I meandered back down the street, now heading south towards Gyeongbokgung Palace. Along the way, I passed Cheongwadae, or the Presidential Residence. Similar to Almaty when the President is in town, there were police on every street corner, standing around completely unoccupied. You may have heard that I have not had very good luck with Kazakhstani police, so I did what I've trained myself to do, which is keep my head down and act normal. When I glanced up, one smiled at me (smiled!) and said with a friendly tone, "Hey! How are you? Where are you going?" I cautiously answered, "Ge-ong-bok-gung? The Palace?"
Advice for those looking for it: Stay more than one night; go here if you are looking for mellow ski terrain and good views; and make sure you come back to Aspen when there is some stereotypical wild techno-champagne party at the base of Aspen Mountain (complete with tacky, expensive outerwear) to make it feel as if you took a wrong turn in Basalt and ended up in Europe somehow...
After an early-ish start, we finished the last hour of the hike and arrived at the Hot Springs, which had a total of four people at first. For reasons pictured at the beginning of this post, I didn't take many pictures at the Springs themselves. After a few hours, the place became packed with people, and I think there were close to twenty in the big pool by the time we decided to leave.
I have been trying to verbalize the way I felt about Berlin since I left, and after a month and a half of trying to find the words, I've come to the conclusion that I simply cannot. I stayed from September 7th to September 9th, with Maria's awesome friend Levke (thanks again to both of you). Berlin was absolutely amazing, which is an understatement, so I'll let the pictures do the talking.
We also met up with Johannes, who worked in the tourist shop in Die Grüne Zitadelle. He had told me that he had to deal with stupid people all day. Since I bought a postcard from him, I figured I was one of those stupid people. Luckily, he said that if I am stupid, I was the best stupid person he had to deal with. I would later sign the book in his shop with those words, which has since garnered some attention from other tourists according to Maria and Johannes.