I'm posting late (not that you really notice) because I got home late last night. Yesterday was a busy day for me!
Remember how it was snowing the last time I posted? Well, about an inch of snow (maybe more) fell overnight, and I got to see a nice wintery wonderland in the morning. Of course, it was really cold outside (-10 when I left the hostel) and there was ice under the snow.
I left a little late again, taking my time to have a nice shower, etc. My first destination was the War Memorial and Museum, only two stops away from Itaewon. They say to allow at least three hours to your the museum and it took me about that long. If you're really into war and you want to watch all the films, look at every exhibit in detail, and spend a lot of time outside looking at the old tanks, planes, and missiles, you could make an entire day of the place.
The museum is large, obviously, and about half of it is dedicated to the Korean War. The other half covers several thousands of years of defense against invading outsiders. I had a good time but the amount of material is a bit overwhelming. That said, I wish I could have spent more time outside. With snow everywhere, viewing the large machines wasn't as enjoyable.
From there I went off to my next lead for baseball souvenirs. I found the shop but it was closed (supposedly it should have been open but maybe they take Sundays off). I'll try to send an email and go back on the 2nd or 3rd. I could see inside and it was very promising, at least for the two local teams. Their website had a little bit for every team.
Back to the museums I went, this time to the National Museum. This impressive building houses a large collection of art and artifacts. There's so much here that again I was a bit overwhelmed. I'm not terribly into Asian art, although I enjoy seeing some of it. So I found myself hurrying through some of the exhibits.
Crowds on the bottom floor were pretty heavy so the rest felt neglected! There is a very popular food court; I had the spicy fried rice with chicken which was tasty. The food is freshly cooked and I could see them making my order.
Having spent about three hours each at the two museums, as planned, the rest of the afternoon was basically free. I spent it at Yongsan, where the electronics stores are. I saw plenty of computer parts, video games, and illegally copied DVDs (no, I didn't buy any) but my hopes for trading cards quickly flew away. I know there are gaming cards, but I can't even find those stores!
I grabbed some more street food here. This time it was grilled chicken on a stick, covered in that spicy chili sauce. It was awesome! I really need to bring back some chili sauce. From there I headed to the North Seoul Tower.
Sitting high on a hill, the tower gives a great view of all of Seoul. It's not that tall of a tower because it already has the benefit of being high to begin with. To get there, I took a diagonal lift and a cable car. Then, of course, the elevator to the top.
Not knowing too much about Seoul's layout, I didn't have much to look for as far as pictures are concerned. I tried to find the stadiums, but I was taking night shots and none of them were distinguishable. I waited a long time to get to the top - about 30-45 minutes for the cable car, followed by an hour for the elevator. And the wait for the elevator down was about 40 minutes. So my evening disappeared quickly.
I still had one more night stop - the brewpub I found a few days ago. The beers were pretty good (I had the sampler). But none of them were good enough for a full glass. The pale ales were their best brews, but I'm not a big fan of pale ales. I finally got back to my place about midnight!
So now it's about nine AM. I didn't hear my alarm go off and I missed my train by two hours! I'm now finally on my way to Busan, where I hope to have enough time to go to both amusement parks in the area. There is free wifi on the train (yay!) so I can get my writing and such finished. So until later...