Interesting Fact of the Day...
We're leaving Seoul behind, heading north to the de-militarized zone (DMZ), accompanied by "Sunny" and a U.S. Military Police officer who has been stationed here for eight months.
We drive into the lush Korean landscape, with rolling mountains in the distance, and green swampy fields on both sides of the road. Perched along the highway are guard shacks painted camouflage colours, with soldiers watching the horizon at each one.
Miles and miles of rolling barbed wire line both sides of the road in an attempt to stop any invaders from overtaking vehicles--which are few and far between here.
As you get closer to the North Korean border, the road has huge metal barricades. Our vehicle is now driving in an "S" pattern, switching from lane to lane.
Along the shoulder are metal spikes.
We arrive at the DMZ and meet some of the South Korean Military. These young men are so happy to see us that several soldiers stop and take pictures with my son, flashing the peace sign beside him.
Running alongside the parking lot, beside a few modern buildings and paved sidewalks, is a barbed wire with a warning sign hanging from it-- every few feet-- to remind you where you are.
We can read the English part.
It simply says: Mines.
Yeah...I'm good on this side of the sidewalk. Thanks.
Now, what you may not know is that the South Koreans built a beautiful, modern train station here, Dorasan, to link the North and South.
Of course, the huge train station is eerily empty inside.
Sunny tells us that when the borders were closed, her grandmother was separated from the rest of the family.
Trapped in the North, Grandma was never seen or heard from again.
"Why was such a big, beautiful train station built here?" my husband quietly asks.
"For hope," was her heartbreaking reply.
Train tracks to North Korea...