This mini-break (three days, two nights) was not really about experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of Seoul this time. Sure, we did that a bit by sampling local food a few times and visiting the Memorial of Korea museum but generally this trip was just about hanging out with Ethan, Kaori and particularly their daughter Kaylee who I really enjoyed messing about with.
On the two mornings we were there, Ethan and I left our wives behind to go cycling along the Han River for about an hour each time. We cycled in search of some of the locations featured in the sequel movie ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron‘ (2015) which, as usual, is released in Japan later than everywhere else on the whole planet! As mentioned in the previous post, I hadn’t seen either of the Avengers films at that time not that such minor issues get in the way of a Tokyo Fox filming locations special!!
The pictures here are from the first day in the saddle and include Banpo bridge and Seoul floating island in Banpo Hangang Park. Unlike Tokyo, it was nice to be able to cycle so easily along the river on proper designated cycling paths.
In the weeks preceding this trip Ethan and I discussed some potential things to do on this trip with the results very sparse! However, one thing that we did both want to do was to hike along part of the Seoul City Wall trail which is nearly 20km long and circles the whole city.
Our plan was to just hike a small section of it starting just west of Gyeongbokgung Palace which would take us on up to the 338 metre high Inwangsan (Mt.). However, when we got to the start of the proper trail it was closed which was kind of annoying though in a sense a relief as it was very hot that day! Many things are closed in Korea on Mondays but we never thought this would include a mountain hiking trail!
We could still take some alternative trails and ended up in Inwangsan Park which hosts (as do many area’s throughout Seoul) many great exercise machines that we tried out.
That wasn’t the end of the fun and games for the trip as back at Ethan and Kaori’s we played a bit of golf and a board game called ‘Ticket to Ride – USA’ which was a good laugh and certainly improved my knowledge of the actual whereabouts of certain states and cities.
We all went to the U.S. military base, where Ethan works, a couple of times which was an interesting experience for me and nothing like what I imagined it to be like. I think I expected it to be like some Camp Bastion-type place as seen on many of the TV series and films set in Afghanistan! This trip felt like we were in America at times and nowhere was that more realised than when we had a Tex-Mex buffet dinner before returning the following day for a Taco Bell lunch and to get some American products from some of the shops on the huge base.
Back in El Paso (Texas) in 2011 I had a great time playing with Kaylee and thankfully we got on just as well this time too and played plenty of games of hide and seek. Thankfully my hiding skills weren’t too rusty as I’d participated in a big family game of it when I was back in the UK last Christmas time with my nephews and nieces!!