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Korea, day 2

Jet lag is brutal.

Yesterday I woke up before 5am local time and couldn’t find my way back to sleep. Fortunately the kids got a good nights sleep and so did Lauren.

After breakfast we made our way to Gyeongbok Palace which was built by King T’aejo of the Choson Dynasty as the primary residence of the then royal family. It was burned during the Japanese invasion of 1592 and left in ruins until 1868 when it was rebuilt.

We watched the morning guard changing ceremony and toured the grounds. It was extremely interesting for the adults. (I think the kids were bored after the initial visit).

The sun was intense so we went inside to the National Folk Museum which is right next door the palace.

After an hour, we left the museum and explored Insa-dong which is also known as “Mary’s Alley”. The alley is filled with galleries, restaurants and various shops. We had lunch at a simple cafe and then explored the alleys. We had some shaved ice which hit the spot.

Our next stop was Bukchon Hanok Village. It is hard to fully describe this neighborhood but essentially it is comprised of a hundred or so historic homes within Seoul city. The contrasts between these traditional small homes and modern Seoul was striking. It was a fun and interesting place to make photographs.

By late afternoon we were wiped out from the heat. We made our way back to the hotel and recharged.

Before dinner we caught a local show called Nanta. It’s a non verbal live show that combines music, comedy, and story telling. At various times James and I could barely breath we were laughing so hard. They also had audience participation and I was brought on stage for one segment. My family had a good laugh watching me embarrass myself. We all loved it.

For dinner we went to a place called Byeokjae Galbi. As some of you know I’m a vegetarian but the rest of my family loves Korean BBQ and judging from the empty plates this was place was a success.

James quite literally passed out at the dinner table after his meal. It pretty much summed up how we all felt. Our aspiration of a late evening walk fell to reality and we jumped in taxi, returned to the hotel and we all crashed by 10pm.

It was a fun, but rather full day for sure.

(Please excuse any typos and lack of links. I wrote this post on my phone)