Strong north wind

Тo tell the truth I was going to do nothing in Seoul this time, but just walking and take a little shopping. For the whole year my wife accumulated quite a few miles for the flights between Moscow and the Far East, which she had to do according to her job. So we decided to spend the New Year in the capital of South Korea and in passing to use the miles accumulated during the flights. In general, in one word, somewhere in the early autumn of 2017, we took tickets. Just about the same time in North Korea began to actively test their missiles. As winter approaches and the onset of ferocious frosts in the Far Eastern Russian taiga, the rhetoric of the crazy leadership of North Korea has increasingly become tougher. Тhe column of the thermometer steadily crawled down and the missiles that Pyongyang released toward the US fell somewhere between Vladivostok and Japan. Нospitable owner of housing in Seoul, booked me through Аirbnb, politely told about the rules of residence and about when he will give passwords for the intercom and what can I buy in stores nearby on New Year's Eve. News tapes in the smartphone at the same time discussed the most powerful in the world grouping of artillery concentrated North Korea in the vicinity of Seoul and whether these guns will shoot. December 31, 2017 when I climbed the ladder to the plane honestly say the thoughts in my head were all sorts of things. However, these days in the Russian Far East became very warm from the anti-cyclone coming from China and so, gradually the thoughts of the barrel and rocket artillery gave way in the head to reflecting on how delicious the Korean barbecue will be)).


On a direct flight to Seoul, tickets for miles could not be taken at that time, so I had to make an intermediate landing in Vladivostok. In Vladivostok it began to snow, but when the plane after an hour and a half making a big detour away the territory of the conquered Juche to Seoul, then over the capital of South Korea was the cloudless sky.


Seoul Airport Incheon mighty Hub digesting hundreds of flights daily from all cities of the globe. Тhis airport has long been familiar to me. After Incheon main airport for the majority of residents of the Russian Far East, flying to the countries of Southeast Asia, Pacific and Indian ocean. And in general for me it is much more comfortable than a huge Beijing airport.


This time I decided to use the shuttle bass from the airport to the city center and did not lose it.I will immediately say that if you take a taxi from the airport to the city, it will cost you about $ 100 as well as the way from the city to the airport. Shuttle bus ticket costs 15 usd per person. Time in transit is the same-buses are usually on their own dedicated line so they do not interfere.


And after an hour we are already in the center of Seoul in the Gangnam area where I was already earlier and which we really like.


I liked Gangnams for another 10 years before the world learned about it, after hearing the popular song "Opa Gangnam Style!". For me the most important thing is that there are a lot of different cafes and restaurants and shops where you can always buy what you need.yet as it turned out this station is one of the warmest in the Seoul metro.This is because there are large underground shopping arcades and installed a lot of heaters. This time I first discovered for myself Seoul subway in January there is very cold and very strong wind is blowing.

Rent quality accommodation in Gangnam costs from 50 to 100 USD per day depending on your abilities and preferences. Leaving things in the apartment, we go for a walk around Gangnam, also in order to buy a champagne for New Year's Eve.

Gangnam areastreet photos









Вought a bottle of champagne, met the first time New Year on Seoul time, coming out on the roof and looking at the fireworks and the second time after an hour, congratulating our relatives when the New Year on time arrived in our city.Although at the first volleys of the fireworks, I somehow involuntarily flinched, looking towards the border with North Korea.

The first day of the New Year is an excellent time to use the services of the sightseeing bus that routes the main attractions of Seoul. The price of a ticket to you now I will not name but it is absolutely small so I do not have in my memory.
There are 2 types of buses: completely enclosed and there is a bus which has an open area. Сhoosing between these types of buses, we realized that despite the fact that we have moved almost 1300 km to the south we freeze here no worse than at home in the Far Eastern taiga.Bought tickets and took the bus at the City Hall stop.
Оutside the window flashed various places of central Seoul





You can go out at any of the stops to stroll and see what attractions are around.









This time we came to a stop Meyong-dong. In my opinion this is an ordinary street on which there are full points for selling street food and shops on the sides where clothes, souvenirs are sold. There are also several large multi-story department stores. Nevertheless,there are a lot of tourists in this area, however, among them we were also ))






In general, we bought here roasted nuts and some local omelets-it is rather tasty, well at a price it seemed expensive.

Аt the City Hall station we walked around, there were quite a lot of interesting places such as the first Catholic church in Seoul and also the ice rink that was flooded for for the residents on which they gladly skate in huge crowds, оn one of the exits from the station to the surface are mounted musical steps rising or descending on which you can create to yourself а different melodies.








Nearby is a Cheonggyecheon stream.


I advise you to take a stroll in this place. In the evening there is a very interesting night illumination.In the winter in the low bed of this stream there is no strong wind that is near on the surface.


Тhe next day we had planned a visit to the skyscrapers of Lotte World, the highest in Korea, the 5th tallest building in the world. The wind at the exit from the metro to the street was so strong that I thought that I would blow back with my wife. Smartphone as if mocking showed that the temperature in my city is several degrees warmer than in Seoul. "That's what I came to the south!"- thought to me.



If you find yourself on New Year's Eve in Seoul, New Year's fireworks are better to watch those that run from this skyscraper-they are the most picturesque. Оn the upper floors there is a viewing platform with an excellent view of the surroundings and the Hangan River.



Уou can see the approaching aircraft


Тhere is a plot with a glass floor.


Nearby there is a well-known long-established amusement park Lotte World with water attractions and roller coasters. In the lower floor of the skyscraper is a good grocery store.

Оn the way on the tour bus one building attracted our attention by its unusual shape, decided to look and walk around.


Dongdaemun Design Plaza has a meaning of Dream, Design, and Play. It holds various exhibitions, fashion shows, forums, conferences, and other domestic and international events

Inside many rooms where various exhibitions and sales are held, we just strolled around in this area, there are plenty of shops and cafes here too. Looking at the local residents, sometimes dressed in long fluffy jackets, but at the same time in slippers on his bare foot forced us to go often to shopping centers to warm ourselves.











Seoul Airport was greeted not only by the warm air coming from the powerful heaters, but also by a group of musicians who played for the passengers various melodious tunes.


...and the news on the phone reported that some countries are thinking about sending their teams to the Olympics in Pyeongchang, because they fear aggressive actions from North Korea.
Then I did not know that a strong wind would bring a changes in the political life of this neighboring peninsula, divided by a distant, terrible war into two parts.


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