When it comes to places to live, I’ve moved up in scale.
From a farm in the Canadian prairies to bustling Melbourne to a Caribbean island archipelago, and now I’m in the third largest metropolitan area in the world.
Seoul is massive. It’s rare to be completely alone in a street or park. Throngs of people climb its mountains, file into its restaurants and cafes, and pack into its markets. My area is relatively small and sparsely populated, and there are still skyscraper apartments all around (fortunately, interspersed with mini-parks and trees).
In a metropolis of such size, one could hardly blame a person for getting…sidetracked. Taking much longer to reach one’s destination due to all the unexpected points of interest, street vendors, parades and protests, along the way.
And that explains the day I almost went to the Seoul Museum of Art.
I haven’t quite mastered the art of taking the bus from Yongin. Hopping off near Jonggak station, I stumbled upon peaceful Tapgol Park, the earliest western-style park established within Seoul.
I wandered around for a while, slowly making my way towards the museum. I discovered the remains of the Kimchi Making and Sharing Festival, where bits of cabbage and spicy gochujang littered the tarp-covered ground across from City Hall station.
Near the museum entrance, I came across a cacophony of students and traditional Korean drums and stopped to watch for a while.
I made it to the doors as the late afternoon sun was sinking in the sky. And of course- I’d misread the opening hours online, and missed my chance to enter the museum by fifteen minutes.
Time to improvise. I returned to a nearby palace I had passed on my way, and paid the 1000₩ fee to enter Deoksugung grounds.
Between the darkening twilight and rich and beautiful architecture, it made for fun spontaneous photoshoot 🙂
Want to see what it looks like inside? Oh, yes you do.
I was not ready to stop exploring yet. The Seoul Lantern Festival was running and I’d already fallen in love with Cheonggye stream. I highly recommend visiting the stream anytime, and the Lantern Festival next year!
Yes, if you’re wondering, these creations are set up IN THE STREAM. (Just visible: hordes of people taking selfies, quite often with selfie sticks).
This bridge was absolutely gorgeous inside.