*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
The mass immediately started as soon as we got inside the church. We sat at the far end next to the door because, well, the mass was in Korean.
So sitting there, I suddenly felt emotional. It just hit me hard that it was four years before when we last visited Korea. Then a year after that, I thought I would be goners. Who would have thought I’d be able to back again?
Good thing we were very far from the people. I might have gotten weird looks on why this guy is crying. LOL You can see it from the photo below with this bas relief door..
We spent a good hour hanging out at the church grounds, watching people and taking some photos. We were also deciding where to go next as we did not have a specific destination in mind.
After deciding to have lunch at Hongdae to see the place for the first time, we immediately went to the nearest train station. Mon’s feet were unfortunately aching with the winter boots he had on. We were walking very slowly because I can tell it hurts a little.
Hongdae is just like Myeongdong, with lots of shops and people. Only difference is that Hongdae is packed with people all day, while Myeongdong gets crowded only after sunset. Clothes here are sold cheaper too, as it caters to students.
As there were no cars passingSo time to eat lunch! We could not decide where to eat, but I was craving for some fried chicken. We saw a restaurant serving friend chicken on rice flour breading. We thought that the food was good for one person, but we were wrong!
Before the guy finished taking our orders, he remarked that we must have been very hungry. Yes, we were indeed very hungry. But only upon seeing the order of the table next to us arriving, we realized the big mistake that we did. One order was good for at least 3 persons. So we ordered to of this. HAHAHUHU
Alley shotI tried cancelling the second order but to no avail. It appeared that we already have our dinner set for us! We just asked them to have the second order packed for us (it was heavy)! Mon’s feet was still aching, so we agreed to go back to the guesthouse first for him to change his shoes.
It was hitting two birds with one stone as well, because we left the chicken bonanza as we’d look ridiculous carrying it around Seoul!
Wearing a more comfortable pair, we headed next to Gyeongbokgung for the lack of place to visit. It was building up to be a very random day. We had no plans getting inside because it meant paying for the entrance fee. We already saw it before and we paid I can no longer remember how much.
To our surprise, we just kept walking and walking until we were inside the grounds. Is it for free? Sure it was!
We did not expect to get inside for free, so we were off to take LOTS of photos! I even had my share of shenanigan, as it was the perfect place to get my mandatory walking shot of the day (more of this on a separate post).
It was difficult to get a decent photo outside the gate, right across from the road. Gyeongbokgung is really a popular tourist spot. I wanted to drop by this particular bench in Gwanghwamun, from where I got two photos separately taken. However, it was no longer there.
Before arriving in Korea, we knew that there had been an on-going political drama concerning President Park Geun-hye. This stretch, starting from Gyeongbokgung, is the epicenter of weekly peaceful protests.
In short, I did not see my bench. There were tents and protesters at the whole area, so I was not able to recreate my shot. Oh well.
At the end of Gwanghwamun is Cheonggyecheon. As we got there with the sun still up, we had our late coffee at our favorite TOM N TOMS. Mind you, my throat was still sore at the time, and I surprisingly felt uncomfortable each time we head indoors.
At Tom N Toms Coffee againAround after 30 minutes, the sun has already set. It means that the lights in Cheonggyecheon will be in their full splendor!
The whole place looked like it could have been sponsored by Comme des Garçons. ^_^ This is where Christmas spirit came to be at full blast. Christmas carols were blaring from the speakers, with lots of people having a swell time with the different light installations.
It was also extra cold that night that I felt like my nose was about to fall off. We originally thought of walking the whole stretch until Dongdaemun, but we eventually decided against it.
I was already hungry. A whole bucket of fried chicken awaits us at the guesthouse. One plus one equals two.
*See related posts in this “Winter in Seoul 2016” series.