Thursday, July 12, 2007

Jejudo Vacation - Part One


Finally - but better late than never - here is our joint account of our week in Jeju Island, the semi-tropical honeymooner's paradise off the southern coast of Korea. I imagine it's a rather different experience without a child clutching your hands, but we wouldn't know - so enjoy it through parental eyes! Warning: The first part was written by one of us and the second part by the other. It will doubtless be obvious which was which as you begin reading...

The photos aren't the best I've ever taken, as I had to do without either film or digital camera; we bought two disposable cameras which had to last the trip out. For the scrapbook I've supplemented with some rather nice postcards and those handy brochures.

Anyhow, here we go...

Sunday, June 24

Went to church, returned home for final packing. Left at approx. 2:30, bought lunch at McD’s and ate in the car. Hwys 50, 1, 25 to Kwangju. Stopped at service center, bought DVDs at local pirate stall, Katherine played on giant bronze chipmunk.

Kwangju: deduced food and lodging near bus terminal, deduction correct. Found kimbap place and ate udong and tangsooyuk. Was directed to love hotel nearby, rooms with giant round beds, recreationally firm mattress.

Monday June 25

Breakfast in room, Judy bought supplies at local Family Mart (also toothbrushes). Left at about 9:00, found highway 13 and headed south. Very misty day. Stopped at service center where Katherine was devoured by an ajumma who directed us to have at least two more children. Presumably on grounds that they would all be as gorgeous. Chindos barking, tourist office with maps.

Worked our way to Wando on Hwys 2, 13, 2 again, 13 again. B jogged to bank. We were paid! Money isiyo! Went to harbor and found that we needed to pay more than expected. Bought Binch cookies and ate them. Went back and forth between car and passenger terminals a few times to ensure passage for all of us.

Disappointing lunch of samgyupsal with an ajumma who was overly helpful and wouldn’t go away. Katherine was overfed on cookies and didn’t eat. PC-Bang (Internet café) to kill time before ferry left : B played World of Warcraft, Judy did some writing/editing for the Santharian Dream and assisted Katherine with her FisherPrice online games.

Got on the ferryboat, large rooms with nothing in them. Katherine, overstimulated, played with children and spilled juice. Got into Jeju and found a taxi to guide us to villa.

(Editor's note: This last dry statement leaves a good many details out, such as the fact that the 'guiding' had to be accomplished with phone calls back and forth from a non-English speaking taxi lout to a non-English speaking security guard at the villa, neither of whom seemed able to understand what the other was conveying despite speaking a common language... the cost of the taxi out there... the drama of seeing Jeju for the first time... the excitement of being shown round the four-bedroom villa with its palm trees and lava rock drive... the rough 'supper' of jam and bread.... the exhausted collapse on clean sheets that night after unpacking and settling Katherine to sleep... but you'll just have to read the scrapbook later!)

Tuesday June 26, 2007

Rose early and ate a nice breakfast of eggs and toast. Got in the car and headed to Sagwipo over the mountain. Swerved to avoid local horses cantering across roadway. Stopped at 1100 High Ground to buy snacks. Also bought a new hat for B and a new dress for K because they looked so darn good. Dyed with green persimmon juice, cloth turns rich brown colour (The hat also looks good on K, but there is no justice in the world. The dress would look awful on B.)

Headed down the mountain and into town. Found an information stop with great maps and lousy ice cream.

Teddy Bear museum was great fun for all. See postcards. Lunch at EMart, tangsooyuk and haemul sundubu. Shopping, bought K a Pooh beach set.

Back home and nap time for all.

At 5, headed out to Shore Road: black rocks, lava spilling into sea, green vegetation, more of the walls. Found a beach and played together. Headed into Jeju City for supper. Sadly, the best we could find was Lotteria, which says something about either Jeju or us, I suppose. Headed home and arrived at 9. Note: Weather was sunny in the morning and cloudy by evening.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Morning: Miniature Village – pleasantly surprised at quality of displays. See brochure…

To the beach again! Rented a tube – Kath loved running across the tidal sands – and built a sandcastle with her new Pooh beach toys. Got sunburnt.

Into Jeju again, determined to find something better for supper. Parked downtown at Underground Arcade and did some eyeshopping, then a faux-Japanese ‘kass’ restaurant. Chicken-kass, fish-kass, and donk-kass – better than Lotteburgers…

Avoided a filmcrew setting up on the way out…

(Part Two coming later! Watch this space!)

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