Secret Garden Tour

I posted Saturday morning a huge rant about everything that had gone wrong over the last few days. I then spent almost the entire day outside and my mood improved tremendously! 

I was able to get some sunscreen from that cosmetics shop. And while it is labeled as “every day” wear, it was a little expensive. With the sale it was $18 for two tiny bottles, but it has a cute tip on it so only a little comes out at once.

I treated myself to a delicious meal at the local Outback Steakhouse, and then journeyed on to Seoul. The subway was PACKED but that was ok. The worst train, I only had to go one stop. And I didn’t get lost like last weekend! HAHA

Unfortunately, there weren’t very many crazy instances to report. There was one girl who was wearing bunny slippers. You know like shower shoe type things? But they were white with the face of a bunny on them? I did get a few crude glances since I was wearing shorts. Which means that my fat legs were out, and a tattoo was showing. Not only was it a tattoo, but it’s a Chinese character so I think that just added a little bit of disgust to some people. But I know it says exactly what I wanted it to say so they can be upset if they want to.

Once in Seoul, it was an easy 10ish minute walk from the subway to Changdeokgung Palace. I got there at 2pm and the tour I wanted started at 2:30. Now normally it’s first come first serve for the tours, each one only taking 100 people. So you get your ticket and stand in line waiting for the gates to open. While I was standing in line waiting to buy my tickets, I was behind this group of girls. A few were under 18 (you get a discount so they were talking about it) and all of them were speaking Dutch I think? They were super annoying but in the same tour as me.

Yesterday was special. Usually, like I said it’s only 100 people per tour. For some reason though, they relaxed the rules and you were allowed to break away from the group. Normally you’re not allowed to do that, and you MUST stay with the guide at all times. Thankfully the Dutch girls went on their own way as soon as they were inside the secret garden. Although I’m not sure they understood that it was an option….they just kind of left.

I had been on the Korean tour with a friend a few years ago, so I was semi-prepared for the trek. I knew that there was one big hill to climb but I totally forgot about the stairs at the end. OMG the stairs….cos after an hour and a half of walking what you really want to do is climb up 5 flights of small rocks mudded into a hill as stairs…. Last time it wasn’t an option, this time it was. But I still did it!! I am so glad I didn’t go to pilates Friday night haha.

Since I had already been on the tour, I already have loads of pictures of the walk. When the guide is Korean there isn’t really much use in me listening to her speaking, so I just took lots and lots and lots of pictures. This time, I was in it for the knowledge and it was a fascinating tour. The guide was an older woman but adorable and very engaging. I did happen to capture a handful of pictures, but only 8 made the cut to stay in my personal collection. Next time I think I’ll have to not wear my sunglasses: they are polarized and I couldn’t really see through what I was taking. And they made me walk a little funny, throwing my depth perception off a little bit.

We had the choice to explore the rest of the palace after the tour, and you had to buy a ticket either way, but just like last time I left immediately after. I was too hot and sweaty to deal with the rest of the palace. I should have waited until I had my sun umbrella to go! I didn’t get burnt though! And my sunscreen application was limited it standing in the shade at the first stop and smushing a little cream into my cheeks haha.

After the tour, it was just a quick (hour) ride home with pizza and a Starbucks passion lemonade for dinner. SO refreshing!

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