"Everyone knows the more you wear pearls, little by little they become real....And isn't it the same with memories?" - The Madwoman of Chaillot

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunrise as lovely as sunset

Pusan really lends itself to beautiful photos... these pictures out our room window reminds me of looking out of our room in Sorrento, Italy - looking out on the Mediterranean. (see Italy blog)

Later I went out early while Bill was sleeping off his cold and Colleen was showering - she's been really enjoying our showers since the one in her apartment is really lacking in hot water and water pressure...

Our hotel - Chosun is another spelling of Joseon - the dynasty that built the palaces in Seoul.

It was much warmer today - no scarves and few hats - very nice. To us, 50 degrees felt like summer.

Ok, these kids in their hats were too cute to not photograph!

One photo just for Katie.

Sunset walk in Pusan

Actually we started before sunset - not knowing where we would end up. The beach is just beautiful - like perfectly manacured sand but its that way naturally.

Colleen and I found a walkway near the hotel that ended up going along the ocean to another point and also through a park up on the hill. As we walked, sunset arrived so we got some beautiful pictures. I will just add them without further words and let them speak for themselves....

and after dark taken from the hotel window.

Train ride to Pusan

Something that makes you think.... never have I seen a hotel that provides a gas mask in case of emergency... the instructions on the door mentioned it so I found it and took a picture.
Colleen and her Korean school girl teddy bear that she got at Seoul Tower.

So, time to leave Seoul. I did feel I was starting to know some of the area around Namsun mountain at least - our hotel, Itaewon, Insadong, the palaces area, Seoul Tower area. But also in a way glad to move on to see more of Korea.

Our taxi drive to the Seoul Train Station was quite a character. He wanted to talk to us but he knew very little English. Once he figured out Colleen was a teacher here and knows a little Korea, he tried speaking Korean. Eventually we were able to explain we were from Minnesota and where Minnesota is - he knew San Francisco, Florida and for some reason, Detroit.... It was a fun ride despite the traffic jams.
Didn't get his face but I often use my camera to be my memory - having the picture reminded me of the story... One story from a few days ago I forgot to tell. We were in the subway waiting for Courtney when some kids saw us and started looking at Bill and then pointed and called out "movie star, movie star" - not sure if they really thought that or WHO they thought he was in that case!

Seoul Station is beautiful and very modern.

We had quite a bit of time - those of you who know Bill will know why....
So we stopped in Beans and Berries for Green Tea latte and Berry Smoothie for Bill  - along with Colleen's bear!

Colleen is quite proficient at ordering in Korean and its fun to listen to her. She says that's most of what she knows but its something....
Next Bill decided to have us get him McDonalds to take on the train for lunch but Colleen and I just couldn't eat that so we got Kimbap - a roll like our California rolls but with other ingredients inside. Basically a seaweed roll with rice and then chopped vegetables and whatever other ingredients.
The train station was of young soldiers - maybe going home on leave for the lunar new year or maybe there are just always that many. McDonalds and the Korean version Lotteria were crowded with them (although not in the picture)
My food - very good and inexpensive!
And pretty...
Colleen on the train
and a cute little girl who kept smiling at us and playing "peek-a-boo"

So we are in Busan now (spelled both Busan and Pusan in English), the city where Katie was born.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday - day of rest

Started out by sleeping in a little and then decided to find something to eat in the hotel rather than making the trek down the hill first. Figured out we were in for (financial) trouble when they poured champagne...

It was a wonderful buffet though - maybe one of the best I have seen. Here are the appetizers I chose

Next thing we did was actually to sit around the room a little - I wrote several blog entries as I was getting seriously behind. Took a short nap even. Then we went down to the Itaewon area (foreigners shopping area) again in search of a foreign food store for Colleen and place to have coffee - dragging Bill along with us. There is a street behind the main one that is full of foreign restaurants of almost every type you could think of. Can't tell too well in the picture but here it is if part if the street

A store we passed several times and loved looking at the wide selection of dresses!

Catholic church

Just an interesting building I saw while waiting for Colleen to use her bank's cash machine.

Colleen did find the store and bought Swiss Muesli and Skippy Peanut Butter. Amazing selection of foods from around the world.
We stopped at Coffee Bene (found all over here) and had coffee then Colleen selected another Western food - Quiznos!

Cute sign - Colleen says "cute" is very popular here (remember the poster of the cute north and south Korean soldiers?)