On our way from Amsterdam to Seoul we had former speed skater Gerard van Velde on board of our airplane. He won an Olympic gold medal in 2002. The good old days came back when we talked to him. What a nice guy he is.
After a long flight we arrived in Seoul with a time difference of plus eight. Seoul is a city with so much to offer that you might not know where to start. But we've been here often so we could leave the cultural highlights behind us because we already visited them. We were curious about the new Dongdaemun Design Plaza, designed by Zaha Hadid. She was the first female recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, architecture's equivalent of the Nobel Prize. The building is fantastic. Zaha Hadid got the inspiration form the ever-changing, dynamic movements that occurs in the Dongdaemun area from dawn to dusk.
We walked via the old Fortress Wall to the district were you can find the most beautiful murals. It is called Ihwa Mural Village. Ihwa Mural Village is located less than a 10-minute walk uphill from the buzzing Daehakno area. As you head up the slopes of Mt. Naksan, the noise and crowds give way to fresh air and gorgeous, expansive views of the city, but also to something unexpected: street art. We saw a lot of locals renting old Korean school uniforms and walking around in them, posing for pictures in front of the murals. First we thought they were wearing their own uniform but we talked with some of them and figured out it was just a dress up party instead ;-).
It is easy traveling by subway, so after the Ihwa Mural Village we took the subway to Sinsa-dong. Sinsa-dong has become increasingly popular over the past couple of years with the city's trendsetters, fashionistas and foodies. There are so many nice tiny hip shops, but also shops of high end brands and nice little cafe's and restaurants in the little streets behind the main road. We ended up in the chique Elbon the Table. It is a modern European restaurant located in Gangnam-gu. The restaurant itself is located on the second floor and a high end store with luxury bags with the same name is on the ground floor. Desiré was freaking out when she saw all those nice bags! Unfortunately it was a little bit to expensive to buy a small Celine bag just for fun ;-)!
We loved to be back in Seoul. It is such a vibrant and hip city to wander around. There are so many things to do and see, so we will be back. We promise!