This is part of a series of posts under the category Heart and Seoul 2014.
We purposely chose to visit Seoul on the first week of April to chase the cherry blossoms. Thus, on our very first night in Seoul, despite having to endure lack of sleep, we didn’t waste time and headed to the Yeouido Cherry Blossoms Festival to witness the lighted cherry blossoms and catch some street performances too.
We thought that the Yeouido Spring Flower Festival (others call it the Cherry Blossoms Festival) is at the Yeouido Park. Thus, we alighted at the Yeouido subway station which was apparently a very long walk away from the exact site of the festival. The festival happens to be done in Yeouiseo-ro (Yunjung-no) which is close to the National Assembly.
So it was past 8pm and we were at the wrong place in Yeouido. We could have easily given up because there was an abundance of cherry blossoms in and around Seoul anyways. Yet, we chose to continue because after all, we went to Seoul to chase the cherry blossoms, right? Aja!
So, we exited at the Yeouido station. Yeouido Park is just right outside and is a huge recreational area. It’s frequented by people to ride bicycles and do roller-skating. At the time we went there, there were several groups playing basketball at night. How I wish we have parks like that in the Philippines so that our youth won’t be playing basketball on the streets…
Oh, the skyscrapers in Yeouido. They might not be what Seoulites would consider astig but for foreigners like us who only see tall buildings in the metro, they really look beautiful and grand. Very telling of how advanced Seoul is no matter which part of the city you go to.
As we were walking, we saw this fish on the way to the National Assembly. One of the members of our group exclaimed that we’re near because he saw the same fish on our common friend’s Facebook page. We got excited thinking that the cherry blossoms were near. But wait, it has been minutes and minutes of walking yet there’s no sighting of cherry blossoms! It turned out that the cherry blossoms were still some 15-20 minutes away (by walking).
Finally, we reached the starting point of the Cherry Blossoms Festival. We started seeing tulips and cherry blossoms and several other flowers. They were pretty but they looked different at night. They must have looked really lovely and vibrant during the day.
I was not too satisfied with what I saw at the festival because the cherry blossoms there didn’t wow me. I saw better-looking cherry blossoms on our way from the airport to Seoul. What made the place interesting for me though were the people and the street festivities. I loved how couples, friends, and families flock to the area to chill, walk slowly, and enjoy the environment at night.
My husband and I left Yeouido earlier than the group. We wanted to go back to the guesthouse immediately to check up on our sleeping baby. Although we didn’t see beautiful cherry blossoms on our first day, we were positive that we’ll be seeing more on the next coming days. And we were right!
I’ll show you more pics of the cherry blossoms in my next posts. Until then, annyeong!
*NOTE: To go to the festival, take Exit 1 of the National Assembly station. Cross the street and head to the National Assembly. Walk to the right for about 10-15 minutes. You’ll know you’re at the right place when you start to see flowers and lighted trees at a street corner. Follow that street to the left.