|N Seoul Tower|
We started our walk in the wrong direction so we took a little short cut through an alley, this alley happened to be part of the open air meat market. (I meant to get a picture but I forgot because I was too busy holding my breath every time we walked by.) J said it didn't smell that bad, but I think there is something wrong with his nose. Each day to and from the metro we walked past people sawing frozen meat on the sidewalk, pig faces, cow heads, pig/cow trotters, innards, etc. It was interesting to see but at the same time I wish I hadn't seen it.
The Seoul metro was pretty easy to use. The ticketing stations had an English option, the signs were in Korean and English, and the announcements were made in both Korean and English. Each ride was just over $1.00 (USD). For the one way tickets you pay a deposit on the card, when you return it you get $0.50 back. We were on the south west side of the city and most of the tourist attractions were on the north side, this mean for long metro rides, about 45 minutes each way. On this particular day we had to make a transfer which wasn't hard, there were many signs pointing us in the right direction. We were headed for the N Seoul Tower.
The Seoul Tower is located at the highest point in the center of the city on Namsan Mountain. Building of the 777 foot tower was completed in 1971. We didn't have exact directions to the tower, I figured that there would be signs, and that it would be hard to miss since it is a giant tower on top of a hill. We started walking toward it after getting off the metro. We went in the wrong direction for a little bit, but we eventually found the correct stairs and started climbing and then we continued climbing FOREVER! There were SO.MANY.STAIRS!
As we were heading to the gondola (we did things backwards, we should have ridden the gondola UP the hill and walked down!) we noticed a crowd forming around some people in traditional Korean outfits. We stopped to watch as they were getting ready for a performance. There were men with large swords cutting bamboo and bundles of straw and drummers. I wish we could have stayed longer, but Baby O was only interested for a short time. It was also time for us to get a late lunch (it was about 3pm at this point).
We got some spicy fried chicken for lunch. It was very good, kind of a sweet and sour and spicy tasting. The waitress gave us some gloves to keep our hands from getting messy.