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blondie


24 Blog Entries
4 Trips
136 Photos

Trips:

Asian Persuasion - June 2012
Greek Life
4th of July B-day Extravaganza
Central Europe

Shorthand link:

http://www.blogabond.com/blondie



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Smoke Signals

Thessaloniki, Greece


So I'm starting to notice a trend here. The Greeks like to smoke...and they also like cologne. I'm not sure if liking cologne is independent of trying to cover up the smell of smoke or not, but the two smells create quite a nauseating effect on my sensitive nose!! One thing I look forward to in coming home to California is the strict no smoking laws in public places!

Today was a rest day. After going to bed at 2am, we slept in and ate a 'brunch'. We researched our plan of action over the next couple of days, hit the gym and face timed with our kids:) We drove in to Thessaloniki for dinner at a place called Paparouna, which got great reviews by a few bloggers. The food was awesome and the place was eclectic. The only unfortunate part was that that half the restaurant was designated as smoking. Ugh! We had a great meal there regardless, but I feel like I'm turning into an ashtray! Our rental car has only 9,000km on it, but it already reeks of smoke as well. I can't escape anywhere!!



permalink written by  blondie on February 7, 2015 from Thessaloniki, Greece
from the travel blog: Greek Life
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Backtrack for the Backpack

Litochoron, Greece


After a quick breakfast at a local cafe and scoring some Greek Tylenol near an orange tree lined street, we jetted out of Athens in our Up! Volkswagen. I prayed our little dune buggy wouldn't fall to pieces on us as we whizzed by block after block of graffiti covered buildings, making our way out of this haphazard city.

Originally, we had planned to visit Delphi on the way up to Thessaloniki. But after seeing many different ruins within Athens and after hitting a traffic jam on the way out of Athens, we decided to skip it, and check out Mt. Olympus which was more along our path to Thessaloniki anyways.

As we sped north up the coastal highway, well out of the city limits, we began noticing a few things: 1) the road conditions were impeccable - new, smooth pavement, not a single pothole, 2) holy mother of toll booths every 5 minutes - we must have spent AT LEAST 40 Euros on tolls to get up to Thessaloniki 3) hardly any cars on the road the whole way - which helps to explain #1 and is most likely a result of #2, 4) every other house/structure was either unfinished or abandoned.

Ok let's talk more about #4. Literally at least 25-30% of the houses and structures we passed were either unfinished or abandoned. Many times a 3 story frame was built, but no windows and no interior put in, or the first two floors were finished and the third was just a frame. Other times, there were structures that looked like they may have been used but then abandoned and never leveled or re-purposed. As unsightly as it all was against the striking natural beauty of the coastline, it honestly became somewhat funny. I Googled this phenomenon when we got to our hotel in Thessaloniki, and there were some plausible explanations, the best of which was: Greek's don't have to pay property tax on unfinished structures. Seems like the Greek government may want to look into changing their tax laws? Hey, only a suggestion:)

We eventually made it to the town of Litochoro, which is a small town at the base of Mt. Olympus. The mountain was quite impressive along the drive up, with the clouds billowing over it like poly-fill and the snow dusting the top peaks, like too much powdered sugar on a Bundt cake. We wound up the switch-backs to an overlook about 10 km up the mountain to admire the ocean and the town below, and Mt. Olympus above. We took a few photos, and as the sun was setting, we hopped back into the car and made our way to the hotel, which was past Thessaloniki by the airport.

As we got out of the car, we realized we were missing something...our Camelbak packpack, which contained Kris' scarf, hat, camera pouch...and a few hours later we realized, Kris' passport. Oooopsies!! We left it at the overlook on the mountain, which was over an hour's drive away. We looked at each other in disbelief...and hunger. It was already dark, and hopefully no one would be coming up the mountain in the dark so we relaxed for a few minutes in our hotel room, which smelled faintly of smoke (even though the sign said it was a non-smoking room), and got something to eat. Around 10pm, we headed BACK to the mountain in hopes that the bag was still in the same spot. When we arrived back to the overlook in the pitch black, we found it still there - reflecting off of our VW's headlights as we approached. Whew, crisis averted!!

By the time we got back to the hotel (and almost ran out of gas on the way back - literally put putted up to the gas station) it was 2am.

I was ready for a good night's rest!




permalink written by  blondie on February 6, 2015 from Litochoron, Greece
from the travel blog: Greek Life
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Greecing the Skids

Athens, Greece


As soon as we emerged through the customs doors into the unsecure side of the bustling Athens airport, the heavy scent of smoke hit me as hard as Serena Williams whacks a tennis ball. Ugh, reminiscent of the Prague airport, I thought. I liked the vibe though. People were loud and outgoing. Local time was 4:30pm, and we had been traveling for 24 hours with little sleep. We swung by Sixt and picked up our tiny Up! Volkswagen rental car. The nice Sixt lady upgraded us to a bigger car. I would have hated to see the car we were supposed to have, being that I booked the cheapest rental available :O. We deliriously made our way to our hotel (Hilton, totally western, I know) and crashed, without stopping to eat dinner.

The internet connection here stinks and I can't upload photos right now, so hopefully over the next few days, I'll find a better connection.

permalink written by  blondie on February 5, 2015 from Athens, Greece
from the travel blog: Greek Life
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Greekonomics

Athens, Greece


We woke up at the crack of dawn (actually I woke up at 2am and couldn’t go back to bed), and made a beeline down to the offensively expensive breakfast (at least compared to outside of the hotel) downstairs. We were so famished, we didn’t have the wherewithal to track down a breakfast place that took more than 2 minutes to find. After breakfast, we found a few minutes to hit the gym and then found ourselves packed in an elevator with 4 guys who had just smoked and wore way too much cologne. I think that may have negated the health effects we just reaped at the gym:/.

We then took off for the Acropolis. Sailing high above the city atop a limestone hilltop, the Parthenon is visible from almost every spot in the city. We wound our way up the stairs to the Entrance. What struck me, is not only how little actually remains of the structures at the Acropolis, but the thousands of years of history that mark this particular spot of land. We could see the whole city surrounding us, which was beautiful. As we wove through the ruins, a familiar smell kept introducing itself. I'm pretty sure it was the scent of wild onions - those tiny little ones.

It was a gorgeous day, fit for a long sleeved t-shirt and jeans, however, we were surrounded by people in heavy coats and down parkas...I spent a good deal of time wandering why people were dressed so warmly...and I live in San Diego, not Moscow!

We headed back down the Acropolis and grabbed a bite to eat in Thissio, which was relaxing and had a good view of the Acropolis.

After a rest at the hotel, we took the metro to Emou street for some window shopping and stopped at an outdoor cafe for dinner in Plaka, at the base of the Acropolis. The food there wasn't much to write home about, and the wine unfortunately tasted like motor oil. Should have consulted a book or concierge for a better place to eat I guess!




permalink written by  blondie on February 5, 2015 from Athens, Greece
from the travel blog: Greek Life
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3 Hours in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands


We left San Diego in a bit of a hurry this morning. Grammy flew in last night to take care of the kiddos while we are gone for the next 10 days. This trip will be a nice break from the daily whirlwind of the little ones, but I think I underestimated how much I would already miss them in the first few hours! Tears were Welling up in the San Diego airport lounge, knowing I wouldn’t see our little buggers for another week and a half. Somehow we managed to be on the last call for boarding list, not just in San Diego, but also out of our LAX flight. Maybe my travel skills are a little rusty☺

I didn’t have much time to really plan this trip, so on our plane to Amsterdam, I cracked open the Rough Guide to Greece book. About a half hour in, I was completely overwhelmed. Sure looks like it would take months to see all the amazing places in Greece. Truth be told, we were planning on flying into Greece and then driving to Croatia, but unbeknownst to us at the time, there are simply no one way car rentals allowed coming out of Greece. Who knew? So with our flights already booked, now it’s on to plan B….uh rent the car in Greece and drop the car off in Greece. Good thing there is a lot to do in Greece☺

We landed in Amsterdam and prepared for our last leg to Athens...are we there yet??


permalink written by  blondie on February 3, 2015 from Amsterdam, Netherlands
from the travel blog: Greek Life
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To Bangkok or Bust...and we Busted

Bangkok, Thailand


The hour leading up to us missing our flight on Monday from Phuket to Bangkok should have been the worst part of this trip so far, but somehow we were able to turn it into something (kind of) fun!

We started the day figuring out the best way to ship our new 45kg Buddha statue that was delivered to us the night before. We knew that we would have to spend a little time figuring this out, so we had the woman at the Hilton business center help us out. Around 9:30am we popped down to the business center and she had gotten us several quotes from FedEx, All Freight, and Thai Airways. Turns out 'All Frieght' was the cheapest, so we went with them. I wrote up a good comment card for the woman's manager because she was so helpful. Kris added some additional packing materials to secure Buddha, and All Freight came to take him away. The entourage that came to pick him up was quite interesting; two little guys, a girl, and a 'Lady-man' who was extravagantly waving his hands around and thanking us profusely for coming to Phuket and Welcome to Phuket (uh even though we told him we were on our way out of Phuket). They put it in the truck and we bid farewell. It should take 20 days to get Buddha at home. I think it was around noon at that point, and we already had our stuff packed and in the car ready to go, so we took off.

For as great as i am with directions (for those of you that don't know, i am damn near a human compass and I am always our navigator) I am just as fully aware that for whatever reason I suck at military time. If I had blogged at the time of our honeymoon, i would have written about the time we missed our ferry from Ibiza to Mallorca because I bought us two tickets for 01:00 (1AM) but I had Kris and I trekking to the ferry with all of our luggage that same day at 1PM (13:00) only to find out we had missed our ferry by 12 hours. I then proceeded to lose our first class tickets so we had to sit in the lower ferry deck with no a/c and Kris almost passed out and puked. Way to go Elaine. Ok so here is lesson #2 (I'm sure there have been more incidents in between here, but none as significant as these two).

I was sure that our flight was at 2:40pm, so on our hour drive to the airport, we decided to stop at the beach for a few minutes and get a bite to eat.
We got to a cool beachside restaurant when Kris decided to double check our flight time, and we discovered our flight was at 1:40pm (13:40), which was in an hour at that point! We were still at least half hour's drive drom the airport at that point. So we quickly got up and ran back to the car and took off as fast as we (safely) could. We pulled up to arrivals and I took our bags to the counter and checked in while Kris tried to return the rental car. Well Avis proved to be extremely difficult to find and we ended up leaving the car in the arrivals lane and pleading with them to get it for us! When it was all said and done, the Avis folks seemed to be in no hurry despite our time constraint and I think we missed our flight probably by about 4 minutes. We rallied pretty quickly and were able to get another ticket on a different airline that left in a half hour. I got my bag back, but Kris' was already on its way to Bangkok.Our original flight cost us $40 per ticket and our new flight cost $80, but I guess it could have been worse. We arrived in Bangkok to find Kris' lonely bag on the belt. The 30 minute cab ride cost us all of $9. I sure love how cheap this place is!!
At least we were in good spirits when we arrived and we got to the hotel just in time to still get some snack on the club floor :)

Our hotel, Hyatt Erawan, was in a pretty good central location within the city. The Erawan shrine was also right outside of our hotel. Tuesday we headed out to see a few of the famous 'wats', Buddhist temples. We really didn't take the time in Phuket to check any out from the inside, but that's probably just as well since we enjoyed the beach and water more and there is none of that in Bangkok.

First was the Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew, which houses the Emerald Buddha. The Buddha statue fell sometime in the 15th century, and its plaster cover cracked to reveal that it was made of solid jade. It was subsequently stolen by Laos invaders in the 16th and the Thais invaded Laos 200 years later to retrieve it back. The palace was built later to house the Buddha, and it's considered the country's most revered Buddha image. This was the largest wat and very impressive! To get into this wat and some others, men need to wear pants and t-shirt at least, and women need to wear pants or a skirt and cover their shoulders. We got stopped by some scammers telling us that we could not go in because we had shorts on, and that at noon, it would be open for us to wear shorts. He offered us a tuk tuk (little motorcycle taxi thingy) ride to the nearby tourist destinations and he had a Pitt hat on and wanted to talk about Pitt. Luckily I remembered reading in my Lonelyplanet book about this scam and we declined. Apparently they try to take you to all the fake gem places and other garbage. I told Kris I wanted some street credit ha! So the Grand Palace was in fact open and I had a scarf for my shorts and Kris got the 'loaner' pants they have there onsite (you can see our awesome clothes in the photos). So the guy's 'noontime shorts are ok' scam was a load of crap.

The second wat we visited was Wat Pho, home of the reclining Buddha. This represents Buddha's passing into nirvana. It's the longest Buddha at 46 meters long and 15 meters high! Huge!

The third wat we went to was Wat Saket, the Golden Mount. This wat was up on a hill so that you could see around the city which was cool. By this third wat, Kris was starting to pass out from heat exhaustion, so we went back to the hotel to rest up a little.


Kris' foot was still hurting him, so we got the hotel's mini medical office to fix it back up again with some more steri-strips which seemed to be working well. Then we headed to the mall across the street from us to get some air conditioned food. Kris says he had his best Tom Yum soup there. I got radish cake which I loved when I was in Taiwan but somehow this wasn't as good. We've also been eating a lot of raw Thai coconuts from the street vendors and we've gotten better at bargaining for them. We were paying up to 40 Baht and we ended up with getting them for 20 Baht.
I had always wanted to try a Thai yoga massage, so I later in the day, I looked up some reputable places to get a massage. A Thai massage is a little different, where it is like a passive yoga stretching with massage and you wear clothes. We picked Health Land and Kris got a regular massage for 90 mins at 850 Baht or 28USD and I got a 2 hour Thai yoga massage for only 450Baht or only 15USD! Kris didn't like his massage much and I couldn't tell if my massage was energizing, or if I got hit by a Mac truck. It was a bit intense and I think I may have bruised a muscle or two. I woke up Wednesday morning a little sore.


permalink written by  blondie on June 14, 2012 from Bangkok, Thailand
from the travel blog: Asian Persuasion - June 2012
tagged Thailand and Phuket

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Ko Phi Phi Thailand

Ko Phi Phi, Thailand


I've been so blessed to be able to travel to some beautiful places in the world, but I think yesterday's trip to the islands off of Phuket just took the cake for the most beautiful place. That combined with how genuinely friendly, nice and helpful the Thais are, makes Phuket one of the best places I've traveled to ever!

I thought I could navigate us to the port so we could take a ferry to Ko Phi Phi (Islands about 42km from Phuket's East coast), but I overestimated my capabilities to figure out just exactly which port we should be heading to, and what company's ferry we were looking for. I got the departure times from the hotel and I thought I had the ferry company's name, but we ended up just stopping and and asking someone directions. Luckily the locals are super helpful and we were up early, so we had some time to spare. We ended up following a woman on a moped to Chalong port, and after talking with some folks, we ended up settling on a speed boat tour of the islands (with Anda Varee tours) which included lunch and snorkeling for 1500 baht each (about $50 USD each).

A little more than I thought we would spend for our original plan to take a ferry to the islands, but this was an all day tour, and it was sooo worth it!

We left around 9:30, and it took about an hour to get to our first stop, Maya Bay, at Ko Phi Phi Lae. They filmed part of "The Beach" here, and you can see from the photos how beautiful this beach is!


Next stop was Loh Samah Bay for snorkeling. Kris went and said the water was a little cloudy and couldn't see much. I passed to stay with our belongings. We didn't plan to exactly do this tour, so we had a few cell phones we probably shouldn't have brought.

We went through Pilleh Cove, where the water got very shallow and was a beautiful blue green turquoise color, and then we went on to Viking cave. There is a type of bird that makes these nests I think from saliva? They are thought to have medicinal properties by the Chinese, and they are expensive. Because of this, the nests are protected, and in this Viking cave where they are plentiful, they have security guards on watch, and no tourists are allowed to visit the cave.

Monkey beach was the next stop. I really liked our guide because he was so in touch with the nature. He disapproved of feeding the Monkeys on Monkey island, because they are starting to rely only on human tourists for their food. They now bite tourists and now after generations of tourists feeding them, they are starting to have a have a hard time finding their own food. He also disapproved of feeding the fish bread, because the bread gets caught in the corals and then the fish start to attack the corals to get the bread, destroying the reefs.

We took a lunch break at Ton sai Bay on Ko Phi Phi Don, which is the largest of the Phi Phi Island group.

Then we traveled about a half hour to Ko Khai Nai, which was a tiny little island. Kris grabbed a beer and I had a coconut cocktail (fresh pineapple and coconut cut up with a machete right there!) and we swam for a while in the beautiful water. The beach had some large rocks in some places, and Kris decided to climb one in particular, and was met with the force of mother nature. The rock was sharp, and Kris had a few gashes, one in particular that was gushing blood all over. Luckily our guide had some bandages and there was another person on the trip with a similar rock cut that had to be attended to. When we got back to the hotel, we got Kris fixed up a little better by the resort nurse.

Somehow we picked the perfect day to go on the island tour. It was sunny the whole time except for about 15 minutes of rain. I did get a tid bit of sunburn on my shoulders despite my SPF 30. I think I should have reapplied after all the swimming.

So today, between my slight sunburn and Kris now impaired foot, we decided to lay low. We checked out Patong beach area where we got a few souvenirs and met an Australian couple, and I had time to hit the gym. And yes, mom, another post card for you that we mailed out today :) We also met another interesting few people in the Hyatt club where we turned the hours-devours into dinner. I also finally learned how to say hello and thank-you in Thai a bit more properly.

Tonight we took delivery of the 45kg big Buddha that Kris liked at the shop in Phuket Town called Hi.So. It's too heavy, so we'll need to figure out how to ship it tomorrow before we leave for Bangkok.


permalink written by  blondie on June 10, 2012 from Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
from the travel blog: Asian Persuasion - June 2012
tagged Thailand and Phuket

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Monsoon Season in Phuket

Phuket, Thailand


We received our rental car bright and early this morning since we couldn't pick it up last night. Everyone is so friendly here so far - the culture is amazingly hospitable and sincere! Thailand, or at least Phuket, is nothing like I have ever experienced before. Kris and I are just baffled at all of the crazy things we have seen today. I think Kris said it best, it is a ghetto paradise. Unbelievably beautiful, but also almost third world looking.
Driving is definitely an interesting experience. First of all, yes, they drive on the left hand side of the road. And Kris has been challenged with not only that, but also driving a stick with his left hand. We keep making 'wind shield wiper' left had turns because the turn signal is also on the other side. Driving anywhere definitely takes a while because the roads are very narrow and we are sharing them with scooters, tuk-tuks (little taxi truck thingies), elephants, cars, buses, people, you name it. It's really not that crowded, it's just a lot of things going on, plus pouring down rain here and there. But without a car, it would be difficult to see a lot of things in the short time that we have here.

Since it is monsoon season, it has been rainy on and off all day - and like 100% humidity. This is truly a jungle!! But that didn't stop us from getting out today.
Here is a snapshot from our hotel room. It is so humid that the camera fogged up as soon as we stepped outside.

We headed to the Big Buddha, which everyone said we had to see. No matter where you go around Phuket, even out at sea, you can see the Big Buddha from high up on the hill. We got there in just enough time to see Big Buddha, make a tile donation since he is still in progress, and we even got some fresh made coconut ice cream, all before it started pouring down rain.

We drove a little farther on the east side of the Island to Phuket Town and walked around the town a bit. We grabbed lunch at the a place called Kopitiam where we got some tom yum soup, more coconut ice cream, and the best ever fresh almond milk.

To watch the sunset, we drove to the southern tip of Phuket to a vista point. We hiked to the bottom of the rocks, where we spent a few hours watching the sun set, even though it was very cloudy and ready to rain again!

There was also a Buddha shrine nearby. It's amazing how there are just random Buddhist displays everywhere with little trinkets, offerings and incense. Sometimes there are beautiful elaborate displays in front of the most run-down looking buildings.

We finished off the night eating pad thai at the Pad Thai Place for 120 Baht, which is $4 USD. The operation was totally outside, and very basic - eg the dishwasher was a person 30 feet away using a bucket and a sponge. Although the food was good, I truly wondered how in the world they weren't losing money on two pad thai dinners with two drinks all for that price... and then my mind started to wonder if we were going to have stomach or other issues in the morning :)
I guess we'll find out.



permalink written by  blondie on June 8, 2012 from Phuket, Thailand
from the travel blog: Asian Persuasion - June 2012
tagged Thailand and Phuket

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Seoul Long Korea, Hello Thailand

Seoul, South Korea


Wednesday Kris had to do some work and decided to chill out at the hotel and go for a swim. We have been very good and have both hit the fabulous gym here every day so far! We were thinking of playing racquet ball or tennis but they wanted like $60 to rent the court and equipment so we passed on that. I decided to head out and do a little sight seeing and some shopping. I didn't buy anything, but I had fun people watching. Wednesday was South Korea's memorial day, so it was PACKED everywhere.
I checked out Gyeongbok Palace which was enormous and very cool. It is very typical construction of most palaces in Korea.

I also thought this photo of the 'shoe arcade' was worthy of posting. I saw this from the street corner and decided not to walk thru the mayhem. I also checked out Dotta in Dongdaemun and Myeong-dong.

We decided to head out that night and went to Hongdae area to find a bar. It was such a cool area, the University area, where lots of young people are hanging out. We grabbed a quick pizza there too. Then we ended up going to a bar underneath Mute in Itaewon. Wow so impressed with the 'mixologist' bar tenders there. They were lighting drinks on fire and making layered drinks and all kinds of interesting things.

Thursday we slept in a little (finally!), hit the gym and relaxed until our flight that early evening. Thailand here we come!

We landed in Thailand around 11pm and found a fixed price cab to take us on the hour trek to our hotel in Karon Beach Phuket. My first impression was that Thailand was a little sketchy, but hey it was late at night and the airport wasn't exactly state of the art. The people seem to be insanely hospitable, and the Hilton Arcadia hotel is insanely awesome! We got the hotel on Hilton points and a few extra dollars. I've never been much of a resort person or so I thought, but this is really a resort, and I definitely love it! Can't wait for Thailand adventure to start.

permalink written by  blondie on June 7, 2012 from Seoul, South Korea
from the travel blog: Asian Persuasion - June 2012
tagged Thailand and Seoul

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DMZ = wid life sanctuary, hope, and unification - at least that's what I am told

Seoul, South Korea


Tuesday Kris and Ryan left for work early, and I headed on an early morning tour to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which is a 4km area surrounding the border between North and South Korea. I was a bit disappointed because I wanted to get on the Joint Security Area (JSA) tour where you can actually go to the boarder line in the conference room where the two sides meet, but I needed to reserve that tour a few days in Advance because of security concerns. Regardless, the tour I headed on was really very interesting and kind of creepy. We took a bus an hour North of Seoul, and as we got closer to the DMZ, there was very little traffic and a lot of barbed wire alongside the road. Our tour guide was really hard to understand, but very knowledgeable and very eager to explain all about the divide and how one day the two countries will reconcile again. I know this sounds awfully simplistic, but I couldn't help but think how the thought of a line drawn and a DMZ created reminded me of my two brothers sharing a room when they were younger. They would tape a line on the floor and tell each other they couldn't cross it! Anyways, yes that was much less drama I guess than this high tension area of the world.
We first went to this little tourist resort called Imjingak, which was supposed to symbolize unity. Located just South of the DMZ, I thought it was such an odd location to be housing a carnival/amusement park (which was strangely non-operational at the moment I was there, and I wondered if it ever operated). I couldn't imagine a family randomly going to this resort for the carnival located here. I think the pinwheels in this photo are to symbolize happiness, unity and hope.

We then hopped back on our bus and headed to Dorasan Station. This station was build particularly to connect South Korea with Pyeongyang, but only operated once. It is a brand new train station that has been indefinitely closed. Again, hopes are that it will not stay this way. I never thought about it, but my tour guide asserted that South Korea is essentially an island. On a map it is a peninsula, but with the border to North Korea closed, he was correct, South Korea is essentially an island. You cannot reach any other country except by air. I thought this map of the would-be train routes was very interesting. This train station was supposed to connect South Korea with other parts of Asia and Europe.

Without getting into a history lesson, South Korea has discovered a number of tunnels built by North Korea in a probable attempt to attack Seoul from under ground. They believe that there are many more tunnels that have been built or are being built that they do not yet know about. The third tunnel that was discovered was opened for tourism, and part of our tour was this Third Tunnel. There was a very steep incline to get down to the tunnel and we were able to walk a fair way into the tunnel, which was very wet and only about 4 feet high in some places. I don't think I will ever forget the smell in the tunnel. The literature said that 30,000 North Korean troops could have fit through that tunnel in 1 hour. Most of the tour was limited photo-ops due to security concerns, so I don't have any photos.

We then headed to the Unification Observatory where I could actually see into North Korea. This photo here is the North Korean flag at the DMZ, which they built higher than South Korea's flag.

After the tour, I was glad to be back in Seoul. It's crazy to think that all of this is actually going on. But the most interesting part to me was how optimistic all of the South Korans were (at least on the tour) that one day very soon that the two countries would reunite or at least open the border back up. Everything about the DMZ was positive somehow in their eyes. The DMZ is a happy wild life sanctuary, nature preserve and all of the unification activities and tourism surrounding it were all just signs of a happy ending to come soon.

I had met a guy from New York and a girl from France on my DMZ tour, so we decided to grab some late lunch after we got dropped off. It was nice to meet a few new people since Kris had been at work the whole day and wasn't able to come with me. Once Kris got back from work, we headed out to eat at a Bulgarian place in Itaewon.


permalink written by  blondie on June 6, 2012 from Seoul, South Korea
from the travel blog: Asian Persuasion - June 2012
tagged Korea and DMZ

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