I was born in Germany and we lived there for four and a half years before coming to the US. (My Dad was an architect and had been transferred over there for a while.) One of my early memories was flying across the Atlantic on the 747. We did this more than once, and each time, my Dad would take me up to the cockpit and I’d get to sit on the captain’s lap and “steer” the plane. I did a pretty good job if I do say so! I will never forget the view, or how amazed I was at all the buttons and switches and knobs.
They’re old planes now, and slowly they’re being retired. Delta’s starting to take them offline - they’re even making a 747 museum! - so I thought it would be fun to take one last trip before they disappear.
One of my brother’s friends is a first officer on Delta’s 747 routes to Asia, and he’s always said I should tag along on one of his flights. When the opportunity came up at the end of March, I decided to go!
Brucie was scheduled to fly to Seoul, spend the entire next day there, and then fly back the following morning. Perfect! No visa required, and only two nights of hotel expenses. John was even able to finagle a few days off to come too. Let’s go!
We left from Detroit. Ahhh, there it is!! Always an impressive sight! Sadly the iconic spiral staircase (leading to its equally iconic second-floor bar & lounge) has been replaced by those business class sleeper “pods”, totally ruining the ambience. Somehow the whole thing felt smaller on the inside. Everything feels bigger when you’re a kid, right?
But no matter! We were able to get three seats to ourselves and take turns stretching out for naps. Now, call me crazy, but I love airplane food, and perusing the flight menu was a highlight. My little tiny partitioned meal of chicken & polenta and a salad and a roll and dessert was delicious.
We arrived in Seoul at night. In the morning, this was the view from the hotel window: Ansan Mountain.
Korea is 13 hours ahead of us, so I should have been going to sleep when it was time for breakfast. I decided to just not keep track of time or look at clocks.
What to do with one single day in Seoul? I was hoping to take the cable car up the mountain and visit the big temple, but both were closed on the day we were there. So we went for a couple walks.
Somewhere in the maze of markets we stumbled upon THE best lunch! Cheap, yummy, and Anthony Bourdain-worthy! I think there were only three things on the menu and all you could do was point at what you saw someone else eating and hope it came your way. If I ever go back to Seoul, I don’t know how I’ll find this place again.
After a nap, we hiked partway up Ansan Mountain, just far enough to see some springtime.
I liked this whirlwind trip. There’s something about doing something spur-of-the-moment just because you can. Who knows when and how life will change, and when you have the opportunity to go on an adventure, I say, go for it. Our time on earth is short.
(and thank you sooo much, Brucie & John!)