Springtime in the Secret Garden
Saturday morning the Army casually dropped the news that Seoul was no longer off-limits! It’s been on the USFK restricted list since before Thanksgiving so when we saw the official announcement that as of Sunday 6am the entire peninsula was open to us we quickly booked a hotel room at the Army lodge up in Yongsan for later that evening. Our plan was to head up after naps, have dinner at our hotel and then be ready to head out into the city first thing in the morning.
From our Seoul To-Do List we decided to check off the Changdeokgung Palace and its secret garden. We had previously visited the Gyeongbokgung Palace on our first family weekend in Seoul what now seems like ages ago. It is probably the more recognizable of the palaces in Seoul and we throughly enjoyed seeing the changing of the guard there and exploring that massive royal complex. But after this weekend T.J. and I both agree that Changdeokgung is our favorite. It’s less overwhelming in size, more peaceful, it meanders and winds around, forcing you to duck through open doorways and peek around corners to find a new surprise each time like a surprising green space with a 700 year old juniper tree. Though it's maze-like, there are signs designating a tour-route you can follow if your strong-willed toddlers are game.We purchased these online ahead of time and were able to show our mobile tickets for entry, which made it much simpler and guaranteed we didn't miss out on the garden. Typically, pre-covid, you have to enter the huwon with a guide. Since covid, they’ve cut back the numbers allowed even more and for now it’s simply self guided, which means we probably missed a lot of its unknown charms. However, with two little wild ones in tow it probably worked out for the best to be able to move at their pace. But even with a sweaty hangry baby and a toddler we were able to appreciate this little unexpected paradise.
Great update. We loved Hanok village so much. It really looks different in bloom. Glad you got back there. Miss you a lot. Can’t wait to see you. Xoxoxo. DadReplyDelete
Such beauty and amazing history. A blessing for you to experience it all and having the photos and the memories to last for years to come. The boys are growing up so fast! I enjoyed your post and photos today, Shannon!! xoReplyDelete
I swiped some pics for my blog post letter M : ) I'm so glad you're getting out again, and really seeing the country you call home. I'm sad we didn't get to make a return visit, but so excited you'll be back stateside soon xoReplyDelete