Out for a drive south of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 6, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Purcari Winery, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist! Arrive December 8th.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Back in Seoul

Yes, we are currently back in Seoul. But we had a busy weekend, and we really want to tell you all about both days, so...we'll get caught up on two posts during the next 24 hours!

So first, let's go back to Saturday morning.

We got up at 7:00am, because we had bought tickets on the 9:40am bus from Gyeongju to Gimcheon. A direct bus only leaves three times per day, so we had bought tickets a day ahead of time to make sure we had seats on that particular bus.

The intercity bus system is really easy to use here. And it sticks to a strict schedule, so if your ticket says that your bus leaves at 9:40am, you better be on the bus by 9:39am!

Saturday's bus ride. About two hours and 124 kms (77 miles). The bus tickets were 9,600 won ($10.50) each.

We were going to Gimcheon to meet some special people! Of course you remember June, and her boyfriend Park who we had spent a lot of time with during our first few days here in South Korea? Well, June's parents live in Gimcheon, and they had invited us to stop in and see them. And June was going to meet us there, along with her brother and his girlfriend!

Sorry, no pictures from the bus. It's difficult to get decent pictures even when the bus window is clean, and so I'd rather not take any than take pics that don't turn out!

When we arrived, I sent June a message but they were held up in traffic leaving Seoul  so they were a bit behind schedule. Instead, she tells me that her mother is going to pick us up at the train station, located only a five minute walk from the bus station.

Okay! But one thing...Mom doesn't speak any English!

We're pretty easy to get along with, so when Soon-hee arrived we got along fine even though we couldn't communicate! It wasn't difficult for her to find us...we stand out like a sore thumb, being pretty much the only "westerners" in town.

Soon-hee brought us to their place so that we could drop the bags off and get acquainted. How does one get acquainted when you don't speak the same language? 

Food!

But we couldn't eat too much because June wanted to bring us for lunch to a place that does Hanjeongsik. Yeah, you might want to google that one!

After about an hour, Soon-hee motioned towards the door, and we were off to the restaurant to meet June.

Ruth, June's brother Kevin, his girlfriend Min Jeong, June's mom Soon-hee, June, and Kevin

The best way to describe the food this restaurant does, is that it only serves appetizers. A lot of them! Can you see the number of different dishes on the table?? So, you simply help yourself to a couple of chopsticks full of each dish!

Yes, we are getting pretty adept at using chopsticks. When you eat in a Korean restaurant, you are supplied with metal chopsticks, and a spoon. Nope, no forks here! If you want, you can request wooden chopsticks which are a little easier to use, but metal ones are a Korean thing. And, practice makes perfect, so we've been trying to use them as much as possible!

Yes, it's difficult sitting for long periods of time on the floor. But, when in Korea... and honestly, we are a lot better at it now than we were three weeks ago. Funny, but I am better at it than Ruth! She is better at chopsticks though.

After a late lunch, we walked to the nearby Jikjisa park and temple.

It's a really beautiful spot, especially at this time of year.

There are a lot of sculptures. Here's Ruth, pretending to pour the water from one of the sculptures.

June is always joking around, and wanted everyone to make a funny face for this pic! She always makes us laugh!

The cultural sculpture park is right beside the Jikjisa Temple. June's mom studies at the temple, so she's very familiar with it. It's also located in one of the best areas for fall colors, but we're a few days early yet. Still, it was a really pretty spot and we're glad we went!

Ruth and June, with one of the trees changing color.

Jikjisa Temple is one of the oldest in Korea. It's origins date back to the year 418, long before Buddhism gained general acceptance in the area. It has been destroyed and rebuilt several times, and the last major rebuilding was between 1610 to 1670.

Soon-hee, June, Min jeong, and Kevin (June's brother). 

This is a persimmon tree.

The monks were collecting the persimmons that had fallen.

Can you imagine that the colors will get even better in a couple of days?!

Ruth.

This guy sells hardware from a truck. The "Home Depot-Mobile"!

June's mom wanted to take us up into the mountains where she knows some people who operate a blueberry farm...so off we went! Really pretty area, and we were admiring the mountains and the colors even though it was getting past dusk. We arrived there just in time to get one photo of the place before it got too dark.

A blueberry farm in the country.

Yes, they grow blueberries. But what do they grow them for??

Blueberry wine, among other things!

The blueberry wine is fermenting and it's quite a powerful smell.

Yep, it's a fairly big operation!

They import organic cane sugar from Cuba!

Ruth, having a whiff of the good stuff!

As the special guests from Canada, we were presented with two bottles of blueberry wine, and a bag of freeze dried blueberries. Good stuff, and full of anti-oxidants! June's mom also was given some frozen blueberries.

Back at the house, we had some drinks and a snack!

Wow. It was a busy day, and I've probably skipped half of what we did. Yes, June's father did eventually join us, and we spent some time with him Saturday evening as well. 

Okay...enough for now...stay tuned for the next blog post in 8 hours or so....


10 comments:

  1. Jeepers. "Busy day" is right. I suspect that blueberry wine is rather potent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, it was busy but it was lots of fun!

      Surprisingly enough, the wine wasn't potent, somewhere between 5 and 10% I believe. It was actually had to tell that it was even a Blueberry wine, it tasted nice though.

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  2. I think that blueberry wine would go nicely with ice cream...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It just might! It wasn't overly sweet.

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  3. Your posts are giving me the travel itch to get to Asia sooner rather than later. I see Ruth has the "V" down pat in that one photo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have been loving our time here and really look forward to exploring some other countries next time we head in this direction!

      We asked June why people make the "V" or "peace sign" in their photos and she said that it was to make them more relaxed as they would feel too proper or serious otherwise.

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  4. Aww, now I'm missing Korea! The leaves are already mostly done and on the ground here in Ottawa.

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    Replies
    1. The colours are just starting to really peak now at least in the central part of South Korea. Love the Japanese maples, they have the deepest red I have ever seen.

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  5. We had a wonderful weekend with you guys. Thank you again for another unforgettable memory!<3

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    Replies
    1. And, thank you too June. We had an amazing weekend! We loved meeting your family and spending time with them.

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