We went to Seoul for a day because we had to go to the US Embassy to renew our son’s passport. We always enjoy going to Seoul. We take the KTX train from Gwangju to Yongsan Station in Seoul, which only takes three hours. The train is roomy and comfortable. It is clean and quiet, and the attendants are always ready to help.
We always take the first train at 0500 hours–5:00 am. The train is usually fairly empty and we can get there early to start our adventure. We usually have everything ready to go the night before so we can just walk out the door and get in a taxi to get to the train station.
When we got to Seoul, we took the subway to the library where we needed to print a few documents for the embassy. There is an expansive memorial for all of the victims of the Sewol ferry disaster. In the video you’ll see all of the yellow ribbons. Koreans write messages and prayers on these ribbons. There is also an altar with flowers and a picture of each of the victims.
Then we made our way to the US Embassy, which is across the street from the Blue House, where the president works. For some reason there were hundreds of uniformed police around the embassy; not sure why there were so many, or why they had riot shields (but no helmets).
We got our work done in the embassy rather easily and quickly. While we were in there, we met an older American man who was in Korea to recieve an award for his bravery in the Korean War. He was a scout for an armor division and survived many battles. Kaiser sat wide-eyed listening to his stories.
After the embassy, we visited the Korean War Memorial Museum. It is a great museum that honors the many people who gave their all to create and sustain South Korea. There are dozens or aircraft, tanks and artillary to look at outside. On the inside are impressive displays of differnt historical stoages in South Korea’s past–everything from the Turtle ship to captured enemy tanks. We like going here because the museum is amazing and it is walking distance to Yongsan Station. (There is also a Lavazza cafe)
On the way back to the train station, we always stop by a shop that sells uniforms to military personnel. Kiaser likes to look at everything and we buy a few patches for him. While we were in there, we met an older man who quickly engaged us and wanted to talk. He is a retired South Korean Marine, he was excited about Kaiser’s intrest in South Korea and the KMC, so he bought a Korean Marine Corp pin and pinned it to his hat. Kaiser was beaming! Not long after that the man left, then the shop owner told us who he is; he is a highly decorated Korean Marine. His medals and ribbons were on display there.
As we walked down the street to the train station, Kaiser showed his new pin to everyone he met.