It was the warmest Christmas day in Seoul for 100 years with temperatures reaching 12.6 deg C I just read in the paper today. We ventured out of the house for a short walk near the Hongik University to enjoy the sunshine and bought some more chocolates from the best chocolate shop in Seoul CacaoBoom.
We had some friends round for Christmas dinner. The highlight of our seven course meal was beef cooked in red wine with mashed potato and carrots. The meat had been marinated overnight and was especially tender and rich. The Christmas Pudding we had made went down very well with Erkin and his girlfriend, but I think it was a little too rich for our two Korean guests who are maybe not so used to such sweet and heavy puddings. Dessert does not really seem to exist in Korean restaurants we have noticed, though ice cream parlours are very popular here.
Unlike in the UK where Boxing Day is a holiday too, here The Bat had to go to work as normal, so to entertain myself I decided to take a bus at random and see where I got to.
I started from just outside our apartment, in front of the National Assembly building and decided to take the first bus that arrived going west. A 6633 arrived first:
This is the route map for the 6633.
As you can see, not much in the way of English, except where there is an interchange with a subway station.
Here's the view of the subway line 9 construction directly in front of the National Assembly.
After about 15 minutes I figured I'd gone far enough and I could see a stream with a path beside it. Alighting at the Dongah Apartment stop I took this shot of a typical block of shops:
It was only when I got home again and looked at the map did I realise why this hotel is named Niagara.
On the other side of the highway from it there is an artificial waterfall. I guess it does not flow during the winter, but I had noticed the rocks in the small hill.
For no apparent reason this small boat was a feature on the road.
After wandering around trying to get to the stream, during which time I found the Dunkin' Donut factory, I crossed the road and descended to walk beside the Anyangcheon. This small river flows into the Han River and, dodging the cyclists I walked north towards their confluence.
The World Cup stadium was visible on the opposite bank. Walking further along the Han river this is the Seongsangyo bridge:
I continued walking beside the Han river until I came back to the National Assembly and home.
This will most likely be my last blog posting of 2006. I have some visitors coming today and we are planning to go skiing next week. To all readers of the blog, I wish you all the very best for 2007.