Day 17–Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011 – Incheon / Seoul, South Korea

     Today was the first of our tours with a Cruise Critic group.  We were with Larry’s Bus for a full day tour of Seoul.  It was booked with Sally Tour Service, www.sallytour.co.kr.  Our guide was Pansy who did freelance work.  She was very good.

     The ride into Seoul took about an hour and 20 minutes.  We passed an industrial area and many apartment buildings, some with netted driving ranges.  We saw many sights in Seoul, starting with a brook or stream that was uncovered many years ago that was covered by a ruler long ago.  We toured the Gyeongbokgung palace and saw the National Folklore Museum.  We had lunch on Insadong Street and then had about 45 minutes to shop.  Lunch had small bowls of food to share on the table and then we each had our own bowl of food.  The food was served in a bowl that had been heated in an oven.  Rice was in the bottom and then cold food was added to that with a raw egg on top.  You then mixed everything together and the bowl was so hot it cooked everything.  I ate the rice and Ray loved the food.  Insadong was a great street with lots of little shops.  We were the last ones on the bus, but we were on time.  We then stopped at an amethyst shop and the Namdaemun Market.  This market was basically for the locals.

IMG_0116IMG_0079IMG_0038 IMG_0074 IMG_0076 IMG_0079 IMG_0102 IMG_0125 Seoul is a large city but the vendors were not pushy and all in all it was a good tour.  It was a nice sunny day, no jackets needed.  We made it back on the ship in time to hear the Korean Traditional Percussion Quartet.  When you stop by the house, ask to hear the video I took.  They were amazing.  For the first part, three of them had streamers attached to flexible wire and they could move their heads just so to twirl them.  They were loud but very good.

      Our evening show the Hammer Dulcimer Master, Pingxin Xu.  We saw him on another cruise, but he is wonderful.  The clocks were set back another hour tonight.

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