The airport in Seoul is very modern and easy to navigate around. We collected the suitacases from the baggage reclaim, passed through immigration very swifly and efficiently and managed to find the train to take us to the main Seoul station. From there things got a bit more stressful. For once G's sense of direction let him down. We were under the impression that the hotel was within walking distance of the station, but though we set out cheerfully enough, the river remained elusive and we needed to find the river because the hotel was on the other side of it.
To cut a long story short, we walked and walked and walked. We have now seen a remarkable amount of Seoul, from traditional fish stalls and vegetable stalls set out on the pavement, to the new and shiny tower blocks of offices and apartments
But however far we walked, we seemed to be no nearer the hotel. And then G started to flag. He was seriously tired and we had to stop three times so he could rest. I had been trudging along, aware that my feet had started to hurt, but I had been determined not to complain. It was, therefore, somewhat alarming to realise he just couldn't go on much further. This just never normally happens because he is so much fitter than me. The difference this time was that he hadn't slept at all on the flight whereas I'd slept for 2 and a half hours. The thing is, you know I always complain about the SAD? Well, it does seem to have an unexpected upside when it comes to world air travel. If it's dark, I sleep, if it's light, I'm awake. So whereas G's body clock was telling him that it was still far too early to go to sleep on the plane, my internal lightmeter said, "Ah, the sun has set. Sleep time!" And when we arrived in Korea, G's body clock was saying, "Aaargh!You've just gone all night without any sleep!" my interal light meter says, "Oh, it's getting lighter! Must be day time so I'll stay awake." Though I am yawning now that it's about 5.15 pm here, I'm nowhere near the "I must go to sleep NOW point."
With hindsight, we probably should have got a taxi from the station. (But see above about how it was supposed to be near enough to walk.) But I suggested that a taxi was exactly what we needed now
. We crossed the rest of the way over the bridge we had spent so long looking for, which by then we had realised was the wrong bridge and much further along the river than we'd planned to be. Thankfully the first taxi we waved at swerved over to pick us up and from there it was simple. The driver simply typed the hotel's post code into his sat nav and 10 or so minutes later, we made it safely to the Marriott. G immediately went to bed, I had a shower and I'm now relaxing while drinking the complimentary bottle of water and trying not to think about the horrendously expensive snacks in the minibar which, because I am getting hungry, are calling seductively to me. While I rested I once again examined the map we had acquired from a rack outside the little convenience store where we had stopped to buy some very much needed bottles of water. The map seemed to have been caught in a downpour and was utterly soggy, which didn't help the navigation. I spread it out on the desk, smoothing out the damp wrinkles and piecing it back together, trying to work out how we had gone so badly wrong. But we didn't fully work it out until the following day.
A little later, as G said he just wanted to sleep and wasn't hungry, I investigated the hotel cafe-style restaurant where I had a delicious bowl of cream of onion soup and a variety of bread sticks. And so to bed.[Cross-posted from Dreamwidth by way of a backup http://heleninwales.dreamwidth.org/51311.html. If you want to leave a comment, please use whichever site you find most convenient. Comments so far: .]