Walking the city: rainy day Seoul stroll

Sunday was rainy so I went for a stroll wearing a classy yellow $2 plastic cape
aiming for a human-scale hill and lo, I found it.
Map of the Gungdongsan Trail was disarmingly simple so off I set to do the smaller loop.

A simple map of Gungdongsan Trail, Seoul

How hard could this be? Enticingly simple map of Gungdongsan Trail, Seoul

Pretty, easy, rough and green, this little hill made me feel at home.
It could have been Mount Victoria, Wellington.

Hilly walkway through forest

No, it’s not Mt Vic. It’s a little hill in Yeonhui, Seoul

Surprise, an outdoor gym. I flick a puddle off the seat and try
a lift-your-own-body-with-your-very-own-arms machine.

A cosy outdoor gym with the lift-your-own-weight machine in front.

A cosy outdoor gym with the lift-your-own-weight machine in front.

I don’t last long because the handles are studded with metal prickles—
my hands have instant henna pattern done in Braille.

Hands indented with pattern from gym equipment handle

Not henna hands for a bride but my painfully indented palm after using a machine for mere seconds. Leather gloves next time.

She’ll be coming round the mountain getting wetter all the while
and she meets a pagoda shelter with fine feng shui
so she does t’ai chi. (She means me.)

Pagoda on Gungdongsan Trail, with mirrors

Pagoda on Gungdongsan Trail, with mirrors

By now I knew that the “map” of the trail was an abstract cartoon, like most.
I was mildly lost and emerged in an unknown part of the city
that turned out to be
very close to home.

This week is The Guardian Walking the City Week. If you’re taking public transport in Seoul then a lot of walking is involved, inside and out of subway stations. So it suits me. I’m at the Seoul Art Space Yeonhui #GuardianWalking

Guardian articles on Walking the City


11 thoughts on “Walking the city: rainy day Seoul stroll

  1. Sue Matthew says:

    How delicious to join you on your travels Rachel. I laughed to read your description of the map being an abstract cartoon. Before moving from New Plymouth to Wellington I made assumptions about Brooklyn where I was to live, based on New Plymouth layout of gentle hills and flat stretches. A hop skip and a jump to the shops from Washington Road through the school grounds I thought.. But no, a clamber, a steep windy and winding path way and a steady climb up back home. ..

    1. Sue, so lovely to know you are reading this! Oh, yes, both have “New” in the name so how different could they be? A taxi taking me to the NZ Embassy Residence the other day took me to the Netherlands one. Zealand, anyone? No harm done. A tangled brain gives you a tangled reply, sorry, but hello!

  2. Loved reading this. Thanks for Guardian link. I hope you’ve submitted something of what you’ve written about your walks.

    1. Happy to share! But this is just for me, my friends, and innocent bystanders.

  3. Jonno says:

    What could be nicer than a stroll in the rain, even if you only have an abstract map to guide you.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    How brave you are being. It encourages me to be less concerned about getting lost.

  5. kersten says:

    The woodland path reminds me of my own walks. The tree looks like some sort of chestnut with a five- fingered leaf.

    1. Where are your walks?

  6. kersten says:

    Only walks in Sussex by the sea in southern England , I have never been a great traveler and it is said travel broadens the mind so I console myself with the thought that travel creates discontent. I have four children , the oldest is now over fifty and we spent many happy hours in the local woods when they were small.

    1. That’s such a beautiful gift, walking in the woods with your children. That’s adventure and also travelling.

  7. kersten says:

    You are right and I suppose as we get older we tend to travel in the mind and not so much in the body. I find now the sight of a wave as it breaks on the pebbles sends me spinning off in my thoughts.