteokbokki. So all in all a pretty uneventful day.
Fries in Seoul are basically the same as at home, just less salty. Now you know.
Korean beer ain’t so bad. But that’s coming from someone with terrible taste in beer.
We had an errand to take care of in Hongdae, so we went there and then walked around for a little bit. (Hongdae is such a cute area, you guys!) After that we went grocery shopping, actually managing to go to a proper, huge, supermarket this time around. Homeplus was big, but some of the food sold there was bigger. I found a head of some kind of lettuce that was way bigger than my head, and trust me, I have a big head.
Super fancy and expensive fruit.
Definitely a reasonable size.
The promised land.
My boyfriend had been having cravings for tacos for several days by now, and since we’d seen a taco place when we’d been in Hongdae earlier in the day we decided to go by there and check (and hope and pray) if they had any vegetarian options. We didn’t have that much hope, since Korea is such a meat-loving country, but as it turns out they had not one, but two vegetarian options for tacos! We ordered both kinds from the very friendly and talkative American (?) guy and wolfed them down. Trust me, these were some amazing tacos! If you like tacos and other similar foods (they had other stuff too) and are in the Hongdae area, or just in Seoul in general, I definitely recommend you check out Gusto Taco, very close to Exit 1 of the Sangsu subway station. I strongly recommend you do this. Do it. Just do it.
Inside the restaurant.
Remember the name.
It may not look all that pretty, but trust me, it definitely felt pretty.
Tune back soon for more!