korea trip day 04

kor0020pancake

We’ve woken up too late every day for breakfast, just as well because it means we can have more lunch. Today’s destination was gwangjang market’s meokjagolmok (food alley). Plenty of choices — pancakes, mixed rice bibimbap, traditional blood sausage, tteobokki, noodles, soups, even one stall that had just one big tureen bubbling with a meat soup. We didn’t see the sign at first, then we spotted it “healthy dog soup.”

Like many people who headed for this meokjagolmok, it was for the pancakes made with ground soy bean, flour and fried with a little onion. Really good, would have loved another one except we were saving our appetite for other food. We walked around some more and decided on a stall that offered traditional meat dishes. Most of the stalls were small, with benches in front seating at most half a dozen people. Some stallholders were very enthusiastic whilst others were too busy chatting on their mobiles. This one had a nice friendly lady. We had blood sausage (they call it sundae), a plate of spicy mixed pig’s skin and chicken feet, and a stew that was definitely offal (we think stomach or lung). All were nice, although admittedly not to everyone’s taste.

When we came out of the market it was raining somewhat, but we decided to walk to our next stop because we were full from lunch, and it looked complicated by subway. Only 1.6km (1 mile) but 2-3 changes involved. Iniitially it was nice but the rain started getting very very heavy, we had to take refuge in a coffee shop, and then the lobby of a hyundai car showroom.

kor0021mural

Despite the rain, it was worth the effort to go to the mural village at ihwa-dong. The village was located on the hillside and many houses, walls and signs were painted by local artists. Cute bunny rabbits, flowers, children, one wall was painted black with the title before i die but most were of happy themes.

kor0022mural

Part of the fun was traipsing around the village’s narrow alleys and stairs trying to spot the murals. With the rain we probably walked through half the village, and we had to remember to look left, right, up, down and even behind us. This flower painting was on the steps and if we hadn’t looked behind us when we walked down we would have missed it.

The rain eased a little after we finished, so we walked to dongdaemun. Early dinner of soy sauce crab and beef tartare. The so-called market there was several buildings full of shops for clothes, accessories, shoes. We bought a sweatshirt each, some bags and accessories for gift. By then it was 8.30pm but we had one final stop at lotte mart near seoul station. Reminded us of a chaotic superstore. We bought a case of noodles and some ready meals of ginseng chicken and soup. Tempted by the fruit. Too many shopping bags, we took a taxi back to the hotel.