Next Stop, Pyongyang

Today we were able to sleep in and it was wonderful. I got the same breakfast as always and boarded the bus. We were all excited for the long-awaited DMZ. The drive wasn’t too bad, and the landscape was very pretty. As we got closer, we could see some fog forming along the river and could faintly see across. Our tour guide Rob gave us some information on the historical background of the DMZ, and it was very fascinating. We first stopped at the observatory and we were able to see North Korea. It was so cool, and the binoculars helped us see a better view. After the observatory, we went the third tunnel, which was built by North Korea. This tunnel had crossed the DMZ and was one of four tunnels discovered so far by South Korea. They had found these tunnels because a North Korean defector had let them know that this was occurring. We were able to go down into the tunnel, which was very, very deep underground. To be exact, the tunnel was 435 meters deep, and to walk in the tunnel at the bottom, I had to hunch over. A few of us, myself included, banged our heads on the rocks above us. Sadly, we weren’t able to bring our phones, so I wasn’t able to take any pictures. We also went to see an 8-minute video on the history of the DMZ. Surprisingly, it took a very positive outlook on the DMZ and something that I had been noticing is that many Koreans just want unification. We also saw artifacts from the war and learned about different things the North Koreans had done with crossing the border. Afterwards, we went to a little shopping place to get an authentic meal, and then headed to the Han River. At the Han River, we got to go on a nice cruise, which had a beautiful sight of the city. At the top, we were able to feed seagulls little fish and it made for a good time. As we headed back to the bus, Dr. Yun gathered us up, and gave us a challenge. The challenge was for us to get back to the hotel by ourselves, without using our cellphones. The group to get there first would win a free Korean barbeque dinner. All of us were extremely excited, and we all ventured off into a city we weren’t familiar with. The usual time to get back was 40 minutes, and after about 25 minutes, our group was able to find the subway station. This was the key, whoever found the subway station first, would most likely win. We found the line we needed to take and headed off. We arrived after 50 minutes, but sadly, we came in 3rd. However, this experience of figuring out how to get back without a cellphone and just relying on signs and asking total strangers was a ton of fun. Dr. Yun ended up taking us all out, and we had a wonderful meal. Some friends and I hung out at the hotel for a little and then headed to sleep. 

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