At the guesthouse, we took the red lock out of its packaging and wrote our names on it. Made other final preparations before leaving to ascend Namsan! This was our last night in South Korea, and we were keen to make the most of it!
The cable car station was located on the other side of Myeongdong, where there were less shops and more accommodations, and it was quieter. I was glad we booked an accommodation on the busier side of Myeongdong – I cannot imagine returning to our guesthouse late at night in this kind of unearthly silence! It was an upslope from then on, and got increasingly quieter that we began to question if the way forward was correct. But there were a few people heading in that direction, so walk on we did, and finally N Seoul Tower came into view, looming over us.
Up the stairs and into the cable car station. Immediately we noticed that there was a long line of people waiting to be ferried up the mountain. We hurriedly bought our tickets and joined the snaking queue, which started at the first floor and spiralled up the stairs to the top floor. After an hour of shuffling forward, it was our turn! We were grouped with some Korean students bringing their Chinese school exchange friends along, a handful of elderly people and other young people as well.
We caught a glimpse of N Seoul Tower in its multicoloured facade as we boarded the cable car. The trip up felt jerky and there were creaks, but I was amazed it managed to hoist us up 262 metres, considering that the system was quite old.
It was a matter of climbing up steps before N Seoul Tower appeared in all its glory. After seeing it from afar for the whole of our trip, we now were standing before it.
We proceeded to the ticket booth to get our tickets. We encountered some miscommunication with the person behind the counter, but eventually managed to get a combo set with complimentary popcorn and drinks! After that we had to wait for our number to be called before we could take the elevator up, so we checked the vicinity of the tower out, while munching on the popcorn and sipping the drinks. Halfway through, a fire engine made a stop, but we could not figure out what had happened.
There was an illustration of the world’s observatory towers on the glass wall leading to the elevator, such as the Eiffel Tower and Tokyo Skytree. If anything, it said that N Seoul Tower was one of the shortest. However, it being situated on top of Namsan more than made up for it!
Finally, our numbers were displayed and we joined yet another long queue waiting to take the elevator! They took green-screen photos of almost everybody, and we were given the option to purchase it once we were on top.
After a little more of waiting, we stepped into the elevator. It played a cool animation of us shooting out of the Earth’s atmosphere and onto the moon, when in reality, we were just being rushed up to the observatory deck haha.
The view from the top was stunning. It never occurred to me that Seoul was so illuminated before. There were millions of specks of light, stretching far into the distance. The pitch-black portions must have been the mountains. It was possible to make out the banks of the Han river and the bridges spanning the two sides. To take in the entirety of the city on the penultimate night of our trip was a fitting way to sum it up.
We were lucky that the moon showed up, and managed to capture it with the city lights! Amongst the clusters of lights, it could easily have blended in with the rest of them.
There were binoculars for viewing, but they served their purpose just as well for this shot!
That’s our giant tub of popcorn in the corner. We didn’t finish it till we were back in our guesthouse room (even with the help of the doggies)!
We decided that we had to descend before it got too late. There was a queue for the elevator down too, albeit a faster-moving one. As last calls for the boarding of the cable cars rang out, we quickly attached our love lock to the bundles of love locks on the centre tree.
There was a long queue for the cable car too. What’s new? Well, there were queues for everything, so we definitely would come here in the day the next time. The night view was really amazing, though.
We walked back down the slope we came up from and back to our guesthouse on the busier side of Myeongdong, but by then it was so late even that part seemed reserved. Our last night in South Korea had come to an end.