Old Friends - New Friends

Linda had arranged for us to go to Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul on Sunday, known as the biggest church in the world with 1 million members. 

 One of Linda's Korean friends Pildu (Stephen is his Western name) who was her first interpreter at the Korean Church she attends, has moved to live and work in Seoul and has started attending the church so we met him outside the church

and then went for lunch together before attending one of the afternoon services which had English translation.

Lunch was great - Bulgogi, a beef dish with rice which our friend Sharon had taught us to make when she stayed with us in Belgium - we all agreed that Stephen had chosen a good restaurant.

So then to church with up to 27,000 people in the one service.

It was a communion service and we all were amazed at how quickly communion was given to everyone, quicker than in any of the churches we attend.

We sat upstairs, a few stops up in the lift and we were not in the highest tier.

We had to wear headphones to get the service translated into English for us.

After church we had a leisurely walk along the river past a floating stage and floating fountains with an ice pop.

 The humidity was obviously very high on Sunday as I was constantly wiping the sweat off my face and feeling more tired than usual.

 Back into the centre of Seoul in the subway, a quick walk through one of the big market areas and we found a restaurant where we had a beef barbecue at the table with some of the tenderest, tastiest beef I have ever had.
Then after we had seconds - it was so good - we wandered around to find a coffee shop but had to make do with a Dunkin Donuts as one was closing early and another was so small it didn't have enough free seats for the 5 of us.

 Nice coffees though and a long chat and then back to the hotel.

Monday was a very special day for us. We had arranged to meet up with Sharon again to explore more of Seoul but we did not know that another Korean friend from our time in Belgium had driven in from another area to surprise us as well.

 It was great to see Park again after so many years and to hear about his family.

We had a lovely time going around the largest palace and seeing the changing of the guards and chatting with these friends.

Lunch then was another special treat as we had a meal where we cooked our own food (very thinly cut beef, a variety of mushrooms, lettuce, radish and cabbage) in a bowl at the table in the restaurant. There were two sauces to dip in, one was rather hot and spicy for us but the other was a delicious peanut sauce.

Of course we then had to find a coffee shop to have our tea and coffee and continue chatting with our old friends, before saying goodbye to Park as he had to drive quite a distance home again.

Next stop was a traditional Korean village area where we met up with our new friend Caroline from last Sunday.

 We enjoyed a display of Taekwondo, Fred & Daniel had a go at Taekwondo, 

we all tried a game of throwing long sticks into metal tubes (I almost managed it and Daniel did it first go), then a go at archery, and lastly a walk round the village.

We finished off the day with a bus ride to the Seoul Tower where we looked down on the city of Seoul from the mountain, 

watched a short but very clearly produced projection display on the side of the tower,

saw the masses of lovers padlocks and then had a time of photos.

After that it was time to say goodbye to Caroline and Sharon and of course to invite them to come and visit us in Northern Ireland.

So three goodbyes in one day - I don't like goodbyes.

Continue the story HERE


  1. That was a nice Sunday in Seoul, Sandra.
    That church is HUGE, I really can't how big that is. I was glad you told us about it.

  2. Beautifully written post, I hate goodbyes too especially with those we enjoy spending precious time. You write wonderfully and I enjoy reading about other lands. Thanks for the share. Enjoy your weekend and come visit soon.

  3. sounds like you're having a lot of fun with your new friends! {:-D

  4. I love this post, what an amazing experience