Now that the coverage of my February 2014 holiday in Japan has come to an end, let’s step back a few months and finish telling the story of an earlier journey: my October 2013 family trip to Seoul.
This post is a continuation of that account from the last one in the series, which can be accessed here.
Myeongdong Cathedral was only a few blocks away from our hotel, which made it the obvious choice for a place to attend Mass this fine Sunday morning.
To get there, our merry band of travellers crossed Toegye-ro and walked at a leisurely pace across Seoul’s famed Myeongdong shopping district, which was blissfully deserted at this early hour.
The place gets far livelier when the sun goes down, but let’s save that sight for another day.
In the distance, the Gothic Revival tower of Seoul’s main Catholic church was visible even from a long way off, gently guiding us towards our destination.
About 15 minutes after leaving our hotel, we arrived…
…and the glorious 19th-century brick structure towering above us was a sight to behold. It wasn’t my first visit here (see my wintertime post for more), but it’s hard not to be impressed even when seeing it a second time.
On our way back to the hotel after Mass, we saw more life – and people – flowing into the maze of Myeongdong’s streets, with eager visitors taking advantage of the fine weather.
Later in the day, we headed out into the autumn sunshine for a visit to the War Memorial of Korea, a sprawling museum-cum-monument commemorating the wartime sacrifices made by the nation and its allies throughout history. Needless to say, the Korean War holds a special place amongst the many martial struggles remembered here.
I last came here during my winter visit to Seoul, but it’s the sort of place that benefits from more than one look.
The memorial has an extensive collection of exhibits on the inside, but don’t miss the military hardware displayed outside the building, off to one side of the complex (see my winter post for pictures).
This was followed by a late lunch at a cafeteria on the War Memorial grounds. I chose an old favourite, bibimbap, and shared a bowl of jajangmyeon with my sister.
Now then, I hope you’re feeling well rested after our light sightseeing schedule today, because we’ve got a lot of walking to do tomorrow.
Until then, cheerio.
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