Showing posts with label holiday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holiday. Show all posts

Tuesday

Where's The Rain? - Seoul, South Korea.

 

It's the Rainy Season in Seoul South Korea, or so they say it should be but the weather is not predictable this year and we were glad of that.






If you didn't see the previous blog post about preparing for South Korea  you might like to read it first.

Going to visit our daughter Linda depended on one thing: when was she off work, so that we could spend lots of time with her.
That was during this time so we arranged to go now even though it is normally the hottest, most humid time and also the time they expect their rain.

As Fred & I arrived on Friday morning there was a bit of mistiness over Seoul Incheon Airport but when we arrived at the hotel in Seoul the sun was now shining.

We left in our luggage (too early to check in) and went out for lunch at a Korean restaurant, sun shining still.






Menu in Korean except for names of meals so we ordered the Beef Rib Soup which apparently comes with many little side dishes and rice.  We were unsure what was in the soup along with the beef but had no idea what was in most of those little side dishes.
 (First time we have had rice with soup except for a silly blunder by myself one time in Belgium)


Then there was the big question!

 What should we have to drink?



 Well we decided on this, no prizes for guessing what it is.




Back to the hotel after that very nice tasting soup and got checked in and went for a nap to catch up on the sleep we lost overnight on the plane.  After 6pm we met up with one of our Korean friends whom we have known since we lived in Belgium and the sun was still shining.


By the time our daughter made it over from Gangneung we were very hungry and we all went for another Korean meal which was pork and the drink was barley water, which is water with barley and not at all like Robinson's Barley Water.

 Quite nice!  But Very Sweet!

 The weather?  Well - Still hot, dry and humid.

Back to hotel after 10pm tired, full and dry.


Ever thought of visiting Seoul in South Korea?

Saturday after a little lie-in we had breakfast from the stall in the street outside the hotel, great value only 4,000 won for the 3 of us, that is approximately £2.50.

And we did not get wet going for this breakfast because it was still hot and dry.

We had a lazy morning of catching up with Linda and then off to get a snack lunch from a nearby shop.

The famous Kimbap, which is rice and meat and vegetables rolled up and wrapped in seaweed - lovely but very filling surprisingly.




We met up with our Korean friend again and went shopping, some very expensive department stores which was really more like window shopping and then some more market type shops.  This was nice to get to see the real Korean city even though we found it hard to take in the amount of people.

It was also nice to do because it was still very hot, dry and humid.

Where was this rain we had been warned about?


 Then Sharon (our friend's western name) took us to walk through one of the old gates of the old city of Seoul,




After that it was coffee break time and so we headed for one of the many coffee shops of Seoul.

 That's when we got the rain, but even though we were walking in it for a little while we hardly got wet as it was quite light.

Instead of coffee Fred and Linda shared a Bing Soo; it is ice, fruit, icecream, yogurt and rice cakes in a large glass which is more like a bowl and you mix everything up together.

Sounded really strange to us
BUT
it tasted very nice and very sweet.

 Linda persuaded me to have an iced latte - never again!
I'm a coffee lover not an iced tea or iced coffee lover.

So I just had to share Fred's Bing Soo.


Next we went to see one of the palaces of Seoul, no rain again and lovely peaceful surroundings for being in the middle of this enormous busy city.




 Dinner was in a special Chicken place and we really were getting better with these chopsticks.


 A little bit of rain again as we headed back to the hotel for bed but it had stopped again in time for us to stop near our hotel to stand and watch a Korean lady sitting in the street making their form of honeycomb which is flattened into large circles and cost 1,000 won (a little over 60p).
When she saw us watching so intently she made a special bigger one for us but still only charged us the same amount.




Sunday started with the same breakfast as Saturday as we had each enjoyed it so much.

 Then time to hit the subway with our subway app (yes there really is an app for almost everything) and with our daughter in charge as she can read Hangol, we made our way to our friend's church for morning worship.

 A friend of our friend had agreed to translate for us and she had done this for Linda when Linda came to the church some months ago.  It was a lovely service, Fred & I just sang in English when we recognized the tunes of the songs, while Linda sang in Korean.

Sharon works in the church so we went to see her office and meet some of the people she works with and then off with our translator for lunch in a lovely location in a park in the heart of Seoul very close to the church.  The building was an old-fashioned Korean type building and the food yet again was great and so we now sampled even more Korean dishes.






Then the rain came but only while we were inside having lunch and it didn't bother us.

 By 4pm we really knew we had made a new Korean friend who has been invited to come visit us in Northern Ireland with her husband and son.

Back to the hotel on the subway and coffee and more chat and then time to pack for leaving for Hong Kong on Monday morning and sending some things on with Linda to Gangneung.

Then goodbye to Linda as she left to travel back to her home ready to go teach English again on Monday morning.

As she left for the subway the rain had started.

Next part of the South Korea trip is found HERE

Wednesday

Packing & Preparation for South Korea - Travel Preparation



Well we leave tomorrow so I had better be ready by now.


Last hotel bookings only done yesterday, we really leave it to the last minute in this family.








Hoping hotels are all ok, hard to tell from TripAdvisor etc. and Korean Sites, but our daughter has gone to the hotel near her and says she thinks its lovely so she booked us there for that part of the stay.



I love the initial preparation,
  • the making of lists, 
  • thinking what needs to be done before I go, 
  • clearing my calendar for while I'm away, 
  • making an itinerary, 
  • deciding on the schedule of all the preparation,
  • sorting my ongoing todo lists so that things are not due to be done while I'm away, 

I like to use packing lists and have downloaded a few different ones like this one 





and they can be so pretty and well laid out but often they are very Americanized whereas I am from the UK so I when I write pants I am referring to underwear and not to my trousers.



So I start with one of these lovely lists and then end up making my own




Also I like to detail which tops I'm planning to pack and which trousers and which swimsuits and not just write the number of them so in the end I usually ended up by resorting to my own hand written lists or a spreadsheet on the computer but now I love to use my iPad for most things and so I have tried packing apps as well and yet again I found them not just right for me.








In the end I went back to one of my favourite apps - one I use daily and used it for my packing needs for South Korea.  


The Things App by Cultured Code is my go to app for daily todos and now for lists too and it is on my iPad.



My todo lists for before and after trips are on the Things App too.

     Scheduling all the trip preparation is on the Things app too. 

          My ongoing todo lists are on the Things app too.


               AND   My calendar is on the iPad.


So in the end everything I need is on my iPad except for the itinerary for the trip.



Travel Packing and Preparation - the need to be organised


The itinerary is so involved with having to cope with 4 people travelling at different times and from different airports, then all the hotels we will be in and the different areas with a little 4 day trip for Fred & I over to Hong Kong from Seoul and of course all the times we are meeting up with friends.


I like colour coding and also prefer to have ALL details on my itinerary and then as well as that I have a labelling system for the things we need at various places and events.  (Hence the * column.)


This is what my itinerary ended up looking like






and that was just the first page of 3!




I don't like
  • the actual packing, 
  • preparation of clothes and items for packing,
  • the booking of flights and hotels 
                                 (thankfully the last one here is mostly done by my husband).


This time with a holiday to South Korea (2 locations within the country) and a trip to Hong Kong incorporated into it and then the boys coming to join us later my poor husband has to book 5 return flights & 5 single flights and this was just very taxing for him.

We are planning to meet up with 2 South Korean friends who we originally met in Belgium and spend some time with them in Seoul as well as going to Gangneung in the northeast to see places and people that our daughter is constantly telling us about so tying it all together was taking some effort.






So I said I would look after the hotels but they couldn't be booked until we knew exactly where we would be each day and the Hong Kong flights were only just done a couple of days ago so hotels just got booked yesterday.


Vaccinations are all done, easy for the boys as they were up to date with everything they needed as they have been to different African countries within the last 10 years, but not so easy for us as it took two separate trips to the health centre because we didn't have 3 arms each.

So at least these are now checked off the list too.





           
Plenty still to be done today though.


Itinerary in brief is:

  • Belfast to London tomorrow
  • London to Seoul tomorrow overnight to Friday morning
  • Friday, Saturday, Sunday in Seoul with Linda and our friend Sharon who is going to take us shopping!!
  • Seoul to Hong Kong on Monday
  • Sightseeing just me and Fred in Hong Kong Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Hong Kong to Seoul on Friday 2nd Aug and Linda joins us then again
  • Jonathan & Daniel arrive in Seoul on Saturday 3rd
  • Sunday 4th and Monday 5th  in Seoul with our friend Sharon who is going to take us sightseeing this time and our other friend Park is coming to meet up with us too
  • Tuesday 6th we travel to Gangneung in the North East where Linda is living 
  • Wednesday to Sunday in Gangneung sightseeing and meeting Linda's new friends
  • Sunday night travel back to Seoul
  • Monday 12th Aug Seoul to London and on to Belfast









So thankful that we can all get together for this new Black family Experience.


Right better go and pack now and collect the foreign currency which the bank have finally got for us.  (That's another story of one of those things which shouldn't happen but do happen and are so infuriating.)






           Getting very excited now!!!!


You can find the next post on South Korea HERE