After all the months of planning, I can hardly believe that I have arrived in Seoul and about to start this study tour.
The experience at Heathrow on the way out wasn't the best, not only do you have to pay for wireless access, but once you have paid, it is painfully slow. I gave up trying to work or post to the blog as it was simply too frustrating. However, it was still possible to while away the time comfortably!
I wasn't looking forward to spending 10 hours in economy class, but I am happy to say, that not only was there lots of legroom on the Asiana Airlines flight, but it was only at about 50% capacity so it was possible to stretch out and get comfortable. Add to that the great cabin crew, and it couldn't have been much better.
Incheon Airport is located on an island to the east of South Korea, and on the approach you get the impression that a lot of land has been reclaimed from the sea, one of the "give aways" is the dead straight roads on the edge of some of the outcrops. The first sight of the airport itself, a wonderful glass and steel structure, is like seeing a great armour plated tortoise nestling in the ground. The airport, is fairly new and not operating at capacity so the process to get through immigration and baggage reclaim was extremely quick, I suddenly found myself outside wondering what to do next.
Transport to Seoul is via a number of options, train, subway and bus. The staff at Information said take the bus, so I did! Outside the airport is an army of people to make sure that you get the right bus for your destination, so within about 10 minutes I was settled on one of the most luxurious buses I have ever used. Not in Roland of Reflex's standard (no fridge, coffee or entertainment lounge) but extremely comfortable for the 50 minute journey.
Within an hour I was checked in and getting myself organised. One of the surprises has been to discover that I don't have any telephone service on either of my 'phones. At the airport I noticed a store dealing in mobile 'phone hire, but i didn't take time to investigate. I have since discovered that phone hire is $10 US per day plus call charges. I am going to see how I get on with "whatsapp" and "viber" before I resort to the hire, I am only here for 7 days, so it shouldn't be difficult to find a way to stay in touch with home.
I have done the usual, quick unpack, freshen up and go for a walk to orient myself and to bed at a reasonable time. It is 6am and I have been awake for 2.5 hours, so the jet lag has kicked in. I do have another 24 hours before my first visit to Korea University, so I am sure all will be well!
Something else I had not expected, this blog template is all in Korean, so I am working on this almost blind. Fortunately, the early posts to get me familiar with the system, I think are paying off, well assuming this gets posted successfully!