Sunday, 30 March 2014


Halifax has not gotten the memo that it's supposed to be spring. Earlier this week, we had a crazy blizzard, which resulted in two snow days in a row. And last night, freezing rain was pouring from the skies, which resulted in trees and plants freezing over. So while in some place of the world, you are planting spring flowers or noticing trees starting to blossom, ours plants are frozen solid. Which is actually a really beautiful sight. And as much as I enjoyed taking these photos, I'm really hoping that we get some sun and warm weather soon... All I want is to be able to wear sandals again!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Findlay Fridays, with Phoenix!

I'm seriously so in love with these two little guys. They are getting along even better than they were last week! It's adorable. They sleep together, play together, and eat together. Findlay loves to give her baths, and she loves to attempt to catch his tail. I can't believe I was ever worried about them getting along. We had two snow days this week, so I got to spend a lot of time with them, so naturally, I took A LOT of photos!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Visiting the DMZ and JSA

Last March, Aaron and I had the opportunity to visit the Demilitarized Zone and Joint Security Area between North and South Korea. It was a really interesting time to go, as attitudes between North Korea and South Korea and the US had been very tense. If you are planning on visiting the DMZ and JSA, you will need to book a tour. We booked our tour with Sally Tour. It was a full day tour, and cost about $120 per person, with lunch included (you can never go wrong with beef bulgogi!) The tour was conducted in English, but we had the added surprise of having a North Korean defector accompany part of our tour to tell us her story and answer questions for us. Our tour guide was able to translate for us, and it was absolutely incredible to hear about North Korea and escaping first hand.

Our first stop was Imjingak Park, which you can access without a tour. This is what used to be meeting place between families that are separated in North and South Korea. The photo below of the ribbons on the barbed wire fence was taken there. The ribbons are prayer ribbons in hope of a reunified Korea.

Other stops included Dorasan Train Station, Dorasan Observatory, the 3rd infiltration tunnel, and the JSA. I learned so much at each of these stops. The photo below is from the Dorasan Observatory. From here, we could look out to North Korea and see one of the propaganda villages. We could also hear North Korean artillery practice from here. We were allowed to use the binoculars to get a closer look, but we were only allowed to take photos from behind a line about 12 feet away from the binoculars.

The 3rd infiltration tunnel, or The Third Tunnel of Aggression, is one of four known tunnels that have been discovered under the border between North and South Korea. It was made for a surprise attack on Seoul by the North, and was only discovered because of information from a Northern defector. It is believed that there are up to twenty more tunnels along the border made by the North. The US and South Korea often drill in the DMZ searching for more tunnels. Visitors can now go down into the Third tunnel, provided they wear helmets. Aaron and I went down, but I got freaked out about being underground and in small spaces after a little bit, so I turned around early. Aaron went all the way to the farthest point visitors are allowed to go to.

The photo below is from the Joint Security Area. The large building in the back belongs to North Korea. The blue buildings are used by both North and South Korea. The soldiers in the foreground of the photo are ROK soldiers, and they are looking at a DPRK soldier, that you can just see from behind the column on the left. He had binoculars and kept peeking out at us.
While at the JSA, we also saw the Bridge of No Return. This bridge crosses the line between North and South Korea. This is where prisoner exchanges are done.

If you are ever in Korea, I highly recommend taking a tour of the DMZ and JSA. You will learn so much, and while a lot of it is extremely sad, it is a very eye opening experience.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Hongdae graffiti

One of the reasons why Hongdae is my favourite neighbourhood in Seoul is because there is so much incredible art and graffiti everywhere. It really fits the whole vibe of this university area. I love it.

Leeum Samsung Museum

The Leeum Samsung Museum in Seoul is my favourite museum in Korea. The permanent exhibit walks you through a history of Korean Art, and the modern art exhibits artwork by both Korean and international artists. The temporary exhibits are always good, too! The only photos I took inside the museum were of the awesome staircase, but there are lots of really amazing sculptures outside, too! If you are ever in Seoul, make sure you check it out.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Spring in Seoul

I LOVE Seoul. It is one of my favourite cities in the world. I miss being able to catch a cheap 55 minute flight to this city on the weekends.

Seoul is such an incredible place to explore, to eat, and to shop. We were so lucky to get to spend a long weekend there this time last year. It was this trip that I bought my Holga 120N, which is one of my favourite cameras (see photos here and here). We made some of the usual stops: brunch at La Bocca and lattes at Neal's Yard, both in Itaewon (and pictured above!) La Bocca, an Italian restaurant in South Korea, has the best brunch I've ever had (which I think is kind of hilarious). We also stopped by the Leeum Samsung Museum, wandered around our favourite neighbourhood, Hongdae, for hours, enjoyed the best makgeolli at Wolhyang. I'm hoping to write a more comprehensive Seoul guide soon!

Friday, 21 March 2014

Findlay Fridays (featuring Phoenix)

My cousin's little kitty, Phoenix, is staying with us while he is in Newfoundland! She's such a sweetheart: very tiny, very cuddly, and wants all of your attention. Phoenix was adopted from the same shelter as Findlay was, the Nova Scotia SPCA Provincial Animal Shelter. She was extremely excited to play with Findlay, but he was NOT happy that there was another cat in the house for about two days. It was made worse by the fact that the roof of our building is being fixed, which is really loud, and has been scaring both of the cats. I think they were both very stressed out about all the noise, which made it harder for them to be friends for awhile. But, they're friends now, which is super adorable.