Three days into our adventure, Miriam’s son Don took us for a day of “downtown sightseeing.” We started out early, which landed us smack-dab at the peak of rush hour commuter traffic on the subway. Two transfers and almost a full hour on my feet, but I couldn’t have fallen down if I tried!
The youth here are totally glued to their cell phones (now a global reality, I suppose), do not look up, and do not offer their seats to the aged, which I now admit I qualify as being.
We emerged from the subway onto a long, wide mall. Both sides were lined with vendor booths where, among other things, signatures were being gathered for this or that petition. Some distance in front of us was a huge Buddha, back-dropped by high hills that surround the city.
In the other direction, there were more booths, and more statues and sculptures, and a memorial set up for the school children who died in the 2014 ferry disaster which took 304 lives.
We got tickets for the Seoul City Tour Bus, and stayed on the bus for the whole loop, which took nearly two hours. Through headphones, on which we could select one of eight languages (and control our own volume), we listened to the history at each of 24 stops. We heard about specific palaces, districts, stations, museums, sports’ arenas and markets.
It was a fabulous overview, well narrated (and Don filled in a lot more) and I was much appreciative of the comfy seats! We got off the bus for a coffee break and pit stop and decided to get back on to ride to the largest traditional market in all the city: The Namdaemun Market!