This weekend was the first weekend I’ve spent solo in god knows how long. It just so happens it also coincided with Valentines Day, so with the boyfriend off skiing I decided I deserved a memorable weekend of me-time. I am currently typing this in one of my favorite coffee shops on a spring-like Sunday afternoon, tea and cake to the left of me, feeling pretty blissful.
I started off my Saturday early as my motivation levels tend to ebb after midday.
I decided to catch the bus to City Hall to track down an art museum that I’d glimpsed there once two years ago. Back then it had a huge painted facade of a naked Mona Lisa which made me think at the time that it might be a cool place to go!
I walked past Gyeongbokgung palace, seeing the hoardes of tourists lined up despite the abismal grey skies. After another ten minutes of walking I found what I was looking for: The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA). The whole area was posted with neon pink signs promoting the Illusion and Fantasy exhibit so that definitely helped in finding it!
The entrance floor of the museum was a bit confusing but luckily information touch screens were right inside so I could get my bearings. Access to all exhibitions only costs 4,000 won which I thought was a darn good deal!
The MMCA is definitely one of the best art museums I have ever been to. It was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday which meant I could spend as much time staring at one artwork as I wanted without feeling like I should move along. I saw so many incredible works artworks and installations. The Lee Bul exhibit was like walking onto the set of a Sci-Fi film. Imagine walking a narrow path surrounded by jagged, broken mirrors, leading to a fog-filled room where a giant sculpture, of what looks like a crashed alien-spaceship, hangs above you.
At one point while wandering around I found a half-open unmarked door. Walking through I found a dark theater with a small screen placed on the stage. A handful of people were dotted around the seats, mostly taking naps or canoodling (it was Valentines Day after all). I took a seat near the back and spent the next twenty minutes watching random geometric images on the screen accompanied by grandiose classical music. The hynotic trippiness of it made me feel like Alice in Wonderland. I love this museum!
After leaving the museum I walked to Anguk; a really special place close by to the Bukcheon folk village. The streets are lined with lots of little stores and restaurants in traditional-style architecture. My favourite store everrr – ‘Object’ – can be found there. This place is a quirky jewelry and knick-knack-lovers paradise. It houses lots of collections from a diverse range of jewelry designers who work with glass/wool/metal/plastic etc…. I saw about 10 things I wanted to buy but alas, I am saving for my Tokyo trip in March!
Feeling peckish I decided to hop on the subway to Sinchon to go get dinner at ‘Loving Hut’-a restaurant where all the typical Korean dishes are 100% vegan. I got an amazing feast of spicy protein stew and rice with a side of mandu – yum! I spent a while there enjoying the relaxing vibe of the place and reading all the inspirational quotes on the wall about health and positive thinking: “You’re the best doctor for yourself if you think positively”. So true!
Read my blog post this awesome vegan restaurant!
I took the opportunity while in Sinchon to do a bit of shopping. I love shopping here as there is so much space for pedestrians because cars are banned from driving down the main shopping streets. This means it is possible to shop and not feel overwhelmed after 10 minutes (I’m looking at YOU, Gangnam!).
Feeling exhausted from a full day of walking I decided to head home and rest my feet up for a Saturday night indoors – another thing I haven’t done in a long time!
For anyone who hasn’t taken themselves on a date recently – DO IT! It’s the best 🙂