Seoul Lovely Day 2: Welcome to the DMZ


The second day of the trip started bright and early, with our usual organic breakfast and the smell of it sticking to our clothes. Dad booked a tour to the DMZ through the hostel the night before - the Demilitarized Zone rests at the border between North and South Korea and is home to a number of commemorative areas, a viewdeck, and a train station that seems to be perched on the edge of the world. It was all very interesting, and good reminder of the country's current, if sometimes taken for granted tensions with its hostile half.

Ribbons containing messages for loved ones. 

Imjingak Station - the first stop
Dorsan Observatory - Here we were able to see a propaganda village with NK's flag flying high. Buildings are deserted, though. One of the many for show faces of a highly secluded country. 

The bright, hopeful spot in this tumultuous history lesson was Dorsan station, which the South Koreans hope to connect to Pyeongyang. It struck me as highly unlikely, but the nearly deserted train station is a symbol: SoKor is positioning itself as the forgiver, the initiator, the straight sibling. Watchful, correct, hopeful that one day NoKor will wake up and come to its senses. 

At some point, we were taken to one of several tunnels the North Koreans dug from their side. It was funny and tiring and I was a bit envious of the senior citizens who got their own tram-things. But the tunnel walk, (and climb) made for good exercise after a few hours of being stuck in the bus.

After the tour was over, we got down somewhere near Gyangbokgung Palace (and the Cheonggyecheon stream, which came highly recommended by the guidebooks and the slightly scruffy globetrotting Australian (was he an Australian?) who was also on the tour. But it was Nanta for us that evening.

What I liked most about Nanta was its energy and ability to make you laugh uncontrollably. And the fact that good music, kitchen antics and humor transcend all language barriers. All hail the Sexy Chef.

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