The Beav according to Beav

Still crazy after all these years.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Where's my Sherpa?

This is the story of two Seoul trips. One of them on a Tuesday, filled with disbelief and mocking laughter; the other on a Monday with redemption and still a little mocking laughter. Both of them full of fun.

A few weeks ago, in the middle of a conversation, one of my friends remarked that she had not yet been to Namsan Tower (or Seoul Tower to the tourists). I decreed that this would not stand, and thus was born Seoul Expedition. In the ensuing days until break, I invited half my flight and some people from elsewhere to join us. Tuesday rolled around; I arrived at the prescribed time at the prescribed place. There were two entire people there to meet me. Ok...we roll on to the train station. Our plan is to check out the Namsan Traditional Village and then cruise on over to Namsan Tower to catch it at or after sunset (they light it up and it looks gorgeous). We arrive at the appropriate stop and spin around a couple times to find the traditional village...closed. Closed on Tuesdays. What? [take picture of sign]

's not late enough to run to the tower...[consult subway map for info]...hey, a National Palace is a few stops up and a few stops over. Cool. Let's roll. We arrive, walk out of the subway right at the gate...which is closed. Every Tuesday. Dude. You've got to be kidding! [take another picture of sign] Well, this National Palace Museum right next to us appears to be open. We can run a trip through there. Rock.We enjoy the museum and laugh uproariously at me for picking "Fail Tuesday" for our excursion. The sun begins to sink; we've seen what there is to see at the museum. We stroll out of the museum, down into the subway, and a few stops up and over. We climb to the surface and find a cab to Namsan Tower. There, we ride the cable car to the top of the hill. After climbing even more stairs, we arrive at the base of the tower, where there is a Teddy Bear Museum, a few little shops, a restaurant, an outlook, and thousands of padlocks on the chain link fence.

There is a tradition of sorts there at Namsan Tower. You bring a padlock with your names/initials/whatever inscribed thereon, then you lock it to the fence and throw away the key. The lock represents your relationship, and by throwing the key away, you've rendered it immutable. The Korean are a very romantic people. I dig that. I prepared my locks the night before, so I lock my Sweetie-n-Me lock with its flanking/connected young'un locks on the fence. [take a few pics] We head to the observation deck. From up at the top, you can see the entire city. It's beautiful. Printed on the windows around the tower are some major world cities and their distance from that point. It's somewhat sobering to note that Pyongyang, N Korea is closer than Busan, S Korea.

We enjoyed our time, beat feet for Osan, and laughed about the fun time we had in spite of our misplanning. Thank goodness I didn't get 15-20 people...there might have been a riot. Thank you, Dana and Amanda. I salute your Buddha nature, which is everything good and permanent.

I believe Seoul Expedition, Mark 2 will wait for another post.

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  • At 2:53 AM, Blogger Devyl Gyrl said…

    The great thing about you is, you never let a little hiccup get in your way of keeping up the good mood. I'm sure they were lucky that you were their guide.


    Glad you had a blast!!


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