Yesterday we began our day with going to a Korean history museum. Even the Korean buddies were bored, and I’m not the biggest fan of history museums so it was an okay trip. I was more excited for the rest of the day! After the museum we went to the Coex, a large mall in Seoul. It was super big and a bit hard to navigate, but we found a place for lunch that was in the price range. The Coex is a high-end mall with little boutiques and high-end stores, so it was more of a window shopping experience.
After the Coex we went to Samsung Dlight which is a Samsung company that allows people to test and try out their products and if one satisfies them, they can purchase it on the ground floor. Samsung is a HUGE deal in Korea because it is a Korean company and is second in world for the products it makes. It was fun to try out the smart TVs and the phones, as well as Kinect beach volleyball. We learned a few fun facts about Samsung while we were there. I just wish we could have stayed longer and tested out new products.
Our last destination yesterday was a baseball game at the largest stadium in Korea! We arrived at the bottom of the first inning and soon got our seats, food, and beer! It was a different experience than an American baseball game, the fans seemed so into their team. The game was between the Bears and the Heroes, both teams being from Seoul. I ate a fried hot dog – very interesting – and bought a heroes shirt seeing as how they smashed the bears. Overall, a group of us decided that we definitely would love to go to another baseball game before we leave.
Today we made some pottery and went on and extremely long hike. Pottery was very fun. We watched a pottery artist wow us with his skills and make an amazing water pot. We didn’t get to use a wheel to make ours, instead we just made old fashioned coil pots. Even though the idea was juvenile, it actually turned out to be very challenging and really fun. We were there for a while, finishing up our work, and the next time we will see our masterpieces is once we are home!
We ate lunch, more bipimbop, and prepared for our hike. I was told that we were supposed to hike about two and a half hours, but I was not told that it would be a very steep hike and was jumping over rocks and watching where you step. I started off in the big group but myself, Matt, Marcelo, and Prof Lee ended up breaking apart from the group and making our way up the mountain. The trip up the mountain was difficult because the group was covered in rocks and it was like walking up stairs the whole time. Luckily none of us got hurt and we made it to the mile marker. We had walked 3.4Km and still at 3.6Km to go to reach the peak but we waited to see if the big group was close behind. We quickly gave up on waiting and decided to turn right and head up the mountain. According to the other group we were supposed to go left and head towards the temple but our view was so much more rewarding. I have never seen anything more amazing in my life. The trip up the mountain was more than worth it. After spending some time at the peak we ended up racing down the mountain, and that was a feat to not get hurt. Still totally worth it and one of the best times I have had in Korea.
We had a nightcap at a spa. Our leader gave us a choice of whether to come back to school or to go to a spa that was close to campus. At first I was a little weary about going, but I’m only in Korea once so I may as well enjoy the experience! When we got to the spa the girls and the guys separated to our proper sides and we received clothes and two towels. The saunas, swimming pools, and hot tubs were all very relaxing and I am very happy that I decided to relax and experience everything.
Tomorrow and Friday are the DMZ days. We head out early tomorrow morning, we will stay overnight and then tour more of the DMZ on Friday. Of course, I am going to be super careful because in that sort of situation, being a foreigner, we need to be fully aware of our surroundings. I’m excited to keep learning about the disputes between North and South Korea though. Tomorrow should be the perfect way.
Almost two weeks down, and two more to go. Time is definitely flying by.