Sunday, May 13, 2012

Seoul Friendship Festival

Last weekend while the kids and I were still under an official quarantine and couldn't go to church, we decided to check out the Seoul Friendship Festival.

I had heard about it under several aliases: the Cheonggyecheon Festival, the International Fair, and the Friendship Festival.

I'll be honest. We left the apartment not knowing exactly where we were going. Originally, I'd planned to take one bus, and then we ended up getting on a different bus.

I was thankful that the bus we got on happened to have a map in English, and so I was able to find the stop we needed to get off on the map. I had it all figured out.

Until the bus ran into this parade and the driver decided to a u-turn in the middle of a busy road. I decided we'd better just get off and watch the parade!

I won't tell you how far we walked in the wrong direction after the parade ended!

Finally, I decided we would turn and head toward the stream because I knew we'd find what we were looking for somewhere along the Cheonggyecheon!

The kids, especially Cade, really enjoyed the walk along the stream. Not that you can tell from the pictures!

The scenery is really beautiful as the stream is much lower than street level, so you can walk along and listen to the water, rather than the traffic!

The portion of the festival that we saw was basically blocks and blocks of tents set up with food and information about countries all over the world: India, Brazil, Mexico, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Malaysia, Germany, Italy, Turkey. You name it, it was there.

Strangely, there were a lot of countries selling some type of hot dog or sausage on a stick. Not so strangely, my kids were more interested in the McDonalds down the street than anything for sale at a booth.

So, we compromised on Bennigan's (apparently a chain in the States) which is located right above the square.

The kids were happy to spend the meal watching the people and activities below from the air-conditioned restaurant.

Then we went back down to the stream, where they were just thrilled to have their picture taken.

Though Cade didn't have any problems with it when I didn't ask him to look at the camera!

We did a ton of walking. For the first time in a long time, I got dangerously close to getting lost.

We ended up at Gwanghwamun Square, so I knew exactly where we were (though we'd never been there before), but I wasn't 100% sure as to how to get home.

Thankfully, my trusty iPhone and my Seoul bus app allowed me to find the nearest bus stop (another long walk) and we were able to find a bus home...after the kids got all wet, of course!

Kennedy lasted about 5 minutes before she got more wet than she'd planned and she was looking for a towel. Of course, we hadn't planned on this detour, so I was not prepared. Thankfully, it was so warm that she was dry pretty quickly.

This past weekend we went to the International Bazaar at school, so we've been busy with the cultural festivals lately!


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