Along the River Han

Our last day, in Seoul, brought about mixed emotions. There was a tinge of sadness as well as the excitement of meeting friends and family back home. We chose to spend the evening along the Han River.

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Unlike our previous trip (on the first weekend), there weren’t scores of picnicking families or lovelorn couples. The promenade wore a deserted look at 4 pm. Few PRO cyclists were on practice, but, that was the only action around.

We sat for a while, facing the river across. Basil was keen on cycling and exploring the banks of the river. Bikes are available for rent on an hourly basis. A passport or any government identity should suffice as proof. I generally avoid any sort of tiring activity before a long flight. Besides, it had been a while since I last rode a bike. So, we opted for a double seater. Apt for me to be lazy and enjoy the view. Or that’s what I thought.

There are certain rules of riding a double seater. If you happen to be a woman of modest height, never sit behind a six footer. Or the only view you will get to see, will be to your side. Basil pedalled furiously while I tried to keep up. My idea of minimum exercise wasn’t working. I looked as other Korean couples seemed to enjoy a gentle ride in the park. I’d rather have rented my own bike. We stopped occasionally, to click snaps of graffiti with our phone cam.

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The cycling stretch is vast. The scenery changes drastically along the way. There are quiet pockets in which you can sit or sleep, admire the river or bed of flowers, and eventually ride under bridges and whirring cars above.

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After returning our bike, we sat for a while, walked around till the lights came out, and bid farewell to the city we fell in love with.

Before our trip, I hadn’t realised there would be so much to explore in Seoul. I imagined Seoul to be an urban jungle with dull grey concrete blocks and patches of blue sky. Our month long stay proved me wrong. I’ve never seen an urban city surrounded by towering mountains (easily accessible by a subway ride), pockets of dense vegetation (maybe, I’m not travelling enough), and undulating hills at every bend. And, yes, this will be my last post on Seoul. It’s taken me longer than usual to wrap this account and thanks to everyone who’s  followed our journey!

15 responses to “Along the River Han

  1. Ah the Han River, go to setting of so many romantic Korean dramas. I never knew they had such beautiful paintings on the bridge’s columns. Also, I feel the same way about being amazed whenever I am in a city expecting only buildings but see sweeping mountains surrounding them.

    • Really? I’ve seen many Korean movies, but never knew Han was a popular choice. I’m not surprised. It’s perfect in the evening for a stroll or to do nothing. And now I’m getting nostalgic. Thanks so much for stopping by, Lan. 🙂

    • Yup! I hate long flights. The day before is always spent in quiet introspection. If Basil allows me to do so. Mostly, it’s something that helps us re-collect our whole trip. I love the graffiti too. We had to stop and watch out for speeding cyclists to get these shots. 🙂

  2. I love chilling out along the Han, too, when I get to visit Seoul. It is so beautiful out there in the evenings. The runners and I have great one second conversations when they pass by. xo

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