I woke up and road the subway for and hour and 30 minutes to a part of Seoul known as Hongdae. Hongdae is where Hongik University is located. Hongik is a private university and is best known for it’s Fine Arts programs. My hair dresser and some other friends suggested that I check the area out sometime because they said it was an area that reminded them a lot of me.
Not sure what an area would be like that was thought of to be like myself, of course I had to check this place out. I asked if a girlfriend of mine would like to join me, eagerly she said yes. We met outside at exit 9 of Line 2’s Hongik University station.
Almost immediately after reaching the top of the stairs from the exit you see that the area has plenty of clubs, restaurants, little shops, cafes, etc. The more you walk the more and more endless options of these places you will see. (Keep your eyes peeled for crazy restaurant and bar names, check out the pictures above…you will see exactly what I mean).
First we checked out the Free Market. No, this isn’t a lost in translation phrase. This free market is an open-air market where independent artist can sell their work. I made sure I did some research before hand so we knew the location and when the market opened.
It didn’t take long for the marketplace to fill up. The vendors stands ranged from jewelry items, hand crafted trinkets, paintings, and just about everything in between. I loved the vibe of this place. The people who recommended this place to me were absolutely correct. The creativity behind some of the items for sale was rather impressive.
There were a zillion things that I could have purchased. However, there was one thing that I couldn’t pass up for my soon to be baby niece. The cutest little cotton knit cap. I snapped a picture of it, I cannot wait to send it to my sister. The women that makes these knit caps allowed me to take a picture of the various types she offered. Get this, even an adult could purchase one of these caps. HEHEHE… What are the odds I could get Mr. B to wear a monkey cap? realistically, zero to none. Funny thought though.
After our Free Market experience we decided to grab a bite to eat. We stumbled upon a placed called Wistera cafe. The address is 405-8, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. The outside looked pretty enticing… Sure, why not. The inside was very sleek and decorated with a few bold art pieces. I am assuming maybe a purchase from a local artist? There were three that stuck out that I really liked and would have taken home if I could.
At first I had made my mind up that I wanted a nice fresh salad. However my stomach decided on a brunch dish. There was a little salad and soup included, the food was just divine. The dish consisted of two nice sized fluffy pancakes, a side of strawberry jam, half of a sausage, broccoli cream soup, fruit slices, a small salad drizzled with almonds and balsamic dressing, a slice of pumpkin, sliced potato wedges, and mushrooms. Quite a nice little feast we enjoyed among ourselves.
After brunch we located the Ice Cream shop called Fell + Cole. Well…it wasn’t quite as easy as I stated. We walked around in circles a bit trying to locate the place. I read about Fell + Cole online and was instantly attracted because of all the unique organic flavors that were offered. Im talking flavors like honey lavender, burnt caramel with smoked sea salts, pina colada, orange creamsicle, strawberry red wine with szechuan pepper, jesus juice, and so many others.
After trying a few flavors Katya went for the burnt caramel with smoked sea salts, and I chose to go with some jesus juice. Very refreshing! Oh, and I almost forgot! I went there with a purpose and that was to donate some money to a vegan bake sale with proceeds going towards the International Justice Mission, to abolish human trafficking and sex slavery. I picked up some delicious almond butter cookies made by Mipa an awesome blogger located here in South Korea.
Check out Fell + Cole’s website: http://www.fellncole.com/ Also, do yourself a favor and swing in to try a crazy flavor that fits your fancy. I cannot wait to drag my best friend there when she comes to Korea for a visit!
Okay, back to the rest of the day. Well after we had our full bellies we were ready to tackle some shopping. The wonderful part about Hongdae is that there are tons of teeny boutiques with shoes, clothing, and various accessories. We must have walked into a million of these places. However, I didn’t find anything that I just had to have. I enjoyed checking out the stuff and getting ideas. Katya picked up a few little things for herself.
I really have to say that my girlfriend was such a trooper! Our feet walked for hours around the area. At times I think we crossed over our main paths. What a dear! Thank you again Katya!
After shopping we were both pretty tired, almost five and a half hours had went by while we were wondering all through Hongdae. We headed to the subway hugged and parted our ways for home.
Yikes…looks like we are not the only ones with the idea to head home at this time.
My feet have never been so thankful to be propped up on the ottoman as they are at this very moment.
Good night all!