June 8th

YesterdayI got up at 5 am and started jogging again. I felt like it was super hard to keep my speed and I was very slow in general. I have to try getting faster again.

After taking a shower, having breakfast and relaxing a little, me and the French girl, Juliette, took the subway to Gangnam and around. We got off the train at Samseong station and started what I had planned as a route. First we walked through the COEX building and around the world trade towers of Seoul until SM COEX Atrium opened. Then we entered this building and I felt like I was in heaven. There were two shops for tons of goods with Idols on it. Not only common merchandise like dolls, bags, shirts, posters and thing like that but also everyday goods and snacks like chocolate and popcorn, which have been put into a special Idol box. It was amazing walking through these shops while listening to the Kpop music inside.

They also sold albums, Vinyl and Cassettes! I was really surprised.

When we got to the top floor, there were a bunch of girls queuing for SM Theatre. I just found out my ultimate Idol, Jonghyun, was having a concert up there. That evening as well as the next two days. I was freaking out. I really wanted to go to the concert, but I tried focusing on all the other things you could do there. You could take a picture in a box with your favorite idol or compare you hand with one selected idol. It was really fun to be there. Soon, we left and I started whining about how much I wanted to go to that concert. It kept being in my mind, even while we kept walking and visiting all the other things.

We continued to the Bogeunsa Temple, which had some beautiful buildings and a huge Buddha statue. I enjoyed walking around there and visiting a Korean version of a Buddhist temple.

Then we continued towards the K-Star Road and all the entertainment buildings. It was so hard to find them and we had to search a lot (especially SM Entertainment was nowhere to be found because the one that was marked on all maps was under construction and the other one wasn’t in any map at all) after spending about one hour there searching buildings, we finally walked on the K-Start Road, taking a picture of every Kpop doll we’ve seen. They are just so damn cute! I loved all of them.

Then we walked through the fashion street, doing some window shopping at expensive boutiques and shops from the most famous and expensive brands, until we got to Dosan Park. There was not much to see in this park, so we just rested a little and then walked on. This time aiming for Kukkiwon, the home of Taekwondo. On our way we bought a huge Yoghurt smoothie and cookies and cream frappucchino which were both amazing!

After about 30 minutes of walking, we arrived at the training center and got to watch some people training there. It was simply amazing! Breathtaking! They were so talented and training so hard and everything looked just so perfect!
But we knew we had to continue, so we only watched for half an hour and then walked on to the museum next to it. It was a small one which showed mostly the medals and prices Korea won at tournaments and it showed famous Taekwondo persons and their awards. It was cute and we enjoyed having a look at the amazing winning history of Korea.

From here, we continued to the Samsung d’light shop. Here we were able to experience virtual reality, try the latest products (like a fridge with an included smartphone screen, so you could watch videos, check your E-Mails and stuff like that), enjoy a visitors program, in which they gave us bracelets which were personalized and then let us do tasks, so they could tell things about our personality and show us our future. It was fun to do all of that. At the top floor, they showed a smart home of the future, having videos of an imaginary family put in a made up home all around the top floor. You could watch a video of them cooking while standing in a kitchen that looked just a the one in video and so on with every room.
We spend a lot of time in there but it was real amazing! Especially the virtual reality shows were breathtaking. The first one was only with the Occulus, so we could try a game in which you have to turn a lot to show how it works. The second one was a video we could watch with the VR Glasses while sitting in a seat that was moving in a matching way to what we were seeing through the glasses. The third one was similar to he second one. But instead of showing a boat race, we were sitting in a roller-coaster. It felt almost real! I feel like this will be the future of Cinema or even home TV and games!

After this amazing experience, we got into the Gangnam underground shopping center and did some more window shopping, until it was time to walk to the Banpo bridge. We arrived here at 8 pm and could watch the fountain show, which was beautiful!

We watched all shows until 9 pm and then started walking back to the next subway station to take the subway back to our hostel.


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