Korea trip 2022-3, day 11 – 7 Jan

J’s friends HK, KJ, J and I caught two trains to Seodaemun station (to the west of the CBD), where we joined a hiking group. My previous experience of Korean hiking groups is that they walk very fast, except when they stop for photos, which is less often than I do. Inwangsan is one of the mountains on which the city wall is built. It has two peaks. We climbed the first but one of the group was suffering from a dicky knee so we decided to come down one of the valleys. (We had also joined a hiking group (whether the same one) on a previous trip. Because I was in less condition then and wanted to take photos, the Koreans complained about how slow I was, so we left the group (I have no memory of where we came down) then caught a taxi to the ending point.) We had an extensive lunch banquet in a restaurant in a back-back-back alley near Gwanghwamun. I took a brief excursion round Sejongno Plaza and Gwanghwamun gate (the are in front of which is being redeveloped). We caught two trains home then had a quiet evening. KJ returned home but we have been joined by another friend from Busan.  

Foggy, with a hint of sun early afternoon, extensive snow on the ground in the mountain, 18040 steps (approx 12.6 km). Food: banquet lunch including, marinated crab, spring onion pancake and grill fish; miscellaneous for dinner. 2 trains, hike, 2 trains. 

Returning to a destination probably involves a mixture of revisiting places previously been to, and new places. In this case, I’d been here before, but this particular hike on this particular mountain on this particular day had been planned before they knew we’d be here. Even so, there are multiple trails on the same mountain. We might have gone somewhere different. It turns out that we largely retraced a previous hike.

Because Seoul metro lines criss-cross a lot, it is possible to take two different routes to/from the same destination or nearby. Our trip there was to Cheonho on line 9, changing to line 5 to Seodaemun. Coming back from Gwanghwamun (walking distance from Seodaemun) didn’t involve returning to Seodaemun but rather taking line 3 to Garak Market and changing to line 8 there. (Though if our hike had been more of a loop and our restaurant nearer to Seodaemun, we might have done a simple reverse journey home.)


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