We got out of the bus and threw the bags on the old plastic seat in the waiting room of the bus station in Seoul. It immediately reminded how seven years ago, one early morning we arrived by bus to Los Angeles. Then we, just like today in Cheonan, wandered half the night over night Las Vegas and in the morning were just as tired. We also had no plan and almost no money, but there was a friend who, just like now, was to be found. And here we are, just as then, we are almost in the center of a huge megalopolis, but the sensation seems to have been in the nineties in some Soviet village.
– This bus station forgot what repairs are!
– But he remembers perfectly what mud and retro furniture are.
Nastya was absent “on business,” and I began to waste time improvised exercise. I make the twisting of the body and catch the look of the guy who sat with his scooter and watched me with interest all this time through the window. I grinned and continued – no longer getting used to it!
Well hello Seoul!
All as always – on skateboards in the park. Eat, go to the toilet and catch a wi-fi. Along the way, nothing unusual. Seoul and Seoul. Here’s a supermarket. It was necessary to buy something. Have not bought. We regretted it. Houses are not tall, pretty ordinary, just like everywhere else. And anyway, when you’re tired from the road and have not slept in a bed for a hundred years – you have to get somewhere to rest. So we did.
Somewhere by eleven we got to the hostel, but could not check in. We were sent another hour to walk. I remember, our feet told us then: “You are fucked!”. We took them to the park, sat down and took off our shoes. By the way, that there is a stone massage path for walking barefoot. But if there is a Korean people on the track and watching the game in changi – you can not get by, they will not go away.
For us gave the box two and a half, where there was a bed in two floors and a shower in which hot water did not work. We were told that if we go to bathe in the sauna, it will be reimbursed. But soon the water was available, and we did not have time to use this steep chance. But the chance to wash everything that has accumulated we will not miss!
Now we are somewhere in the center. Near the hostel there is some kind of tourist attraction. Whether it’s a stadium, or an exhibition center. In any case, we will not go there. But choco pies is necessary to find, and around only small Russian shops like “At Natalia” or “Ivanych”. Well, we just happened to be somewhere on the outskirts of the regional center of our vast.
– Hello! Is there a supermarket nearby? – we asked the saleswoman of one of the shops, from which the dialogue from the Russian TV series about gangs and cops was heard loudly.
– Hello! Yes, go before EMS and turn left, there is a store on the right side.
But we were already there, and there it’s expensive …
– Well, you either go in, or go out, Che stood up on the aisle ?! – came from behind us.
We turned our heads, and there, as from the same series, there is a collective image of a country woman of fashion, behind whose back two ambals in leather jackets were silent. We did not respond to them and followed the expensive box of chocolate pies.
Change of locations
In two words, our stay in Seoul could be called as “Change of locations”. You book for a day in the hope of earning a ticket and fly to China, but it does not come out, and the hostel is either busy or much more expensive the next day. We have to look for another option, check out to move to the next, populate and so on day after day. And the little that you earn on a ticket you have to spend on housing and this vicious circle will open only when you earn enough.
So we wandered a few nights from the hostel to the hostel in the area of the University of Hongik. This place is just mega cool. Everywhere tourists, students and just young people, a lot of creative cafes and delicious streetfood, interesting sculptures everywhere, artists draw pictures, and street artists play guitar every ten meters, sing and dance a break. In a word, the place is very atmospheric!
But one day we entered another part of the city. Through AIRBNB we booked the cheapest option for this day, the cost of 500 rubles for two. It was a room of 4 square meters in a seemingly ordinary house in Seoul. There was not even a window in it, but next to the bed was a shower. The most interesting thing is that in this four-story house all the “apartments” were like that. And ours was not the smallest. Later, Julia told us that people live for years. I can not imagine this, because in just one day you can go crazy. You feel like in a closet, and waking up in the morning is not real, because it does not penetrate any ray of the sun, and you do not understand that it’s already morning. Later in Shanghai we will also find a cheaper option on this site, and we will stop use this website!
In this fucking place there was one plus – proximity to the national park Bakhansan. The mountain range, on the crest of which is the Seoul Wall, protecting the city from the invaders. It is much smaller than the Great Wall Chinese, but on it you can sit, dangling your legs, admire the excellent panoramic view of the whole of Seoul and eat dinner. Hills beautifully grow from the stone jungle, towers lonely stick out of the gray surface of the city, on the other mountain there is a big temple, and on the highest point we will not go – we will not be in time, the will soon sunset. With a beautiful forest path, we went up and down, scrambled up the mountain ridge, and came to the temple with an empty path, and then, until it was completely dark, went down to our room.
In Seoul with a tent
With a tent in Seoul in late April? This is not an option! We tried. Traversed through the city to the campsite, and there ticket office and spend the night in a tent, you can only pay for this tent. It is worth more than a hostel, the amenities are doubtful. The strangest thing is that it uses demand. As a result, we rolled around half a night in a skate park nearby and spent the night next to a camping site, behind a fence. At night, we froze, so that in the morning Nastya could not clear her throat, but I ran to the toilet with fright to get water and to get hot as soon as possible.
– We will not sleep in the tent anymore, we need to look for a hostel!
– Yes, of course! But check in only twelve at the time, let’s go for a ride on skateboards in the park.
– Come on, good idea!
We in the evening met Julia, she treated us with delicious food and to show Seoul. After living here for two and a half years, she turned into a professional guide and very interesting told us about everything that we met on the way. Some sights, like palaces, were already closed, but we managed to dress up in national costumes and make a couple of photos. We visited a very beautiful Buddhist temple, walked along the shopping center, and after that she once again feast us, this time with meat.
At night, Seoul turns into one big barbecue. At every step, cafes and restaurants, where people roast their meat. Koreans work hard and food is probably their most popular entertainment. They are very fond of eating somewhere. The competition at the grill bars is frenzied and Julia says that if you come to the same place in a month, everything will be different here. Restaurants are closed, and others are opened in their place. The barkers are enticed by various additives, and then do not give them – and this is very funny. But still fry your meat – this is a whole Korean tradition and, of course, great fun! Thank you to Julia for the opportunity to be a part of this!
We really wanted to go north-east of South Korea, because there are many national reserves, mountains and in general is very beautiful. But our road to Seoul lay slightly differently, and we decided not to make a detour. However, the tags on the map do their job, because quite unexpectedly we are heading to Nami Island, which is higher along the Cheonggyecheon River, about fifty kilometers to the northeast of Seoul, if measured in a straight line.
Naminara Island or Nami Island
Nami Island is such a place that the people of Naminar have been declared an independent state and for money it is possible to make themselves a false local passport and become a Naminara. But you will become only one of the crowd of tourists who need to spend their savings somewhere on vacation. After all, it seems that there is no local island people on this island. That is, no one lives here, there are no aborigines, so to speak. And lives here, perhaps only the staff.
The coolest way to get to this island is the zip-line. That’s it, I think it’s worth spending your money, unless of course you have it. We did not have, and tickets for the ferry in general Julia bought. Okay, it is nice! Zipline is one of two interesting entertainments on the island of Nami that we know. The second is wakeboarding behind a boat. And otherwise – it’s like a park where you can arrange a family picnic in a clearing near the river, just take a walk in the beautiful alleys along which giant sequoias grow, watch the peacock’s wedding games when the male sways his tail and vibrates it, making a loud electric sound, and then he shouted to his white birds: “Look how beautiful I am! Jump to me on the roof of this colorful toilet from beer bottles! We will make little peacocks. ”
Toilets here – a separate landmark. They are made, for the most part, from recycled materials and each has its own history. You can make a selfie in the mouth of a dinosaur while waiting at the entrance to one, or you can open the door of another for the wooden male genitalia. And it will not be a separate original detail, but the entire restroom will be in the same style. One in the form of a castle, the other guarding the trolls, but they are united by one, and these are not toilet bowls with shells, but books that can be read during the meeting.
Still there is an aviary with ostriches Emu, ducks, geese, squirrels and rabbits, thatched huts for dwarfs and a scribbled pier, where I write a black marker “Here was Vasya!”.
Finally, we gone out of the Seoul funnel, which slowly dragged us on for eight days. We bought tickets to Qingdao and decided to spend the last night at the airport. To fly all the same in the morning, and on the saved have gone with Юлей to drink beer, to eat a pizza and to walk on a night Seoul. We also bought glasses for three dollars, which Nastya would then sell to a woman on the border of China and Vietnam, and I will drown my own, jumping from the cliff to the Andomansk Sea. But this will be another story.