Is this heaven? No, this is Seoul.
Seoul Travel Blog› entry 3 of 6 › view all entries
"Heaven" for me was miles away from the Iowa cornfield in the movie, "Field of Dreams".
Believe me, I've seen more than my share of "homes away from home" but nothing could rival our temporary resting place called, The Sofitel Ambassador......well, perhaps that dream palace we occupied in Killarney, Ireland......but it's a close second.
The uniformed doormen greeted us as we arrived and whisked our bags away before we had a chance to say........don't leave our luggage unattended............... We stopped by the check-in desk and gave our names........ "Oh, the Mobberlys! You will check-in with the concierge on floor 16, the Luxury Room Club Level"
Since they seemed so proud when announcing this, we figured, well, it can't be that bad. We were pleasantly surprised to be greeted by another lovely young lady in an immaculately tailored uniform who proceeded to acquaint us with the amenities available to us during our stay.......complimentary, hot buffet breakfast each morning; complimentary Happy Hour with a hot and cold buffet; both of these to be served on our private floor, available only by special key in the elevator.
I was already taking pictures of the city from our window, when Mark came excitedly out of the bathroom exclaiming, "Come here! You've got to see this!"
I popped my head around the door into the bathroom and saw what I would soon decide was the greatest invention in the history of indoor plumbing. Attached to what looked like a regular toilet was an electronic control panel, which indicated, in English, the area on one’s behind where a variety of water sprays could be directed.
Due to the fourteen hour time difference between Dallas and Seoul, we naturally fell asleep early and awoke early, for me, this would be about 0115 am on Monday morning.
We decided to search out the Nandaemun Market, which is the oldest open air market in Seoul. But since it was still a bit early and the breakfast buffet was now available, we went down to check it out.
The mouthwatering spread containing numerous hot and cold selections as well as pastries, hot bevridges and freshly squeezed juices, tempted us to overeat but we restrained ourselves since a long walk through the market awaited us.
Shortly after 0900, we headed downstairs to wait for the 0930 shuttle to the market. We stopped by the hotel deli for a hot drink while we waited. Mark nearly choked when he paid for our two coffees, saying under his breath, “You don’t want to know.” Of course I DID want to know and was astounded to hear that we’d paid $9.00 for each one! I guess if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it!
Our visit to the Namdaemun Market was an indescribable experience. This is the oldest of many open markets within the city.
Since our Korean map reading skills were a bit rusty, we opted to catch a cab to the next stop on our itinerary, the Yongsan Electronics Market.. This area of town, specializing in anything electronic, was a haven for the young, twenty something techno geeks who thronged the shops filled with anything from cell phones to laptops.
Our feet gave out before the shops did so we hailed the nearest taxi, arriving back at the hotel in time to wind down at the evening Happy Hour. Ah….it’s a tough life but somebody has to do it……at least for two more days!