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12 December 2009

Seoul, South Korea January 2009

In all fairness my visit to Seoul was really only a layover on the way to Auckland, New Zealand. I travelled to the conference in New Zealand with a coworker, Dan Poffenberger. On the way to Auckland we had about 15 hours to kill and decided to take the bus from the airport to the center of Seoul to see the city. Even though we were not there that long, I few things will always remain with me.
First, we were on our way to summer in New Zealand so I only wore a light jacket, I didn't expect the coldest day of the year in Seoul, but thats what it was. The wind that blew made me about as cold as I can ever remember being..
Secondly, as we walked through the streets of Seoul, the smells will not soon be forgotten. Everywhere we walked, the smell of cooking cabbage was strong, as if every building had some cooking. I love the taste of cabbage, but it was just more than my nose could handle. In fact, I dont think I have ever been so happy to see a good old american donut shop.
The third thing that has stuck with me about Seoul is the variety of historical areas within the city. As we walked the street there were the traditional historical sites that I expected to see, things such as monuments to past leaders, both military and religous.
They were beautiful and it was actually very calming to visit them. In addition we had the chance to see a piece of history that I didn't expect. In the center of Seoul was a section of the Berlin wall. I would never have thought that I would have to go all the way to Seoul, just to see the Berlin wall. The picture at the right shows Dan in front of the wall.

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