On a cold cold cold Sunday morning in January 2011, I decided to go to the river.
Coming from Seattle, I am used to living by the sea, and miss seeing, smelling, and hearing it when I’m away from it for a long time.
Maybe that’s why I like the Tancheon so much, and going there for a stroll or a longer walk or a hike.
But this day I was going to Seoul to see the Han River. For in all the coldness of this cold cold cold morning, the river had frozen!
That’s something that was pretty much out of the realm of my experience, as Seattle rarely gets cold enough to have any frozen bodies of water, and when it does, I’m pretty much stuck at home anyway, as the city shuts down when there is any snowstorm.
How cold was it, you wonder? A nice and even 0ºF, or -18ºC, overnight.
So I asked for advice as to where to go to get a good view of the frozen Hangang (Han River), and one friend suggested a department store with a rooftop deck at Gangbyeon, north of Jamsil.
I spent a few minutes there admiring the view and taking lots of pictures and panoramas. It was pretty awesome to see the river so clearly frozen!
But it was so cold, that after just a few minutes of taking pictures, my fingers were extremely frozen. I had to rush inside to spend a few minutes warming them up before going back out.
So then, after experiencing the thrill of the ultra-cold and the frozen river, it was time for a good coffee to warm me up.
I took the metro back across the Hangang, to Jamsil, all the while enjoying the view. I explored Lotte World a bit, enjoying the sights and even the ice skating rink deep indoors. I went outside, got a quick bite to eat, then found a place called Segafredo Espresso right next door.
I was totally unfamiliar with this café, but as I quickly realized, it’s an international chain, as they had a wall highlighting all the cities they had branches in. Looks like every continent was covered! But just not the USA. (But as of this writing in 2015, they do have branches in Florida now).
The decorations were flashy but pleasant.
I had a drink called a “mezzo mezzo”, apparently their term for a mocha. I can’t quite remember if I enjoyed it, but it did look nice, and the café was definitely a nice refuge from the cold. It was bustling but not too crowded or loud. I’ll have to try it again sometime.
They also had a selection of coffees to make at home.
Not something I do, really, otherwise it would crimp my blogging style. 😉
If you’re in the Jamsil area, especially on a cold day with a frozen river nearby, Segafredo Espresso merits a visit!
Here’s a link to a Google Map to find Segafredo Espresso.
Address: 서울특별시 송파구 올림픽로 269
Korean name: 세가프레도
Final verdict: ***