I remember the moment we were driving into the city from the airport and I was getting glimpses of the Iron lady standing proudly as we zipped off to our hotel. I started to get teary eyed because I couldn’t believe that moment was real, I was seeing the Eiffel tower in person!! Lol then I noticed the big ball hanging from the center of the tower for the French open. (Mr. B the comedian refers to this ball as the “truck nuts”.) Regardless those glimpses were so enchanting!
From there we leisurely strolled to the Eiffel Tower to purchase our tickets and climb up the steps. Luckily we went early enough there was essentially no line, nor wait. Tip: If you can, take the steps! It’s an awesome workout to all the French food you know you’ve been pounding during your stay, the views are just incredible, plus you can save a few euros too!
We ascended up until we couldn’t anymore. From that point we took an elevator, got out looked around on the first observation deck, than took another elevator to the very top. When the elevator doors opened, I think I recall having to pick up my mouth up from the floor. Again…. These views! Magical!!
After our crazy hike up the tower, we strolled to a near by market and grabbed some goodies (Baguette, wine and macaroons)for a picnic to continue with the celebration of our wedding anniversary. I come from a long family history of picnickers. In fact, my grandmother would put together what I remember as a little girl, some rather lavished picnics and tea parties. So you can say there is something about a picnic that just makes my heart happy. I knew as cheesy as it might sound, when we were going to Paris, we had to picnic under the Eiffel!
Looking at these pictures again takes me away and makes me feel like it was only yesterday that I was lying under the tower on a beautiful spring day enjoying a delicious picnic at the Parc du Champs de Mars (Park of the Field of Mars) with the Man of my dreams. Someone please pinch me, I need to snap back to reality….
Later that evening after dinner we made it a point to stroll back to the park near the tower, watch the sunset and catch the evening show of the tower sparkling. We snagged a park bench to ourselves, people watched, avoided eye contact with the wine and selfie-stick peddlers, and enjoyed just being in that very moment together. Cheers Mr. B!
Website: Eiffel Tower Cost: Here Schedule:
from 9 a.m. to midnight from mid-June to early September,
from 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. during the rest of the year,
At Easter weekend and during the Spring holidays extended opening hours to midnight.
As I stated earlier we were on a gastronomic journey while we vacationed in Paris. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on fresh bread, real cheese, and a new selection of wine. I’d be kidding you if I said that I didn’t spend a large amount of time researching where we should go and eat. You saw the books, I am hardcore and thorough when it comes to my meals. I started to become a teeny bit overwhelmed by all of the choices we had. Finally after I had made out a crazy long list of where we’d go, I asked Mr. B if he’d mind just winging it when we reached Paris. Mr. B of course was up for anything and reminded me that this was again a vacation, no need to get so wrapped up in the details. (LOVE THIS MAN!)
The best advice we can give is when you go to Paris is just explore! Let your eyes and nose lead you to your next meal.
One major difference we noticed was that the entrée is a starter in France, something we call appetizers. The main course is called the plat principal, or just the plat. Dessert is of course, dessert (THEE most important thing one to know wherever you travel).
If you are curious, we will share just a few of the restaurants we frequented/ I had my camera along during our trip below. These restaurants are in no particular order. Each place was lovely, incredibly delicious, with wonderfully attentive staff making our dining experiences in France an absolute delight.
Swoonnnn… reminiscing about these places still is making my heart flutter and my stomach roar!
1. Le 7ème Vin ADDRESS: 68 avenue Bosquet 75007 Paris, France YELP REVIEWS: HERE
We checked into our hotel and after getting settled in we asked the front desk if they had a recommendation within walking distance. This was the place they sent us to. When we think of a cozy French restaurant this is the place that will always come to our minds. There are only about 10-13 tables inside. The place always seems busy with not only travelers like ourselves, but locals too. Upon entering we were immediately greeted and welcomed to a table. The menu is presented on handwritten chalkboards. It was fun to watch the staff move them around to anyone new that came in. The food was excellent! We ordered the rack of lamb with thyme. The dish was evenly cooked from edge to center, absolutely beautiful, tender, Ooooh so melt-in-your-mouth perfection. Thank you for setting the bar with our first meal in France.
2. Le Progrès ADDRESS: 7 rue des Trois Frères 75018 Paris, France YELP REVIEWS: HERE
After our five mile hike up and to the Sacre Coeur we popped in for a bite to eat. We sat outside enjoying the perfect views of Montmartre. The waitress was helpful with recommendations from the lunch board. The gazpacho and goat cheese Apéritifs are outstanding here, steaks were a bit overdone even after ordering them rare, and the french-fries were perfectly crisp and non-oily. All and all not a bad choice when in the area.
3. Ladurée ADDRESS: 16 rue Royale 75008 Paris, France YELP REVIEWS: HERE
I’m obsessed with macarons and now unfortunately for my husband… he is too. (SORRY) These macarons were worth every single penny when you want quality that’s outstanding with each and every bite. They had the perfect combination of texture and taste. Crispy, chewy and creamy! The staff were so helpful and kind making the entire experience that much more special for us. Go big and splurge with trying a box of all the flavors assorted. (YEP, WE DID).
4. Kozy Salon Urbain ADDRESS: 79 ave Bosquet 75007 Paris, France YELP REVIEWS: HERE
We enjoy ADORE our coffee in the mornings so we were delighted to find a great little cafe to serve as our home away from home. The owner was incredibly helpful and explained that we could help ourselves with a plate and pick out anything that we liked while he made our coffee and cappuccino order. We felt really comfortable while we sipped on our coffee and nibbled our pastries. This cafe has free wi-fi too!
5. Crêperie du Cloître ADDRESS: 14 rue Cloître Notre Dame 75004 Paris, France YELP REVIEWS: HERE
As the old saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do…. Sooo because we’re in Paris and not Rome…A nutella crepe is a must do! We stopped in for a quick bite to eat after we did the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Everything was fast, service was friendly, and before we knew it our piping hot onion coup, croque Monsieur were just want we needed to keep going with our walk all over the city.
6. Gusto Italia ADDRESS: 199 rue de Grenelle 75007 Paris, France YELP REVIEWS: HERE
We couldn’t help ourselves! We know we should have been taking full advantage of the fact we were in France, but our nose and belly told us we NEEDED to go here. Everyday when walking by this place had the most incredible aromas wafting out onto the streets. AH! The appetizer plate with a tasting of pickled/ sauteed veggies and breads, outstanding. We ordered a pizza and also the ravioli’s based on others recommendations. The food and service were of this world! Make sure to grab dessert too! We ordered tiramisu and were blown away! Yelp recommendations were spot on!
7. La Boulangerie des Invalides-Jocteur ADDRESS: 14 ave Villars 75007 Paris, France YELP REVIEWS: HERE
We grabbed our breakfast sipped our cappuccino and Americano and sat outside watching the world go by. Excellent pastries and breads! Truly not a place to miss while you are in the area. I instantly fell in love with the quaintness this bakery boasted…I mean they have pink walls! The staff were friendly, patient, and very helpful with pronunciation of each item we ordered. (HEY! we certainly tried) We ordered a praline brioche, bichon framboise, and took a baguette to go. (ORDER THE BICHON FRAMBOISE!)
8. La Terrasse du 7eme ADDRESS: 2 place Ecole Militaire 75007 Paris, France YELP REVIEWS: HERE
Convenient location just outside the Ecole Militaire Metro exit. Perfect sidewalk cafe for a late night meal or snack. We sat outside enjoying our escargot and sipped on a nice bottle of wine. Did we happen to mention we REALLY enjoyed the escargot??
9.Café de Mars ADDRESS: 11 rue Augereau 75007 Paris, France YELP REVIEWS: HERE
WOW! It’s hard to even begin to put into words how excellent this meal was. We were incredibly pleased with everything from the service, to the wine, to the meal. A must go if you’re in the area! If you get the chance order Terrine de lapin confit, salade de carottes roses pistachio, saumon, asperges, sucrines, verveine, Filet de bœuf en croûte, Goat cheese cake with blueberries gateau au chocolat du pasteur ! WOWWWWW!!
10. Terres de Café ADDRESS: 33 rue des Batignolles 75017 Paris, France YELP REVIEWS: HERE
A teeny tiny little coffee cafe that serves excellent cappuccinos and flat whites. When we travel we are always on the hunt for the perfect beans and most enjoyable cups of jo. This place met the criteria. Make sure to carry cash with you if stopping by, as the barista will only let you use your card if you’ve got an order over a certain total. Sit outside the cafe sipping your drinks, savoring your slice of carrot/ banana bread, and people watch before getting along to start your day.
11. Au Petit Sud Ouest ADDRESS: 46 ave de la Bourdonnais 75007 Paris, France YELP REVIEWS: HERE
It was so nice we had to go twice! We really wanted to find a decent restaurant that foie gras while in France and out of pure luck we struck gold! We have no idea how anyone could rate Au Petit Sud Ouest anything less than 5 stars. You will meet and see both the husband and wife owners as they passionately serve food and speak with their customers. We were very luck to get a table the first time without a reservation. Do yourself a favor and make a reservation because they are always very busy. Each table has it’s own toaster so that you can toast your outstanding hearty slices of bread. From the two nights that we visited we ordered, Seared duck fois gras over apples, duck in orange sauce, Foie gras 3 ways, We also had the duck breast with mushrooms and potatoes served rare, duck cooked with green pepper corn, Trio of creme brûlée, pear sorbet. When the owner tells you that the potions are rather large…. believe her… because they are! If you order anything, order the foie gras 3 ways, or the seared fois gras over apples, they two dishes will just melt in your mouth. Now to find a place in Korea…
I’ve written some time ago just how difficult it can be to assimilate into a new culture while living abroad. Regardless of if you are a adult or not, everyone has some level of trouble adjusting. While everything is very exciting, it’s also bit overwhelming in a sense too.
This past weekend we met up with a family member that has very recently relocated from the East coast of the US to a smaller town on the outskirts of Seoul here in Korea. Yes! You read that I said KOREA, right? We finally managed to get some family here with us! On a semi permanent basis too! Eeek! We are shrieking with delight!
Kelsey has been getting acquainted with the Korean culture but was already in desperate need of some normalcy. (Insert two eager Bee’s to the rescue!)
The thing we are most excited to introduce to friends and family is definitely Korean cuisine. We typically like the shock and wow factor. However we knew that we needed to give Kelsey a nice healthy balance of what we introduced. After all we didn’t want her on the first flight out of here, especially when we just got her here. So we decided to stick to the foreigner friendly areas around Seoul for the day.
All three of our fitbits were buzzing because we traipsed all over Itaewon and Myeongdong. I am sure from past post you recall trips to both places. But if you are fairly new to the blog, Itaewon is a multi-cultural place full of bars, restaurants, shops, clubs, and Myeongdong is a large shopping area that features stores like H&M, Zara, and Forever 21.
We have rotisserie chicken trucks on the side of the street!
We love passing this truck on our many night walks after work. We often said in the past we were going to stop and pick one up but always forgot or just ate dinner and were way to full to think about food at that point.
However, tonight we did it! Yes! We bought a chicken from the rotisserie truck!
We have to tell you the smell the chicken puts out is just torturously amazingggg and it’s only 7000 won for the whole chicken! They stuff them with a bit of Korean rice and garlic. Plus for free he throws in a nice little pack of water kimchi too.
So, now you are most likely asking yourself, what did we bees make with our chicken?…glad you asked! Actually keeping up with our healthy meal choices we opted for…
Chicken, neutari mushrooms (느타리버섯) and Wild Rice Soup!
Here’s the recipe we modified and threw together tonight.
1 tbsp butter
1 small onion
1 tbsp flour
8 cups (64 oz) fat free low sodium chicken broth
1 cups water
2 large korean chopped carrots (you can use any carrot)
3 garlic cloves
2 celery stalks
1 small cooked chicken
1 4.5 box of Long Grain & Wild Rice mix
1/2 cup Korean white rice
4 oz. neutari mushrooms sliced (you can use shiitake or button mushrooms)
salt and fresh pepper
**(optional) 2 tbsp light sour cream
First, Melt the butter in a large stock pot on medium heat, throw in the onions, sauté until soft but not browned. Next add in the flour and sauté about a minute.
Pour in the chicken broth and water. Throw in the carrots, garlic, celery, and cooked chicken. Cover stock pot and let simmer about 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, add in the box of wild rice mix along with it’s seasoning and white rice too. Throw in your mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste and continue to let simmer on low, covered another 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
** Optional: add in sour cream and more water if too thick, add to taste salt and pepper and serve!
(Remember the long soup sits with rice it will thicken up)
Hope you enjoy as much as we did tonight 🙂 If you are in Korea, get adventurous and try it out! We know you are going to love it!
Anyone living or visiting Korea ever tried Bungeoppang (붕어빵) ? When Mrs B arrived in March she immediately started to compile a list of things she wanted to do or try before she ever left Korea. You guessed it, these delightful little fish pastries made the list.
We Bee’s were out an about on Sunday afternoon and we found a vendor selling them! Plus they give you three for 1000 won, STEAL!
So what is Bungeoppang? As you can probably see from the above picture, the outer layer is a batter consistency that has been cooked in a metal fish-shaped iron. The outer layer taste much like a pancake or waffle. Now what you cannot see by looking at the picture is what bungeoppang is filled with. The center is sweet red bean paste, come on… this is Korea…what else would it be filled with? It’s funny to say “sweet” because it’s really not a sickening sweet taste, but rather a mild sweetness. (Struggling to describe the experience in exact words).
YEY! We get to cross another item off the list 🙂 If you are out and about and see a vendor selling these, try it out! Let us know what you think.
Today Sarah headed to Seoul with some friends to check out Bangsan Market. The Bangsan Market consist of between 25 to 30 baking product shops, each shop offering more than 3,000 items, meaning that you can find everything and anything you want for baking here!
That’s right I mean everything! Everything you need to bake cakes, pies, cookies, muffins, brownies, tortes, and tarts. You can purchase all sorts of cookie cutter shapes, baking utensils and tools, pans, molds, anything to make molded chocolates including the chocolate disks, baking ingredients, all sorts of cute sprinkle shapes, decorative boxes, cellophane, ribbons and stickers, and much more!
So where is Bangsan located? Glad you asked! Bangsan Shijang (방산시장) is in Dongdaemun area but is really about 1 ½ blocks from Dongdaemun station. The closest station sitting to the market is Jongno 5-ga. You are looking for a sign that reads “박스” this is at the entrance to the baking district alley. The closest subway station is Ulchiro-4-ga exit #6 (을지로4가역 6번 출구). Now prepare yourself you are going to think at first you are not in the right area… but really you are! As you walk you will take notice to all the little shops hidden within the busy alley and that this trip really was worth your while.
Bangsan is an awesome find! We plan to head back when more of our household goods arrive and we can whip up something good to share with our friends.
At lunch we decided to head into an open marketplace located almost directly across the river walk from the Bangsan market. This marketplace had tons of vendors and make shift little eateries serving up all sorts of yummy goodies! I was able to capture video on a HUGE pancake being made. It was incredibly tasty!
I ordered dukboki and I finally got to try out Chap chae also spelled Jab Chae (잡 채). Chap Chae consist of clear noodles made from sweet potato. The noodles are typically stir fried with sesame oil and served with thinly sliced carrots, onions, spinach, mushrooms. Sometimes the dish can be found served with beef or chicken or served cold or hot. This dish did not include meat and was served cold. It was delicious!
After eating lunch we decided to start heading back to catch the train. Along the way we checked out a few shops selling fur, umbrellas, bags, and toys. We checked out the Majeongyo underground shopping center. Here we found the typical shops selling shoes, bags, clothing, art, etc.
Walking into one of the shops with a friend I learned about the traditional Korean wedding gift. Are you ready for this? The gift is a pair of hand carved wooden ducks. Yes, ducks! These ducks symbolize both partners in marriage. What really got me was the female duck has cords wrapped around her beak. The cords were to represent that the wife to keep silent and support her husband…. Hmmmm….
At the Korea wedding the groom’s mother tosses the duck to the bride and if she catches it the couple’s first born will be a son. If when the duck is tossed and she misses of course it will be a daughter (less desirable).
After the marriage ceremony, the ducks are placed in the couples household on display. The ducks positions will tell what the relationship status currently is. When the ducks are facing each other beak to beak everything is going fine in the marriage. When the ducks are turned away tail to tail there is trouble in paradise. I found the ducks to be very interesting and thought I should share.
I have to share my newly found love here in South Korea with you all! Ready for this…. it’s called Deli Manjoo. Deli Manjoo is baked little cake (texture similar to a Twinkie?) with the imprint of a corn cob and filled with some form of custard cream (Almost like Dunkin Donuts barbarian cream filling). The name comes from the word “deli” from delicious and “manjoo” from the Korean word for “dim sum”.
Do not be fooled there in nothing corn tasting about these awesome little treats. I wondered at first because it seems like Korean’s sweets just are not as sweet as we are used to in the US. Oh, yes, not to mention it seems that Korean’s put corn in some odd dishes such as pizza or corn ice-cream.
Nevertheless the faint smell of these delectable little treats is normally creeping through the train station platforms or often found being sold by street vendors – it smells of vanilla and egg.
This delicious mini-cake is baked instantly right in front of you with an automatic patented corn shaped plated machine. In doing some research I found that this treat has made it over to the US. So if you are near a vendor or come across it on your adventures do yourself and favor and PICK SOME UP! You will not be disappointed!
My traveling buddies and I decided to check out another green park called Dream Forest located in northern Seoul. This Park is the 4th largest in the city before Seoul Forest, Olympic Park, and World Cup Park. The park was built on the land, 660,000m2 in size where Dreamland was previously located. This park is beautiful because it is surrounded by thick dense forest mountains of Byeoksan and Opesan. The park is now known for the cherry blossom paths in the spring (as shown in the pictures) or the maple tree forests in the fall.
The park features a nice array of things to do such as, Wolyeongi (the moon reflecting pond), the Wolgwang falls (moonlight falls), a 49.7m tall park observatory, Arts center, Concert Hall, Museum of Art, Restaurants, Botanical Garden, Deer Garden, Changyeongwigung Ancestral Shrine, an iris garden, Water play parks, and playground. A great place for adults and children to relax!
I took some video of the children playing at the playground on this interesting play set. It was pretty comical!
I got to try another Korean snack today for the first time thanks to my new traveling buddy! She introduced me to a triangle-shaped rice packet wrapped in edible seaweed 삼각김밥 known as Samgakkimbap or samgak kimbap. The shape is designed to keep the seaweed fresh by putting two thin sheets of plastic between it. The concept is awesome however I still need to get down unwrapping it carefully so that I do not rip the seaweed before getting to eat it. We had tuna and it was really tasty! The best part is you can pick these little guys up for about 700 or 800 won (that’s roughly 70 or 80 cents!). You can check out the pictures for yourself! Do you think you would try one?
Getting to Dream forest was rather easy too! We took line one to the Seokgye Station where we got off and followed exit 7 to get outside where we took bus #14 for 10 minutes and arrived at the park!
I’ve mentioned to friends on the phone about some of the vendors that try to sell you things when you are on the train. They hop on and roll through just as the doors are getting ready to close. On my last ride there was a woman who was used very aggressive sales techniques to sell packs of gum. She would place the gum on your lap or in your purse even when you told her “A-ni-e-yo” (meaning no in Korean). Sometimes there are socks, melons, super glue, you name it… On the way home on this trip I was able to capture a man dressed very nicely trying to sell toothpaste. Unfortunately for him no one in our car was buying or seemed interested. As soon as he moved on to the next car to sell in popped a women selling Oksusu (Roasted Corn). People were buying this up like crazy. Some purchased yellow ears of corn or Indian corn and munched away or saved in a plastic bag. What really surprised me was that in the states we typically use Indian corn as fall décor not to eat….hmmm… Guess the toothpaste guy needs to look into the Oksusu (corn) peddling business.
Of course we had to check out Itaewon while we were spending our weekend in Seoul. Yes, yes, we know that Itaewon is a major tourist section of the city catering directly to foreigners. We do respect this section of the city for that purpose and know that it is not a true representation of Korea. However it was close to our hotel and we wanted to go see what it was really all about.
Itaewon’s shopping area is 1.4 km in length, it stretches from the U.S. 8th Army Base eastwards towards Hannam-dong and has over 1,000 different little stores. The area is known for its night life scene with many bars and nightclubs to choose from. We noticed there are many street vendors selling shirts, jackets, and caps, scarfs, food, etc. trying to capture the late night buyer’s fancy.
While in Itaewon we checked out a few Irish pubs, grabbed a bite to eat, and strolled along the main street as well as some tucked away alleys, checked out various street vendors and little shops. We snapped a few pictures of the places that we were near or checked out and though we would share with all of you.
First stop Buddha’s Belly for dinner. It was Friday night and we were starving! We started out trying to find a restaurant called the Maple Leaf restaurant that was said to serve traditional Korean food (we are sure more Americanized) but after walking around and around for 20 minutes we figured it must have went out of business. Our bellies finally did the talking and screamed feed me when we were standing out in front of a place called Buddha’s Belly. Buddha’s Belly is located just above Ushmania restaurant (2nd floor) 673 Itaewon 2 Dong, Seoul, Korea; it’s located in the Hamilton Hotel Alley. In this area you can also find Indian, Italian, Korean, American, French, Greek and other nice ethnic foods.
The menu is Thai and the chef is actually from Thailand. We still noted a bit of Korean flair in the dishes we ordered but were really impressed with the overall meal.
We didn’t capture any pictures to share as the atmosphere consists of a smaller private sized dimly lit room. The décor had a sexy-sleek appeal to it. The entrees are rather reasonably priced and cost on average 12,000-18,000 won. The service was really speedy and we enjoyed that because we were both starving!
We started off with some chicken skewers that had a peanut dipping sauce. We both ordered dishes of Pad-See-Ew and a glass of wine. Each dish at Buddha’s Belly Thai restaurant is accompanied by pots of wet and dry hot chilies and Thai fish sauce so you can season your food to taste.
Overall we both agreed that we would go back to this place if we had to.
After dinner we went grabbed a coffee at Paris Baguette (The Korean comparison to Starbucks – well if Starbucks served up tons of delicious baked goods) due to the fact that Buddha’s Belly doesn’t serve coffee on the menu. We then continued to Stoll the alley’s and found ourselves in front of the Wolfhound Irish Pub.
The Wolfhound Irish Pub is located in another small alley down from the Gecko’s Terrace. Sorry bloggers we don’t have the address to provide on this one. We will continue to research for a more direct location. We were able to capture a few pictures of the place for others reference.
We enjoyed the Irish Pub atmosphere. It didn’t feel like we were still in South Korea while inside. The crowd consisted of military, teachers, and tourist in the area. The bar has two levels and features a selection of draft beer as well as mixed drinks and foods.
We enjoyed ourselves, had some drinks and decided to continue checking out what else Itaewon had to offer.
We found ourselves at Baby Guinness and Sam Ryan’s Sports Bar and a hot dog vendor (mmmmm…that tasted more like Kielbasa) before we decided to call it a night.
The next day we headed to Gyeongbok Palace. The palace was one of the first places that Larry got to check out when he first moved to Korea. He was really eager to share the experience with me so we thought with the beautiful weather this weekend we should take a tour and snap some pictures along the way. The address to go see the Palace for yourself is Seoul-si Jongno-gu Sejong-ro 1-1.
The term “Gyeongbokgung” means palace greatly blessed by Heaven. We took an English speaking tour lead by a Korean college student. We captured the beginning intro of the tour for you to try to hear some of the facts she provided us with.
The palace was actually constructed in 1395, but was destroyed in the 1500’s during the Japanese invasion. However in the late 1800’s into the 1900’s the palace was completely restored. We couldn’t even imagine living here as a King and Queen the grounds are absolutely massive! Consisting of more than 300 buildings, 6000 rooms, and more than 4 million square feet and sits in one of the busiest sections of Seoul.
When we arrived to Gyeongbok Palace we entered in the gate (Kwangha-mun) protecting the palace from Seoul. We were able to get a picture with the guards that stand there.
Another interesting fact that we learned was that Sejong the Great was the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty, and ruled from 1418 – 1450 during this time he created the 28 letter system of the Korean Hangul alphabet. Today however the Korean alphabet consists of 24 letters.
Overall we had an amazing time with a very good tour of the palace.
After walking the palace we decided to needed to hail a cab and head to N Seoul Tower. N Seoul Tower is also known as Namsan Tower because it’s located on Namsan Mountain at Seoul-si Yongsan-gu Yongsandong 2-ga San 1-3. Private automobiles have been stopped from entering the mountain since the year 2005 so that they could more easily preserve the area. You really have three ways to get up to the tower and each does involve some form of walking. One, take a cab or bus but note that you can only go up so far with the cab or bus and then you will get dropped off and have to walk up a pretty steep paved road. Two, take the cable car up from the bottom of the mountain. Please note you will have to climb steps up from the cable car drop off point to get to the tower. Whatever you decide we think it’s worth it while you are visiting or living in Seoul.
N Seoul Tower stands 237 meters high, standing atop 243-meter Mt Namsan. It was remodeled in 2005, and has a rotating Western-style restaurant on top that we plan to possibly check out at night next time we visit.
Below is what each floor consists of:
– Olive Young (supermarket / convenience store)
– Coffee Shop
– Eatery with indoor and outdoor seating
– Food Court
– Gift Shop
– Ticket Counter
– Viewing Platform
– Restaurant (relatively inexpensive with great view)
– Elevator Entrance
– Tous Les Jour (bakery)
– Ticket Counter
– Exhibition Area
(360m altitude, reached by express elevator)
1/F : Hancook Restaurant
2/F : Sky Cafe
3/F : Observatory platform
4/F : Observatory platform
5/F : N Grill by Vips (revolving restaurant)
Tickets to get inside of Seoul tower observatory for two adults cost us 14,000 won.
We snapped pictures of the locks and tiles at N Seoul Tower. The locks are “Locks of love” and can be found on the fence outside of the tower. They symbolize lovers’ promise that they will never separate. The message tiles of love inside are something you could purchase to write a little love note on and then it is displayed on a wall within the tower.
The last day we were there we checked out Myeongdong still located within seoul for some shopping.
Myungdong is a selection of shops, like Zara, UniQlo, Forever21, ABC Mart but also features all sorts of street vendors selling shoes, scarfs, jewelry, food, etc.
We enjoyed some green tea ice cream and found a vendor who sells King’s Beard Candy. We were able to quick capture the vendor making the candy and bought some to try after we had heard great things about it. Final consensus….we LOVED it!
We can only describe King’s beard candy as a small fuzzy white sweet treat with a chewy inside and a crispy outer layer that just melts in your mouth. It’s so fun to watch the vendor create 16.000 honey strings in two minutes! They act as they are doing it too counting in English as well as Korean. Next time we see this vendor we will try to capture better video because it is really entertaining!
The last night we were there we decided to go back to Itaewon and check out Zelen’s for dinner.Zelen’s is a Bulgarian restaurant owned and operated by Bulgarians. The location yet another strange place – the same alley we were in when at Buddha’s Belly. It’s the alley right behind the Hamilton Hotel. The address is the second floor, 116-14 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan District.
Talk about amazing food! We had no idea this place was going to be this fantastic! Get ready…you know we are going to rave about it in our blog now. In the land of red pepper paste and kimchi it’s nice to experience something different once and awhile.
Once you take the steps up to Zelen’s from the alley you open the door into the second floor restaurant where you quickly see a garden-esque room that is candlelit and features an open kitchen where you can see the chefs preparing the delish dishes.
The menu is quite extensive and it’s great because the meals are detailed and named in both English and Korean. We had a chance to grab the owner Mikhal Ashminov and ask him what he recommended. We were so pleased that we had done so because he turned our decisions to the stuffed peppers that were amazing.
We ordered stuffed mushrooms and the stuffed peppers for appetizers to our meals. (You can view all of our meal and pictures of the restaurant within this blog)
Larry’s main course was pork tenderloin stuffed with smoked Gouda, green onions, bacon and tangy pickles. The dish was plenty big and we think next time we will order this dish and another and split it up to try something new.
Sarah’s main course was the vegetarian moussaka. The dish was oven-baked layers of vegetables and cheese topped with homemade yogurt. The dish really reminded us of almost a shepherd’s pie but meatless. The dish was served alongside a small rustic salad, for 14,000 won.
We were so pleased with both of our dishes that we both agreed that we will be taking friends back there for dinner.
After we ate dinner at Zelen’s we headed to the Cheonggyecheon River Walk . We learned that this river walk is fairly new to the city. It was constructed in 2005 where previously it was just concrete roadways running through the center of Seoul. The address for the river walk is, 31, Taepyeongno 1-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul
One word for this place…calming! Once you are on the river walk path you slowly forget that you are located in the center of a huge bustling city. The walk features small waterfalls, various colors of lighting, stepping stones to cross from one side of the walk to the other, and amply amounts of greenery. We loved that we got to check this place out at night because the last time Larry visited he said it was during the day and people were everywhere!
We met three young Korean adults that were trying to snap a picture together but were not achieving the shot they wanted. We took notice of this and asked if they wanted us to get a shot of them so that they could all be in the picture together. They graciously accepted and kept thanking us! We asked if they would mind returning the favor so that we could also have a shot of the two of us. Of course they replied they were glad to do so. (Feel free to check out our various pictures of experiencing the Cheonggyecheon River Walk).
Once we got back home we looked through all the pictures we snapped and kept talking about how much fun we had on our weekend adventures.
If anyone else has suggestions on places to see or eat at please feel free to share with us!
Today is the 15th so it happens to be a day when the big market occurs in Dongducheon. We wrote about the marketplace a few blogs back however when we went it wasn’t on the 5th day of the month so it was much easier to move around and take our time checking everything out.
Sarah decided today that she wanted to walk down to the market and see if any of the street vendors that had Ho-ddeok for sale. HA-HA that’s the understatement of the year! Korea ALWAYS has street food. It’s everywhere! In the video you can see that she was able to obtain some footage of the street that most of the market takes place on.
Ho-ddeok? What in the world is that? Ho-ddeok or ho-tteok is a delightful variety of filled Korean pancakes. Typically it is eaten during the winter season, however, it’s been sticking around all year due to the popularity. Normally ho-ddeok sells for around 500 won that’s about $0.50 in the states. How to describe what ho-ddeok taste like…..hmmmm….well, the taste is similar to that of a sticky bun. SO YUMMY!! If you visit Korea you have to stop by a street vendor and try it out for yourself. Don’t say that we didn’t warn you on how delicious and how addicting they can become!
The dough for ho-ddeok is made from wheat flour, milk, water, sugar, and of course yeast. The special part about this street vendor’s hoddeok is that there is green tea incorporated into the dough. The picture is hard to see but there are little green flakes in it. The hoddeok dough is rises for several hours. You can see in the video that handful-sized balls of the thick dough are filled with a delicious sweet mixture that can contain brown sugar, cinnamon, honey, sometimes chopped peanuts. Once the dough is filled it is then placed on a greased griddle, and then pressed flat into circles with a tool that consist of a stainless steel circle and wooden handle. I was able to capture ajumma (Pronounced a-jum-ma, meaning a married women or old enough to get married) making ho-ddeok at the market on my little camera to share with all of you.