Along with visiting animal-themed cafes and eating delicious pancakes, we spent some time this weekend exploring Seoul a little more. After sandwiches at Amandier cafe (and macarons, nom nom!) we looked around Anguk Station, Bukcheon and Samseong and found a few gems.
The first place we visited was the Chicken Art Gallery. I thought at first it was going to be art made out of chicken (awesome!) then made by chickens (more awesome!) but it was really a collection of art featuring chickens and it was still pretty awesome. For 3,000 won each (about $3.50) we got a guided tour through the two-story gallery. The proprietor spoke enthusiastically in broken English about the 5 virtues of the chicken and how this was significant in the Korean culture, especially during marriage and funeral ceremonies. Unfortunately I forgot my camera so I don't have any pictures, but while googling the gallery I found this article about it, featuring this quote from the owner:
"I do not buy luxuries. I don't buy cosmetics. I am only indulged in chickens," said Kim, an elegant gray-haired woman with glittering chicken earrings and a multicoloured rooster brooch. "Whenever I make money, I mostly spend it buying chicken art pieces."
I am only indulged in chickens. Marvellous!
A few streets from the Chicken Gallery is the Ice Gallery (the website's in Korean only, unfortunately). It doesn't look like much from the outside, but two floors underground there's a glittering paradise of shiny sculptures and photo ops. I'm aware that it's an atrocious pun but the Ice Gallery was really cool. (UGH, sorry about that.)
The Ice Gallery is open year-round as the basement area is permanently frozen. There are coats and boots on offer but as it was even colder outside we were rugged up enough. It costs 7,000 won ($8) to see the gallery which is a little expensive for Korea but totally worth it!
|Are we in France? In Italy? No! We're in a huge freezer!|
|Our bathroom is about as cold as this.|
|Tom just needs an ice newspaper.|
|The coldest service in a basement in Seoul|
|Ice slide! Tom took a video of me scooting my fat butt down this. I will make sure it never reaches the internet.|
|Tom is pensive in his igloo.|
After we'd hammed it up in the freezer for half an hour we went upstairs to do some ice carving. The staff set out some chisels, gloves, aprons and blocks of ice and for another half an hour we chipped and scraped until we had something resembling cups. Bending to gender norms, Tom made a sweet beer mug and I made a dainty wine glass. We then drank orange fizzy drinks from our creations, beaming like idiots! It cost an additional 5,000 won each to sculpt - also totally worth it.