Wednesday, 10 April 2013
10.04.2013 - 10.04.2013
Woke to a clear cold morning with a temperature just above freezing. We decided to head off fairly early and aimed to travel to the Cable Car and the Tower. I'd read instruction and directions to get to the cable cars without having to walk too much, taking the Namsan Oreumi, (Namsan outdoor elevator). I must have misread the instruction because we walked all the way up to the Cable Car Station.
We arrived at the start of the Namsan Mountain cable car about 10 minutes before opening time. Fortunately there is a waiting lounge and we were quite comfortable out of the wind. The ride up the mountain was quite sedate and we were quickly delivered to the top station. From here there were a number of steps to arrive at the ticket office for the N Tower elevator.
On entering the lobby for the elevator we were placed in front of a camera with a green background, had a photo taken and given a docket. Then into the elevator and told to 'look up', yes a sound and light show on the ceiling heightening the impression that were being blasted up on a rocket. We arrived at the observation deck and were shown our picture with a 'night time' or 'spring time' background. Cheaper price for both !!
Spent some time viewing the wide expanse of this city and the variety of structures in the various neighbourhoods. It was still clear enough to see the distant mountains. The heating must have been set to 25 °C and before long we were uncomfortably hot. Had a muffin and coke with a view. Back down the elevator with the sound and light show and deposited in another gift shop and snack bar.
Jenny noticed a sign for 'Kimchi Hotdog' and thought it would be a good idea for me to try it. Very nice too but not any wilder than hotdog with sauerkraut. There's a lot of variations of Kimchi, perhaps they used the mild one for me. Stepped out of the enclosed space and were almost instantly snap-frozen, the sky had clouded over and the wind had increased.
Around the base of the tower the security fences are covered in padlocks with love-notes attached. Not sure where the practise originated or why it is prevalent in Korea but saw the same thing in Pusan when we visited there last month. Back down the mountain in the cable car and rode down to street level in the 'outdoor elevator' which is set on an incline,is fully enclosed and carries 10 people. From there down the nearest subway to get out of the wind. These underground shopping malls are associated with the Metro system but not all are interconnected. Some run for entire city blocks whilst others just take you across the street. No potential retail space is wasted.
Quite enough adventure for the day and anyway it has started to snow. We can see the flakes outside our 17th floor window.
Meanwhile Jenny continues to feel a high degree of anxiety as the rhetoric of the North Koreans continues to be echoed on the TV News. The fact that there is no visible reaction by the locals does not placate her. With only just over 24 hours to go, I've made the decision that we will stick with the planned itinerary. This is the first time I've deliberately over-ruled her gut feelings. I hope I haven't made a mistake.
That's about it for now, will send another report tomorrow, after that we'll be in transit so the next one will be delayed.
Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link. Recent Images on 365
Cheers ... Tony