Saturday, September 10, 2016

Making Our Way Back to Seoul.


How 10 days have flown by. I can't believe that today is our last full day in Korea and we spent it driving back to Seoul from Wando.   It ended up being about a 6 hour drive and we didn't stop along the way except at Incheon Airport to drop off the rental car.


Before we began our roadtrip, we stopped at Tous Les Jours for breakfast.  I went for a sandwich, something I thought would tie me over until we got to the airport.  Finally, something that wasn't smothered in sweet mayo.  In hindsight, I should've gotten a second box for the road.

 By now, we were very familiar with driving on the toll highways and to listening to Ms. Kimchi's alerts that lead foot George was speeding.   By now the scenery was also familiar.  I didn't take a single photo.  Instead, we simply chatted to pass the time.  I learned more about George - I agree with some of his opinions and thoughts and not others.  But I always learn something from him as well.  The more time I spend with him, the more I appreciate him as a friend..

Shortly after 2:30p, we crossed the Incheon Bridge and started to see the signs pointing us the way to the airport.  I started to keep my eyes out for signs for rental car return.   Even when the signs for Departure and Arrival terminals showed up, there was still no rental car return sign.  So, we followed our instincts and headed towards the Departure terminals.  We caught sight of a security officer and we decided to ask him for directions.  We showed up the car rental paperwork and he told us to go through the entry gates and head to Lot H.  So we did.  We drove by several lots before we got to H and George spotted parked cars that said were definitely rental cars.  So we entered the lot and found a space to park.

When we rented the car, I had asked if we could return at the airport and I got the okay.  We had said that we would arrive around 2p but I really didn't know the exact time.  The guy asked me to call him to give him an estimated time of arrival but I forgot.  So, while George was making sure the car was in good condition - no new dings or dents and that all our belongings were with us, I got on my cellphone and called the rental agency to tell them we had arrived at the airport.  Of course, the guy was expecting an earlier arrival.  I apologized for not having called him sooner.  In any case, the good news was that we were parked in the correct lot.  We followed his instructions on where to leave the key.  We decided to also leave Ms. Kimchi out of view so we took her off the dashboard and laid her on the front passenger seat map, a little out of view.  She has been indispensable on this trip. I would definitely recommend renting a US edition GPS if you're planning a road trip in Korea.

From the parking lot, we entered the airport.   Neither one of us was flying out of the country today - our final destination is actually an airport hotel  but we figured we could at least get a bite here as we had no idea if the hotel would be located near any restaurants.

When we entered the terminal, the first thing I saw was the Krispy Kreme shop.  Don't judge.  I just wanted a simple glazed donut.  George did not complain and happily stood in line to get each of us a donut.  It tasted just like a US donut not a Korean interpretation of a US donut.  Happy me!


After I ate my donut, which took about 4 bites, we made a quick stop at the Information Desk to find out where we could grab a bite.  We were told to head down to the concourse level and so we did.  There, in addition to a Starbucks which George would visit after we ate, were several restaurants which I think were pretty much all operated by the same outfit even though the food offerings were different at each one.  My final choice on this trip was a Thai/Vietnamese place.  I wanted something other than Korean food.  George had no objection so in we went.  I ordered up a simple bowl of beef Pho....Korean version of pho.  It wasn't bad.  I was just glad it was not spicy though in typical Korean style, it was accompanied by banchan.  How could I not finish my last offering of kimchi?


After lunch and Starbucks, we decided it was time to go to the hotel.  We decided to take a taxi.  Everyone speaks English at the airport so Google Translate was not needed.  George just need to show the dispatcher the information needed to get us to the hotel.


By definition, airport hotels are located near the airport so it was a very short ride to the Hotel Sevilla, located in the heart of a commercial area.  I needn't have worried about finding a place to eat....there were plenty all around us.  George has made all the hotel bookings for this trip and he's done a fine job - they've all been clean and comfortable.....even the Piano Motel in Wando :-)


We settled into our room and then headed out for a walk.  I thought maybe George would want to eat as he didn't have much at lunch but he wasn't interested in food.  Of course, I didn't need to eat anything else either but when I saw the bingsu sign, I couldn't say no.  We entered Caffè Bene, a South Korean coffeehouse chain and I ordered a green tea bingsu.  This massive thing of green tea flavored iced topped with red beans, sugared nuts and whipped cream was absolutely delicious.  It was probably a gazillion calories but I didn't care. It would be my last taste of shaved ice in Korea and I was going to savor every last bit!


Tonight, I have to shower and repack my suitcase as I leave in the morning for my flight to Xi'an, China.

Korea, it's been fun.....especially all your ferry rides!  Until next time,

Goodnight from Seoul!