Archangel's blog A pointless waste of time


Day 3

Felt tired this morning so snoozed a bit before getting out of bed. Once on my feet I bought a grilled sandwich and some juice at a place nearby. After finishing it I headed for the subway.

A man Got on the train a station after me, he was trying to peddle some sort of ear cleaning apparatus that looked like an electric toothbrush but with a glowing stick at the end (a mini-light saber for your ears if you will). Didn't see anyone taking him up on his offer.

On the agenda for today was shopping districts! There are three adjacent areas filled with shopping. The first I visited was Apgujeong, this area has shopping of the more expensive kind. I first felt bad that I'd slept that long but when I got here I realized it didn't matter, the shops that were actually open on Sundays hadn't opened yet. One downside to being here on a Sunday was that not all shops were open. This however didn't matter to much to me since I wasn't going to be shopping in them anyhow. And the upside was that there were fewer people there, thus making it easier for me to photograph things. The enjoyment for me was the buildings. Every big brand had their own building and they were all trying to top each other. All different and unique facades.

I also found some tech stores clustered in one area, which made me happy. The big brands had flagship stores with all their best gear on display.

For lunch I fell of the Asian wagon and had a burger. In this area there was a lot of western food and when seeing a place that seemed to serve really tasty burgers I couldn't resist.

Another common thing in this area seemed to be "board game-bars". I saw them advertised everywhere, a few had Monopoly in their name. I wonder if they really are meant for drinking and playing board games...

The second area I walked into was Sinsa. This area has even more shops but more of the reasonably priced variety. And here everything was open and it was bustling. I really liked the atmosphere here and even perused a few of the shops. Lots more restaurants here too. Found a Swedish/Scandinavian store that sold (among other things) dalahästar and hade a café named "Fika" that sold bullar and semla.

Walked here for quite a while and could have been here longer. But I had another area I wanted to see and I started to feel my bladder complaining. It's not so easy to be relaxed and enjoy the surroundings when there is another need literally pressing. The bad news being there were no toilets here. I eventually settled for a soft ice cream and using that establishment's facilities. On day one I had a soft ice cream (seen in the gallery) and that one was very nice and when I found another of the same franchise I decided to eat some more. This place specializes in organic products and use honey instead of sugar. The one I had last time had a bit of honey comb on too. This time I tried one with pistachio-sauce, sunflower-seeds and cashew-crunch. Also very good but the last one was more refreshing.

Ice cream consumed and waste dumped I headed out once more, this time to take a longer walk to the last area on the agenda: Gangnam, of Gangnam Style fame. Sadly, on the way there it started raining, lightly at first then more and more. I did get there but decided to first spend some time I'm Samsungs flagships store and exhibition centre. But since I couldn't find it I consulted the guidebook and realized it wasn't open on Sundays. Darn! So I changed my plans and took the subway to COEX mall, the largest underground mall in Asia.

And it turned out they are renovating... Yay!
Still quite a big mall, but many of the stores were closed, so window shopping didn't take long. But there was one more reason I came here: the aquarium! The largest one in Korea, and it was open. Huzza!

The aquarium was big with lots of different exhibits. The good part being that most of the tanks were of a good size, they were all well maintained and fresh, and most had English signs. It was also interesting that they had a few tanks not only on the fish but about different ecosystems (like rice paddy and river). They of course had the mandatory tunnel through the shark tank.

The negative part was that they had some other animals, a monkey, squirrels, otter, beavers, etc, and these animals' enclosures were mostly to small and not that charming. Made me a bit sad. Still worth the visit I think.

After this dinner time was drawing near, so I headed back to Sinsa to find some place to eat. By now it was pouring down so I didn't want to search for to long. What I settled on was something I've wanted to try for many years but been to chicken to try: sushi train! Now that I've actually started to eat fish I thought "why not". It was good. But I think I might be a fish-snob... I do seem to prefer the more expensive ones.

After dinner the rain had abated so I decided to walk one station further before hopping on the train back home.

Reflection 1: outdoor activities seem popular on Sunday's. I've seen lots of people with backpacks and walking sticks dressed in outdoor attires.

Reflection 2: musicals seem popular. I've seen advertisements for Chicago (Korean version), Mozart, Dracula and Zorro.

Reflection 3: there's valet parking everywhere in the fancier areas, almost one on every street corner.

Reflection 4: (negative) People in the fancier districts seem not have a need for bathrooms. In these areas I could not find a single public bathroom.

Steps taken: 23 762 (18.75 km)

Gallery updated with (iPhone) pictures for today: Gallery link

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