The second day I had to spend by myself but I had enough plans to fill the day. Because of a bit of Jetlag I got up early in the morning. Breakfast started at 8 am and I was just in time, so that just not everything was prepared yet XD Breakfast was served in the main house of the hostel. I didn't expect much but I had not awaited this style of American breakfast. Toast with peanut butter and jelly was served *lol* I must confess I have never eaten peanut butter before and like I thought it isn't really my cup of tea but if I put a peanut butter toast and a jelly toast together it tastes quite good X3 Every day some kind of fruits are served, today it were wine grapes, so I also got some vitamins *lol* I don't complain, it is better than nothing or a savoury breakfast.
So I was fit for the day and made my way to Changdeokgung, one of the main palaces in Seoul. Changdeokgung is the palace where the last King had lived at last. Entrance fee for the palace was 3.000 Won. For seeing the secret garden behind the palace you have to pay extra. Because I was not interested in the garden and the there located library I skip this area and just wanted to enter the palace area. I found out that a free guided tour would take place at 10:30 h, so in one hour time. I wanted to join this tour but so I had some time left for something else.
On my way from the station to the palace I passed by the 'Institut of Korean Food'. That sounds very intersting to me^___^
So I went back and checked the building. Inside where a café and the Tteok Museum (Tteok = rice cake). That sounded funny and for 3.000 Won fee I decided to enter.
It was a nice little museum with two exhibition halls located on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the building. The other floors belonged to the institute and are not opened for the public. In the museum every kind of rice cake is presented and modelded. It was all coloured but you got also pieces of information about the history of rice cakes and for which occassion which rice cake will be made. In Korea a lot of different rice cakes exist, I was really surprised. It was very informative for me^^
But because it was so small, I made it easily in time for the guided tour in the palace. We were a big group for the English tour which should endure 50 minutes. It was really good thing because the women gave not only information about the buildings but alos about some history aspects, the royal family and history and many little details about the former times. I can absolutely recommend such a tour!
|the tour guide gave basic information at first|
|entrance gate from the inside|
|gate for entering the palace area|
|more gates XD|
You have to past so many gates because the Korean thought that the people clear their mind on their way to the palace this way. First to enter was the courtyard where the King and his officals met at least four times a month.
We went further to the King's chambers, the queen's chambers and the east part of the palaces which was build for the crowne prince.
|entrance to the King's chambers|
|the entrance gate at close look|
|view into the King's chamber|
|the Queen's chambers|
We got also information like the current souvenir shop on the opposite to the King's chambers were usually used a the royal garage because the last King already had some cars *lol*
At the crowne prince's area the tour ended. After that I also walked through the district for the officals (chambers for the doctors, library etc.). It was really cool and totally different from Chinese or Japanese palaces.
From Changdeokgung I wanted to head to Insa-dong. My friend Kim told me that it is a lively shopping street also with many souvenir shops. But before I had lunch at a little street restaurant. I tried stir-fried pork with rice. Of course it was VERY spicy and served together with Kimchi *why not more hot spices* But it was delicious nevertheless^^
Not far away I reached Insa-dong and it was really a nice shopping street full of mainly young people. And I guess that one third of all shops really were souvenir shops.
In a shopping center I found a little 'green' shop which offered some Matcha specialites X3 So I grant myself a waffle of Matcha soft icecream X3
|my icecream in front of the advertising XD|
I also bought some souvenirs for myself:
|slippers & bookmark|
Unfortunately I got so tired because of my jetlag that I decided to return to the guesthouse and take a little nap because otherwise I couldn't survive the rest of the day U.U
Refreshed from a little sleep I went to Hongdae in the upcoming evening. Hongdae is the area near the main university and really popular for its lively scene and nightlife. Many students were around and there were many bars and clubs.
|street with many bars and restaurants|
|even a turkish kebab house is located there XD|
The whole area runs from Hapjeong station to the Hongik University. Though there were many shops I didn't buy anything. And because I was there alone, I wasn't in the mood to enter a bar... so I just walked around and enjoyed the lively area.
Before I returned home I got myself something from the combini. But it was really hard to find something for my taste. I got an appetite of something savoury but many things were sold out at the time and I really missed the choice of onigir like there is in Japan >.< But finally I found something interesting: Bulgogie Pizza XD
Maybe I left it a bit too long in the oven but it was tasty nevertheless. With a good Matcha Latte it was a good late dinner X3
|Matcha Latte & a dark Bulgogie Pizza|
After that long day I ws glad to get some more sleep. Though I shouldn't sleep to long because the next I would meet my friend Kim at 09:30 h at the National Assembly, she has made some appointement for us to visit the Assembly that day^^
I'm really looking forward to this!
So good night!