Your cheeks get rosy, as if you have applied a fresh coat of blush to them, and your nose turns bright red and gets runny if you’re outside for too long. You wrap your scarf around your neck again and ensure your earmuffs are on firmly – this is how an Australian copes with -14 degree weather whilst in Seoul, South Korea in January.
It was not a temperature I’d ever experienced before but I was embracing it – the new and different. I knew that it was going to be cold on this trip – though I didn’t predict one of the coldest winters in years – but I couldn’t remain holed up in the hotel for the entirety of the trip so I got out of the hotel and decided to climb N Seoul Tower, after a warm taxi ride to the cable car of course!
Visitors were a little oblivious to the pagoda standing directly in front of you as you climbed the stairs from the Namsen cable car. People marvelled at the view before disappearing inside to defrost and perhaps purchase a love lock to place along the railings overlooking the city. Having not had the chance to visit Gyeongbokgung Palace yet, the colours and shape of the pagoda excited me and captured my attention. Beautiful, bright, and traditional – it was aesthetically pleasing to my eye; but with the great tower behind it you weren’t transported to yesteryear instead having to acknowledge that you were in the present day and not from a time when these pagodas would have been scattered throughout the city.