Day 496 of Traveling the World, Seoul, South Korea. June 22, 2019.

The sights in the most famous shopping area of Seoul, Myeongdong, are so varied and so fun! The first photo is what most of the streets looked like as we walked past them and looked up and down….they were jammed with shops and local restaurants, often 10 stories of different stores, and people walking, talking, shopping, and eating. It was so vibrant and noisy! Just wonderful.

One of the photos is of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Cathedral. We were surprised to learn that 63 percent of South Koreans are Christian, and 35 percent are Buddhists. All other religions, including Islam and Confucianism, total 2 percent all together. As we have walked around and took bus rides around the city, we saw many, many Christian churches. Speaking of walking around….we have known people who are just paranoid about directions, and afraid of getting lost, even in their own city or county. We walked through these narrow streets today for about 4 hours, with no GPS and no maps, deciding we would just wander and enjoy and figure out how to get back to our bus stop when the time came. So we did, in a country where the alphabet is not one we know or read, and we had a lot of fun just looking and walking. We both had a good sense of which direction to head when we were done for the day, and unerringly crossed streets, found familiar buildings, and got back to the exact spot where we needed to catch the bus….when we had never been on these streets before. You really can do it!

So, in the photos, there are street scenes, some street sculptures, the cathedral, and some goofy characters selling things in the shopping district. We went to a movie, and when we came out, the street outside had been transformed into a pedestrian food fair, so we decided that street food was a better choice than a restaurant. We paid $2-4 for each delight. The first is Korean Egg Bread, with an egg cooked right on top! It was very tasty, slightly sweet, slightly crunchy, but unusual…a Korean favorite, with many stands serving it. The next one is fun…over a foot high, this is a Potato Tornado, a spiral-cut potato that is skewered, deep fried, and rolled in cheese sprinkles. Next is baked cheese on a stick, followed by a wonderful chicken kebab. The last item we tried was the pot stickers, made fresh and grilled in front of us. By now, we were stuffed, so that was it for us. The food pictures after our impromptu dinner are just for fun. You can see the ad for octopus skewer, shell skewer (?), and then they are selling….Self-development. Your guess is as good as ours! After that is skewered squid, but look at their tiny faces…they look like smiling Caribbean Santa Clauses with braided beards, mon! Then there are the corn dogs with what look like measles…that is just diced potatoes in the batter. We also saw battered corn dogs with actual crinkle-cut French fries all over the outside that looked like they had been glued on! The last two photos are ice creams. The first photo is of hand-rolled, hand-packed ice cream cones meant to look like a flower. The one with the outer green “leaf” made of green matcha tea ice cream is the only one completed, but aren’t they beautiful? It seems a shame to eat it. The second is advertised as 32 cm high….13 inches of ice cream that was so pretty! So that was today’s trip into the heart of the most popular Korean area of Seoul. We loved, loved it.