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Theorbo player Lynda writes home from South Korea.
Thursday 25th – Friday 26th February
From London we flew to Helsinki then changed planes and flew Helsinki – Seoul, which gave two opportunities for cello seat pandemonium with our two cellos plus Monsieur (my theorbo), who travels incognito as a cello. London – Helsinki was sorted out swifly; cello seats for Helsinki – Seoul needed the combined efforts of staff in both Heathrow and Helsinki but finally we got there! The flights were uneventful and we saw the dawn break as we were somewhere over Beijing, finally arriving in Seoul just before 9am local time. I spotted this charming notice in the airport – ironic since cellos and airports are always an inconvenient mixture!
Here we are gathering on the concourse at Seoul airport:
A very exotically decorated bus – all purple tassels and floral embroidery – then took us to Daejeon:
We had around 4 hours on the road to get a taste of the South Korean landscape – expanses of tidal mud at the coast and some spectacular bridges, with distant views of many small hilly and thickly wooded islands, before we plunged into the industrial heartland of the country. So far Daejeon appears very modern and heavily industrialised: here is the view from my hotel window.
We’re 9 hours ahead of GMT here, so getting acclimatised to the time zone is the next priority. I find it hard to sleep on planes, so my way of dealing with this is just to tough it out on the first day and go to bed exhausted but at a ‘proper’ bedtime. This area of Daejeon seems mostly deserted in the evening, much like the City of London, so finding dinner was the next item on the agenda. A few of us ended up in a nearby Japanese noodle bar, which delivered a literally boiling bowl of noodle soup with something raw and squidgy on the side: I couldn’t summon the courage to risk the latter, but the noodle soup was delicious:
However, some of us were grateful to collapse into the familiar embrace of a nearby Starbucks for coffee and dessert!
Now it’s definitely time to catch up on some sleep…