Monday, July 2, 2012

Jeju Island.

On the road again.

 Trevor, our host, advised us to spend a few days on Jeju Island off the coast of Korea. It is a World Heritage Sight and is listed as one of the modern seven wonders of Nature together with Howlong Bay, Vietnam and Table Mountain.


Seogwipo has beautiful flowers lining the streets and is a busy, attractive city.

Having only four days in which to enjoy the island one can only see a limited amount that the island has to offer.On arrival by plane from Seoul we took the bus to the "other" side of the island to a town called Seogwipo. This is a charming town with loads of restaurants, museums, galleries and a huge market. It is also known as a Honeymoon venue so we were very amused when we were shown our room which Warren had booked on the internet.

This was hanging on our bedroom door. Imagine.

We only stayed here one night and we found a more appropriate hotel for the following two nights.
Unfortunately it rained on our first day so I took our only umbrella and set off for the paper doll museum. (See one of the earlier reports).

Not exactly what we were looking for!
The second day was glorious and we could walk and explore the coastline which is lovely. Wherever one walks the parks and green areas are in beautiful condition with many stone sculptures and benches to sit and relax

Wherever one goes one sees stone statues called Dolhareubang which are  a symbol of the island. They represent "grandfathers" and serve three function: they are guardian gods, have shamanistic or religious meaning and act as signposts. Outside the World cup stadium there are 11 of these statues representing the 11 players in a soccer team thus each player has his protector.

We managed to see two of the three waterfalls that Jeju is so proud of and I think the force of the falling water depends on whether it has rained or not.

 On our last night in Seogwipo, we decided to eat  in the traditional style. Eish but it is not for the big and aged! Once down so low it is not easy to get up again. Leaning on our elbows was the only way to balance and eat. I really enjoy this style of dining where you cook over your own coals but sitting at a table on a chair is much easier to manage. The waiter is attentive and comes to the table and cuts the meat (with scissors) and turns it when necessary. Black pork is the islands specialty which we too enjoyed.

 For our last night we needed to get back to Jeju-si which is situated near the airport, as we were flying early the next day. This city is much more sophisticated than Seogwipo and has lots of interesting things to see too.  We boarded a local bus and headed for the beach which is much spoken about.

Rather unusual Light houses!!

Our last night in Korea was enjoyed in Trevor's temporary apartment in Seoul in an area called Coex.
Trevor arrived back from his travels and we had a night out on the tiles enjoying various foods and drinks that are typically Korean. How wonderful it was having friends here who could show us around and introduce us to the Korean way of doing things. Thanks so much the Dix-Hill family.

and we loved being here too!.

Trevor and Warren enjoying a few "Remember when" moments.