From the Korean Grand Prix to a K-Pop concert we did manage to get out and about this year. So here are a selection of pictures …
1. I don’t have many winter pictures from this year. I think I was hibernating most of the time. We did go to Yangyang though overnight and stayed at a resort by the beach. It’s quiet on the beach in winter. 😉
2. Yeoido is not only the finance centre of Seoul but it also has the most popular cherry blossom viewing festival. It’s held for about two weeks when the blossom is at its best around April.
3. The wealthy finance centre with its beautiful cherry trees is in dramatic contrast to the view on our local mountain where we went for several walks. Gradually we saw the houses of lower income families be demolished and disappear.
4. A pleasant weekly walk I had was to my calligraphy class at the Seoul Art Centre. Here the streets are lined with lanterns ready for Buddha’s Birthday in May.
5. In May we also went to the Boseong Green Tea Festival which is held every year. It’s possible to actually go tea-picking here at this time or simply buy some green tea products like green tea noodles or ice-cream!
6. Boseong is a small village so after the festival we got the local bus and stayed in a hotel in the nearby city of Gwangju. It’s convenient to stay there as you can catch the high speed KTX train back to Seoul.
7. In May we were given VIP tickets for the K-Pop Dream Concert. Hurray! It was held at the Olympic Stadium and was my first K-pop concert experience. Good fun.
8. I did some work too this year – as well as gallivanting all over the place 😉 The coolest building I worked in was probably the GT Tower here in Gangnam.
9. I’m not a footy fan but in August we did go ONCE to watch FC Seoul play
10. Chuseok Harvest festival was in September and we went with my parents-in-law to the rural area of Yanggu – about three hours from Seoul.
11. On October 6th we went to watch the Korean Grand Prix in Yeongnam not far from Mokpo. It was only the 4th time the race was held in Korea but also the last chance to see F1 here. It seems that it’s too far from Seoul and not enough people are prepared to make the hike down south to the circuit. What a shame. And what a waste of money.
12. In October we also went to Damyang by bus (more than 4 hours from Seoul) . Damyang is famous for its bamboo forest. So there are restaurants there serving all sorts of dishes with bamboo. But there isn’t much bamboo in Korea so it was the first time for us to try these unusual dishes!
So that was my year. Now all that is left to do is start planning trips for 2014!