Winter (again!) in Korea – chill walking around Seoul

*extremely picture-heavy post

As it was a Sunday, we decided to drop by Myeongdong Cathedral. As the guesthouse was located only at Chungmuro, we only walked rather than take the train.

Weirdly, we got lost and we ended up at a Presbyterian at the other side of the road! We got confused with the spires, even though it was not our first time to go to the cathedral. We spent a good ten minutes looking for it.

When we finally arrived, the mass just ended and the people were filtering out. A bunch of them were getting free calendars from a tent. Mon tried to get one and he was given.

When I tried doing the same, an ajumma said “Give calendar after you attend mass”. T_T I am always unfortunate with free stuff.

Winter sun in Myeongdong Cathedral

They also have LED roses in Myeongdong Cathedral

They also have LED roses in Myeongdong Cathedral

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Winter (again!) in Korea – Something old, something new: Doseonsa Temple and Dongdaemun area

extremely picture-heavy post

Waking up, I can’t help but feel giddy with what’s ahead of our first full day in Korea. Of course, I was still feeling very sick. But there is really something about adrenaline that makes you forget your sore throat.

The good thing about the hostel is the free breakfast. It is not much (e.g. coffee, bread, butter, jam and cereals), but compounding the amount we will pay outside for food, it is still something.

Seoul Tower silhouetted against the winter sun

Our hostel being a station away from Myeongdong, we just walked for 5 minutes before reaching the busy intersection. Was it cold? Yes. But cold enough to wear gloves? Not really. So what we felt in the airport last night still rang true the day after. We also were able to rent a Wi-Fi egg from the hostel for the whole duration of our trip. We just had to pay KRW 50,000 deposit, which will be returned when we leave.

However, I still have to buy a pair of earmuffs. Like mentioned back in 2012, I have lost it somewhere in COEX mall on our last day.

First foray at Myeongdong

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Winter (again!) in Korea – the arrival

*extremely picture-heavy post

After four years, I can’t believe that we are traveling again to South Korea! Especially after the passport and visa drama from a week ago!

Mon and I have a soft spot for Seoul. We have been twice there before (summer of 2011 and winter of 2012), and we look forward to see what changes there might be. The country is to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, and it will be interesting to note of any preparations that they have (if there is).

Before anything else, I will be traveling with a very sore throat. Just imagine my horror waking up on Thursday barely able to speak. But this has been planned already and I packed a bottle of Bactidol for extra measure.

Sore throat!

Our flight left the Philippines at around 3:00 pm. We will be arriving four hours after in Incheon International Airport. I was feeling a bit feverish during the flight, but somehow, my excitement to be back eclipsed my predicament.

It is no secret that I love winter so much. However, I was anxious that I might not even see snow when we arrive. Global warming is real. I have been monitoring the weather for days before we arrive and not a single snowfall took place in Seoul. Sure we can go to Seoraksan just to see snow, but we do not have time for that.

Night about to fall

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Rêve de neige

Toddle Elsa and Toddler Anna dolls with Olaf - Disney Frozen

Toddle Elsa and Toddler Anna dolls with Olaf (click to zoom)

I finally had a very good Christmas compared to last year. =) Exactly a year ago today, I was in a mortal peril and the vivid memory of what transpired that time seemed to have happened only yesterday. But what is past is past, and I was more than happy to pig out on things I never got to eat last year. We were also back to our normal tradition of letting the kids open all of the gifts under our tree. We line them up from smallest to biggest, and allow them to tear the wrappers one by one. I was most particularly excited for Brie to open her gift because Elsa finally got a sibling. But to my astonishment, she seemed more delighted with the books Mon and I gave to her, which is always a good sign. Hopefully, she gets to like books the same way I do until now. The whole Christmas morning until afternoon, I was busy playing with JB’s toys and I even took a couple of ensemble photos of Brie’s Frozen dolls a day after.

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