Thursday, February 28, 2013

Seoul 11.12 - up by the N Seoul Tower

Of course Namsan Cable Car didn't drop visitors off right by the Seoul Tower. After the ride we hiked up a little to see the actual Seoul Tower and its surroundings.

It was beautiful hiking up.

There was a lot to see up by the Seoul Tower!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Seoul 11.12 - Namsan Cable Car

After taking Namsan Oreumi up the mountain, we got our Namsan Cable Car tickets for a beautiful and fun ride up to the Seoul Tower.

You could get either a on-way ticket for 6,000won or a round trip ticket for 8,000won. We got round trip tickets and follow other excited visitors up a short fly of stairs to the Cable Car entrance.

Views from the cable car ride was beautiful. We could see the part of Seoul and cute neighborhoods on the hills, and the woods of the mountains had phenomenal fall colors that were simply stunning.

And then we were there!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Seoul 11.12 - going to see the Seoul Tower

My original plan after checking out Pink and wondering inside the Hoehyeong Underground Shopping Center was to walk to Myeongdong and have some delicious beef rice soups, but since both John and I were still really full after our ham hock lunch, we decided to head up to Seoul Tower first.

With the research I did about heading up to Namsan Seoul Tower, I knew we would want to find the glass elevator "Namsan Oreumi" first so we didn't have to hike all the way up to Namsan ("south mountain") to get to the Seoul Tower cable cars and see all the pretty things up there. (I didn't want to hike up because it was really cold and I was a wimp, but many choose to hike up the mountains because the scenery was spectacular.) 

From where we were (near Hoehyeong Underground Shoppnig and Namdaemun Market) I knew the easiest way for me to find the Namsan Oreumi elevator was to take Exit 6 at the Hoehyeong Station (subway). 

Escalator at Exit 6 inside Hoehyeong Station.

Once we got up to ground level from Exit 6 we could see Seoul Tower in the distance.

All we had to do then was to walk straight forward (uphill), and then we saw the monument and the Namsan Oreumi elevator was right there!

The Namsan Oreumi elevator would go up and down Namsan ("the south mountain") where Seoul Tower is. The elevator is made of glass so visitors can see the beautiful views of the city, as well as the mountain areas. 
Inside the elevator and going up the mountain.
Going up.
and up.
and up.
And very soon we were up in Namsan, and the Namsan Cable Car entrance was right there.

Time to walk up to get our tickets and ride in the cable car to see Seoul Tower!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Koji and a concert

I met Koji through caffe d'bolla. He comes to the shop for siphon coffees and these days he gets macchiatos and we'd chat a little. Eventually I learned he is a renowned pianist! I was thrilled.

Koji lives, teaches, and performs in Salt Lake City right now, and he was kind enough to invite John and I to a faculty concert that took place at the Gifted Music School last Wednesday, and I felt privileged and honored to finally hear him play in person.

John helped me with this next couple paragraphs: "Koji performed two sets of music. The first set was from Spanish composer(s) and written for guitar. Koji arranged it for piano. Much of the piece was centered around the feeling of flowing and cascading water. The final movement he played on this set was so full of sadness and loss that you could feel his emotion with every note. It was hard not to cry.

His second set was a quartet from Mozart, and again, Koji arranged this for piano. There was one main movement followed by a series of interesting variations. This piece was a world premiere. It appeared to be a very challenging piece to play, and I think this is what excited Koji about arranging and playing it. Mozart's musical progression and style is much more mainstream than the often obscure and complicated Russian composers that Koji often plays. But if you closed your eyes, you could easily hear the different parts all being voiced by a single piano. As a quartet it was one thing, but as an arrangement for piano, it was beyond brilliant. Truly a magical performance."

The other faculty musicians were wonderful as well. I am excited to learn more about them in the future. I am so happy and proud to know we have these phenomenal musicians in our community.

Truly inspiring.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Seoul 11.12 - Pink

When we finally found the Hoehyeong Underground Shopping Center, we also found one of the stores I wanted to visit down there pretty soon. It's Pink!

Pink and the owner of the shop.

You can find good skincare and personal care products for a good price at Pink. Of course the more you buy, the more discount the owner would give you. He would also help recommend products that suit your needs. Pretty cool, I think.

Here I purchased quite a few sheet masks (photos in a later post.) These were usually in packs of 5 or 10. I asked the owner which masks were better, and he recommended the ones in cute doll-shape foil pouches. The other kinds were in classic rectangular foil pouches. There are ginseng, red wine, snail cream (!), and other interesting varieties! Nice. 

I also bought a couple Laneige "sleeping packs," which were jelly-like masks you put and leave on your face before bed. You'll then wash the mask off with water in the morning. During your sleep the sleeping pack (or what's left of it on your face... I'd think most of it probably would get on your pillow cases... ) will help hydrate and nourish your skin, so when you get up in the morning your skin is all "dewy" and happy! I have yet to try mine, but from what I read this product is promising. Oh, and Pink apparently has some of the best prices for these.

The last thing I bought at Pink was the snail cream (!) hand lotions. They work very well and both John and I really liked it.

Pink is near exit 12 of Hoehyeong Underground Shopping Center, between a bag store and a camera store, in case you're interested in visiting this little shop with tons of goodies.

Oh, and the entrance/exit to the Hoehyeong Underground Shopping Center is on the right of a cool fountain when you face the twin towers, as show below: