AWC Going Dutch April 2019


The monthly magazine of the American Women's Club of The Hague

Unconventional Travel (cont.)

Continued from page 45

food across the blanket. Needless to say, it was

quite a strange sensation. Things were calmer

with the raccoons with one of them sleeping

and one hiding. We took turns holding and

feeding the third one, who was surprisingly

heavy. The room was clean with lots of

climbing structures to entertain the raccoons

and the staff seemed very attentive.


Seoul is now home to the fifth tallest

building in the world: Lotte World Tower

( It opened in 2017

and is 1,821 feet (555 meters) tall with 123

floors. Rather than take the subway, we

walked across a bridge over the Han River

and along the riverfront for one and a half

hours. It was chilly (the temperature rarely

was above freezing during my visit), but

the sun was shining and it was great to get

outside. The design of the tower reminded

me of The Shard in London, but this was

much taller. We entered the building through

the most luxurious shopping mall I’ve ever

seen, before heading to the basement which

housed a more affordable mall and the entrance

to the observation deck. Admission

was a bit pricey, but it was definitely money

well spent. The fun started when we entered

the Sky Shuttle, the world’s tallest and fastest

double-decker elevator, which took just

under one minute to bring us

to the 117th floor. While the

views were fantastic there,

they got even better when

we went up to the 118th floor

to check out the Sky Deck,

the world’s highest glassfloor

observation deck. It

was truly wild standing on

a clear glass floor 1,568 feet

(478 meters) above traffic.

Our timing was perfect to

see the 360° view of Seoul

as daytime transformed into

nighttime. We finished our

visit with the signature cocktail

of the 123F Lounge on

the top floor.

The next day we were back in the basement

of Lotte World Tower, this time to visit

the Lotte World Aquarium, another highpriced

activity that Ashlynn would have

foregone if she had to pay since she keeps

herself on a strict budget. As a future marine

biologist, she is torn between her love for

being around sea life and her concerns about

animals in captivity. We were both impressed

with this modern and well-designed aquarium

housing 55,000 creatures from 650 species.

I especially enjoyed the 275-foot (85-meter)

long underwater tunnel and Ashlynn especially

loved getting to look eye-to-eye with

a beluga whale.

On my last night in town, we went to Asia’s

largest underground shopping center: COEX

Mall. Ashlynn was happy to find a Dutch café

serving authentic warm stroopwafels, which

were unlikely to be vegan but worth it for a

little piece of home. The biggest surprise of the

evening occurred when we wandered into what

we thought was a giant bookstore. Instead it

turned out to be the incredible Starfield Library

with over 50,000 titles in an amazing twostory

open-plan design. We just happened

to go past some magazines and on a whim I

searched for the February issue of Noblesse,

a Korean luxury lifestyle magazine. Much to

our surprise, there was Ashlynn gracing the

pages in a circus-themed editorial she had shot

just two weeks earlier wearing

designer clothes. It was quite

surreal to be standing in a library

in Seoul watching my

daughter seeing herself in a

Korean magazine for the first

time. I was especially thrilled

when we discovered a bookstore

around the corner that

had a copy so I could bring

one home.

By the time you are reading

this, Ashlynn’s stay in

Korea will have come to an

end and she’ll have moved

onto Sydney, where yet another

adventure awaits me as


APRIL 2019 45

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