Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Return to Soeul / Incheon then back home to the UK.

We packed and left the suitcase at the hotel, as we had half a day before going back to Incheon.

We went by taxi to see more relics in the museum in WONGJU, much like those seen before, but still pretty impressive.

As we arrived there were busses filled with school children, the younger ones as usual kept saying hello - hello, the older ones knew a little more English, but were not so chatty.

Towards the end we went though an exhibition of paintings, and at the end they gave us a calendar featuring some of the pictures - a nice jesture of friendlyness that we found throughout our stay in South Korea.

Afterwards we caught the local bus back to the town centre. it went all around most of the tourist sites, some we had seen - others we had not.

Arriving back in town we picked up the suitcase and caught the bus back to Incheon bus terminal, when we arrived, Suri decided to get into the first available taxi, the driver had no idea where the Hotel Chelsea was, after frantic phone calls and searches for addresses and maps .... we eventually arrived, ... I have to admit to being a little stressed.

Later on we met up with David and Nami for our evening meal, we had it close by at a suburb called BUPYEON, which is a very large shopping district, much of it underground, and about 90% of the shops seem to cater solely for women, I do wonder where are the shops for men?

The next day Saturday the 21st of October was our last full day in Korea, so we decided to go for a trip on a river boat along the river HANGAN. The embarking pier took a bit of finding as the nearest underground station was about a mile from the boarding point. On the way we did however find a lovely park to walk through, where amongst other things we saw pumpkins growing above us a bit like a grape vine - I think you can make them out in the picture.

When we got to the pier we had just missed the boat and the next one was an hour later, no problem as we decided to have a spot of lunch and enjoy the lovely weather, just lounging about - after all it is a holiday.....

The boat trip itself was ok, but did not go very far and stopped 2 times on the 1 hour return trip, but there were some sights to see that we had not seen, including a quite magnificent water fountain in the midle of the river - check it out above.

When we disembarked we headed off for the underground, it was a long walk I have to admit.

Our last night in Korea, so we met up with David and Nami, and had a lovely indoor BBQ type of meal, after which Suri decided to ask the manager if we could buy one of the BBQ lids, eventually after much persausion he agreed - so we now are the proud owner of a used BBQ lid, which you may just be able to make out in the picture above.

To finish off the night we went to a bar for a few drinks, one of the drinks was sort of brown in colour and tasted distinctly of incomplete fermented beer, it was pretty late and we were enjoying our last night in South Korea, so I enjoyed the funny coloured alcohol.

Sunday 22nd, and after saying our goodbyes to David and Nami, we set off on what turned out to be a very long journey.

First of all the taxi driver got a bit lost, then the bus to the airport seemed to be going on for ever, going all around the houses - so to speak. Eventually we boarded our plane to DOHA, only to find out there would be a stop off in SHANGAI. Eventually we arrive in DOHA, where we had a couple of hours to wait 'till we got our connection to Heathrow. Back in Heathrow, we got the tube to Cockfosters, and the final leg of the journey was a taxi to Potters Bar - over 30 hours it took - exhausted we both were, and the trip was over.

Time for a rest - so time to go back to work.........

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Three sites visited in one day.

1. Today - Thursday 19th October 2006, we set off to see the fortess here in GONGJU called GONGSANSEONG, as it happens it is just across the other side of the river from the hotel.

Well it's an old garrison really with the outline of where buildings were and some have been rebuilt, but it is set on a hill so we were able to have a wander around it for a while. It also seems to be the local meeting place for retired Koreans as there were quite a lot of them walking and sitting and talking. As we were leaving loads of school children arrived - almost every one of them saying hello to us - we were a bit of a novelty I think, that was good timing - leaving when they were arriving.

2. Where to next, well we headed back to the bus station and set off for NONSEN, then a bit out of town to see the biggest stone Buddah in Korea. For once there was reall old stuff here - well the Buddha and a Stone lantern and a Stone Pagoda, oh and they were preparing for a Budhist Ceremony, which seemed to involve lots of sweet food. This place was really quite impressive, but we were the only tourists there.

Outside the Temple was a large lake of Lotus Flowers, unfortunately they had finished flowering and were now seeding, except for one or two, which gave an indication of their beauty when in full bloom.

3. We caught the bus back to NONSEN, and headed for BU YEO, this was the centre of the BAKJKE Kingdom in the 6th & 7th century - no I did not know that either. Apparantly they found at King Muryeongs Tomb (a bit along the lines of the Pharoes in Egypt - not quite up to Tut's standars) a whole host of artifacts, the best one was a very impressive a BAECKJE GILT BRONZE INCENSE BURNER, which was pretty big, and something special. We saw this and other relics at the local museum. Again there were hordes of young school children - they were not really interested in the relics being displayed but they all went around in single file - shuffling past every exhibit.

Outside there were a few more stone Budhas and Lanterns. At one stage we were surrounded by one of the classes of children, saying Hello, what's your name, do you like soccer, - ahh Beckham, oh yes Rooney. It was fun really.

After this we strolled back to the bus station and came back to GONGJU, where our hotel was.

We continued with our attempt to eat something different for dinner each night, so tonight we had intestines (we simply pointed at a picture on the window, thinking it was a chicken dish) - I have to say they were a bit rubbery, and not the best meal we have had, but it was cheap at 20,000 Won for us both including beer.

Afterwards we strolled towards the river and there were all these people, roller skating, walking, running and playing football next the the floodlit river - quite surprising. Tommorrow we return to Incheon.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A day for travelling.

We were woken early by reception, telling us that the ferry left at 8.20 am, so we dashed off, saying our goodbyes to Kim, and the staff at the Marina Hotel - I am sure I have heard that name somewhere before!!!

Arriving at the ferry port (fortunately the right one this time) we got our ticket and rushed through a sort of passport control, up the long steps of the ferry (me of course with suit case in hand), then I dumped the case in the corner where people lie down and sleep. We decided not to sleep but to take in the sea air - a little misty today, but still very warm, this time the trip was only 3 hours - very enjoyable.

When we docked we got another taxi to the bus station a few miles away in WANDA - where we had docked. Our first bus of the day, took us from WANDA to GANGU

GANGU is a a big city, with a big bus station, (which was one of the World Cup Stadium locations in 2002), and I left the camera on the bus - groan - argh.... what a disaster.

Fortunately I got it back with the help of a couple of people on the Information desk, and the bus driver of course - very lucky, we did however miss the next bus so we got a later one, but it was an express bus - no stops all the way to DAEIJON.

Nearly there at our destination - about 6pm, and all that was left was to find the next connection to GONGJU - pronounced hongschu, what we did not realise was there was 2 bus terminals in DAEIJON (in fact there were 3) and we had to find ours - eventually after much confusion over the destination, and nearly catching the wrong bus we found out the bus left from another bus station, which fortunately .... was just across the road.

By now it was dark as we get on the bus, and off it went - into the darkness, not really sure if it was the right bus.

Anyway we eventiually arrived (after the bus pulled in to refuel) just outside GONGJU so we decided to find the closest hotel, we found one just around the corner, it was called the Polaris Motel, it looked a bit of a dive (if you get my drift) - they all looked the same, but inside the room included a Jaccuzi, an enormous TV and DVD player, and a PC , so can't complain for 35,000 Won a night - the cheapest yet.

Finally we went in search of a meal, once again we have eaten something different - a sort of beef stew - it was most enjoyable.

Tuesday 17th October - though I am losing track of time.

What shall we do today I said to Suri - I suggested a day lounging on the beach, but no Suri wanted to visit some caves she had seen in a brochure.

So never one to say no, and happy to please - we went down to the reception and ordered a Taxi, one arrived and with the help of Kim - the hotel manager, who was preparing for yet another wedding, (oh yes it's the wedding season here on Jeju - he had 2 weddings to cater for and we found out later about 800 guests in total - seems to be a good business to be in) - we agreed 50,000 Won for the day, the driver was a very happy chap - he took us to to HALLIM PARK, via a few interesting places.

When we got there - the driver said no hurry, return when you are ready (I think), but I don't think he meant 3 hours which is what it took us.

Inside the park was really great, it started off, with a garden similar to, but smaller than Kew Gardens in London, including quite a few glass houses.

Then through the caves - 2 of them - apparantly the only lava caves in the world, with stalagmites and stalagtites - overall probably the weakest park of the park.

After this there was half a dozen or more averies, including a white peacock, ostriches and parrots. An amazing bonsi garden and natural stone sculptures.then through the water gardens, including a water lily and lotus garden, and a recreation of an old Jeju village, and even more gardens, including lots of cactus, with lots of sculptured plants.

All in all a really good location, and all for 12,000 Won, and to top it all the weather was just perfect.

Eventually we returned to our driver, I am sure he thought he had lost us - though happy to see us - he was a little less happy than before, as he realised that our agreed fee was not as good as he had thought.

He dropped us off at the local beach - IHO BEACH, and I gave him a bit extra - which is really not the way out here in Korea, 'cos the tip is you do not tip. Anyway he was happy again as he drove off.

We wandered along the beach, for a while then headed back to SINEJU, where the hotel was, any way Suri said she wanted a crab meal, but we could not find the word in the book, so she drew one and guess what the taxi driver took us to this fancy resturant that specialised in crab and lobster.

We went in to the restaurant and decided to spoil ourselves and paid a bit more than we had been paying, but definitely still far cheaper than an equivelent London restaurant. Suri said it was probably the best crab she had had, so top score given to the restaurant, I forgot to take a card and I can't remember the name.

We got a taxi 'cos we did not know where abouts we were, lo and behold the restaurant was literaly around the courner from the hotel, so we could have walked - ho hum.

So much for a relaxing day on the beach topping up the tan.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The trek up the Volcano ... Mount Hallasan 1950 metres

I have to admit I did not think Suri would climb up the mountain, but she did and all credit to her - well done it was quite an achievement.

But what a day.........

We contacted the taxi driver who brought us to the hotel, we were expecting to get a deal, another driver turned up and wanted 100,000 Won for the day, far too much and more than the Lonely Planet Guide suggests, We were however helped out by Kim the General Manager of the Hotel, we had been talking to him earlier - always a good thing to do.

Anyway he suggested that we get a taxi to our base camp for 20,000 Won, then he would pick us up later in the afternoon, I was amazed at such gratitude and friendlyness.

Any way off we went and arrived at the ticket office and paid our entry fee only to discover the start was a mile or so up the road and the taxi driver should have taken us there. No probs - we got another taxi for 5,000 Won, then we were ready to go.

First we got some extra provisions - it was hot and sunny so extra water was essential.

Then away we go up the hill - lots of steps for Suri to count, she lost count at about 400, that was about the time we met an American couple on their way down saying it got a lot steeper further up so they had turned around. I decided not to tell this to Suri - a good idea me thinks, and on we went.

Yep it got steeper, there were a lot of people climbing up the mountain - all ages - children upwards.

After about 2.5 hours we got to this sort of plateau, at the end of this path we stopped and had some lunch. When we were finished Suri said right how much further to go - or something like that - ah bless her. I said we are at the top and we are going back down now, her face lit up I can tell you.

On this walk it is not possible to get right to the top, we were pretty close, but still 250 metres below the rim of the old volcanoe.

Going down was much easier, though still very difficult. The views were beautiful, and the leaves on the trees and bushes and shrubs were all changing colour - just magical.

When we got back to "base camp" there was no phone - so no way of contacting Kim, Suri spoke to a kind person who phoned him for us - he was waiting for us at the ticket office and would be with us in a few minutes, - wow what a relief - and to see him was just great, after all we were 45 minutes from town.

Kim spoke only a little English, he took us on the way back to a road called "mysterious road" where the cars - in neutral - go up the hill on their own - amazing and water also flows up the hill. I can not explain it but it seemed to be the case - probably a trick of the eyes and mind.

Back at the hotel - Kim would not take any money - just amazing.

So I have to admit we were pretty knackered, so after a kip and a shower we had a very nice fish meal in a local restaurant, and we are now planning the next few days.

Another adventerous day - what will tomorrow bring - I wonder, the trip so far has been just great, and we have been lucky on quite a few occasions, including today - as Zebedee said .... time for bed.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Still in Busan

Friday - I think - I seem to be losing track of time.

We went up the Busan Tower today - it was a great experience - similar to the tower in Soeul - but when you walk out of the lift, you feel as though you are leaning out and it is very high up.

The views from here were really impressive the weather gave us a clear view of the whole city - especially clear was the view over the harbour / docks.

So when we got down to ground level, we checked out the time of the ferry to Jeju - A good job too as there was no ferry for Sunday - the day we planned to go so we decided to go on the Saturday.

In the evening we checked out the local pork restaurant - really one of the best meals in Korea - you cook it yourself on a grill in front of you- the restaurant was very busy - we had to queue - so at least we knew it was a good restaurant as it was so popular.

Saturday - we packed and checked out - leaving our case to pick up later. Suri lost her top somewhere today - I think it was left outside the hotel as we waited for athe taxi.

To fill in the day we set off to catch the bus - but could not find the right one so we changed our minds - Sur did I mean, and decided to go to the museum and cultural centre - it was closed, then we went on to the UN cemetary - which was next door and quite moving to know that so many Brits lost their lives here in Korea.

Next to this was a park where there was a sort of local festival going on. I have to tell you break dancing is still alive and going strong here in South Korea.

A good day was had by us both - it was pretty hot too.

Then we set off after picking up our case an headed for the ferry terminal - the taxi driver of course took us to the wrong one, after many protests - we decided to get another taxi - to just around the corner.

Then we decided to pamper ourselves so we booked up the royal suite on the ferry - one of only 2 - 2 berth cabins the rest were either 10 sharing in bunks or 50 sharing the floor. Well worth it I say at 150,000 won - At least we got a bit of sleep, and the sea was calm too.

We arrived at 6am today Sunday the 15th here in Jeju, and believe it or not the Tourist info desk was open and so we managed to get into the Hotel Marina - not a bad place.

After breakfast we strolled along the beach and I 'm afraid to say I got a bit sun burned - even with my new cap.

To finish the day off we had a lovely beef meal not far from the hotel.

Oh well time for bed - Suri wants to climb the volcanoe tomorrow - I will report back.

Bye 4 now.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Travelling to Busan

Today we caught the bus to Busan, it was quite a long trip - it went all along the eastern coast of Korea, where we saw the traditionall site of Squid being dried on lengths of string all along the roadside.

It was a time for us to relax, but the bus only made one stop for a comfort break and then barely 15 minutes so we were bursting by the time we got to the service station.

When we arrived at the bus station in Busan (pronounced Pusan) we had to get the tube into the centre, to do that we had to buy a travel card, this took a little time, but all went well.

We checked with the Tourist info place and they recommende a hotel - I have to say The Angel Hotel was not the best we have stayed at but adequate, but who can complain at 44,000 won approx 23 UK pounds for the room, which did include air conditioning - which was mosdt welcome.

Once we arrived we did a bit of exploring, we were right in the middle of a busy shopping district.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A trip to SOKCHO.

Today we set off North up the coast towards North Korea - about 10 miles from the border, to SOKCHO, by bus, just over an hour away. On the way it rained a little, and a little cooler than it has been, a pleasant change.

When we arrived we set off for the Port area, where they were bringing in the fishing catch of the day.

Then off we went to the market area, then along the beach for a wander,the lighthouse was not open so we could not go up it.

After returning to GANGNEUNG by bus we got a taxi to the market area, for our dinner - tonight we had a very chilly - hot chicken and noodle dish, along with the usual pickles,chilly pickle and a sort of pickled white radish.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A mystery (taxi) tour today - Tuesday 10th October 2006

Today we asked how far was it to the DAEGWALLYEONG MUSEUM, and was told by the lady on reception - not far just take a taxi as she pointed along the street and around the corner, well half an hour or more later we arrived, and it was in the middle of nowhere so we asked the taxi driver if he could could come back at 1pm - he agreed.

The museum and the surrounds were really very good, very impressive, when the taxi driver returned we pointed at another close attraction at DAEGWALLYENG fOREST so off we set, we thought he was asking about our hotel, then I realised he was heading back to the hotel, so after I pointed again at the picture - he said "sorry" and turned around - the place was just around the corner - 5 minutes from the musem, but then it was closed.

So we looked at the map again and pointed at UNIFACTION PARK at JEONGDONGJIN, he set off ar great speed, and then I realised that this was a lot further than we had expected.

Eventually we arrived and the park was in fact a US WW II warship that the Koreans had bought and used, plus a North Korean Submarine they had nabbed - we went around both of them, they were much better than I expected with lots of children running around - all in all impressive.

We decided to ask the taxi driver to take us to JEONGDONGJIN where we paid up - the hire of the taxi cost us about 37 quid, including wating time, which I think turned out pretty good.

By this time we were pretty hungry,so we decided to catch the train back to GANGNEUNG - a lot cheaper I have to say.

We went into this cafe and Suri said I'll have what they were having - pointing across to another table - I said make that 2, .... well Iced noodle soup is not as bad a it sounds, and the lumps of ice cooled us down.

After that we wandered around the market, then took another taxi ride to GYEONGPO Park, which is on the way to the hotel, then another taxi ride back to the hotel.

All in all a bit of a mystery tour of a day.

As we are by the seaside we went to a fish restaurant there are many around here - on the map it says sushi centre, each has live fish outside in tanks. So we decided on a squid each, and of course it was swimming about 1 minute and 5 minutes later there it was on a plate - uncooked of course in front of us. We tucked in to it but Suri wanted it cooked, so they put what was left of it - about three quarters I guess into a pot and boiled it in a mobile gas stove on the table in front of us.

I liked it both ways uncooked and cooked, but there was a a lot of it.

On the way backI noticed that the South Korean army were still checking out the beach and the floodlights are still on.

We,ve decided to stay another night - Suri did her bit on negotiating the rate and knocked it down from 80,ooo to 65,000 won, that's a saving of about 7 quid.

Monday, October 09, 2006

North Korea detonates nuclear explosion

Well we are about 20 miles from North Korea in GANGNEUNG, and according to the news North Korea has exploded their first nuclear bomb somewhere north of here. I do not have a radiation detector but I am hoping we are ok.

We arrived by bus today from Soeul coming across country passing some beautiful scenery, the leaves on the trees are about to start turning autumnal, also this is where they do ski-ing in the winter.

Now we have booked into the Four seasons Hotel - see website:


I will submit my report about the hotel on Tripadviser after we leave, as of now it's pretty good, Suri has gone down to ask for another towel and to ask how to use the phone - it's all in Korean!! and I'm sure it's not been used before.

Our room is on the beach front on the 3rd floor overlooking the sea which at the moment is pretty rough ( check out the pictures) so I don't expect an invasion from the North Koreans at the moment.

But the South Koreans are taking no chances as the beach has barbed wire along the top of the beach, though there are breaks in it to let us tourists go onto the beach.

The barbed wire fence is currently being checked out, as I write by the South Korean military and to top it all there are search lights fanning out across the sea, right up in front of us - wow this is spooky.

So anything could happen.

Tonight we had shell fish soup cooked in front of us, such a lot of shell fish, and only 18 quid including a couple of beers - just amazing, this is the life.....

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The first week

Yep we have been here in Soeul a week now.

The first day when it was a bit misty in the morning and slightly cooler, but still warm.

Today we met David and Nami and did a bit of shopping - Suri bought a T shirt and a fleece type top in one of the local department stores in MYEONG - DONG, which is a big shopping area in Soeul - very busy - see picture.

Then we had these great donuts and coffeee - see the picture.

After that we went for a meal, which was pork cooked by ourselves again, a very tasty meal - see the picture, and was only slightly more than the coffee this afternoon.

Tonight we said bye bye to David and Nami for the next 2 weeks, as tomorrow we set off on our own on the next stage of our adventure.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Today is Saturday 7th October 2006

Still here in Soeul, more precisely in GANSEOGAGEORI - well that's a mouthfull isn't it. It's sort of in Incheon and on the outskirts of Soeul - see my report on Tripadviser about the hotel.

We let David have a rest today, we did our own thing. First of all we went to Incheon bus station to book up the bus ride to GAGNEUNG on Monday next, really quite straight forward, except for Suri wanting to buy more clothes - I persuaded her to leave it for now.

Then we decided to go into Soeul by bus - just for a change over the trains and tubes, and about the same time too - cost 2 quid for us both.

Then we went to DEOK SU GUNG PALACE, this was much smaller than GYEONGBOK PALACE that we visited the other day, and it was not a rebuild. There were however about 8 old style buildings and one newer Seokjojeon - built around 1909, and similar to much western architecture.

Then we wandered around the city hall square and found the CHEONGGYECHEON STREAM, which was originally concreted over with a fly over, but 3 years ago they decided to open up the stream and make it a tourist attraction, I have to say it is a must see in Soeul. It sure was busy.

We then found a nice place to eat at SONGNAE, we had chicken and sort of noodles in a spicy sauce cooked in front of us at our table, compared to the previous night it was 10 times better and only 19,000 yon - that's about 9 quid, and included a couple of beers -that's what I call VFM.

That's enough for now ----

Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday 6th October

A very quiet day, due to it being a national holiday - so most of the shops were closed for the early part of the day, its a sort of family day where everybody visits their family bearing gifts and presents, usually rice cakes or enormous apples or pears.

Late on in the day we met David and went to Wolmido which is a seaside resort and port.

Lots of fishermen (as you can see from the picture) and fish restaurants here, but we had decided to go to China town in Incheon, this was the worst meal we have had here in South Korea, and the most expensive.

Afterwards we walked up the hill to see a statue of General MacArthur, who on behalf of the USA helped to liberate the people of South Korea, apparantly they have to guard the statue 'cos there have been threats to destroy it. It's a funny old world.

Oh yes I booked up the hotel for when we leave here on Monday morning - at least I think I have 'cos the couple on reception spoke no English and I spoke even less Korean.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

More days in Soeul

Yesterday Wednesday the 4th Of October we went to the War Memorial of Korea in Soeul, we met David on the way. The weather was good again, in fact the weather has been much better than I expected, no rain, and really quite hot, so much so that the air conditioning in the hotel and on the trains is really most welcome - even for Suri.

Talking about the trains, they really are very good, clean and as I said air conditioned so even when you are squashed in like sardines - its not too bad. And the stations are really very big and cavernous.

Now I have got the hang of the directions it's really quite straight forward, even with very little signage in English. The one thing to say against them is the number of stairs, for example you go down one flight then another then walk what seems forever, then up some stairs, walk a little further then down some more stairs and if you have followed the signs there you are and the train arrives - that bit is fantastic.

Back to the Wae Memorial, I was very imprest, though it is not my sort of thing, though they let children climb in and over all of the kit ( oh yes we were big kids an all). All in all pretty impressive and certainly educational.

In the evening we went for fried chicken and beer - from a jug, I think its true to say this is David's favourite food at the moment - he was pretty excited about it.

I reckon the prices here in Soeul are about a third of those in the UK, really very cheap - but I am sure London is the most expensive place in the world, so every where we visit must be cheaper.

Today Thursday, we went to Insa - Dong, where there is a street market, we tried out some of the stall food here, which was pretty interesting though nothing too outragous ....

Then we went up the Namson Tower which is a bit like the Telecom Tower in London, but a little higher and its on the top of a hill so it looks much more impressive, to get up there we went on a packed cable car, so not as enjoyable as it could have been.

But the tower itself was really something and the views from the top were something else, you could walk and view all around, and on each window was written what was to be seen out of the window, on another level, they wrote the distance to places like London, The North Pole and Sydney. Oh and I had a lovely iced mocha coffee, Suri had a lovely Latti and David had a pecular green tea made from milk - very odd but very refreshing.

For dinner tonight we had a sort of beef neck stew, which we cooked before us as we sat crossed legged on the floor.

As I am writing this the hotel has just brought us some unusual sweet dish, which I think we saw someone making in the steet market, by hitting it with this enourmous wooden mallet. mmm very nice.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Early days in Korea - 2nd & 3rd of October

I think I missed this out of yesterdays blog, it was David's last day at work so we went for a wander locally to where david lives he lives in Mansu Sam-ji-gu it is sort of between Incheon and Soeul.

There was a lovely stream with lots of lovely wild flowers to see and smell as we walked up the valley, then up to the park, which was apparantly the 2nd biggest around Soeul.

There was a beautiful lake with loads of fish in it, and as it was such a lovely day and we were tired, we had a bit of a sleep on the grass, taking in the late summer sun, which was just not doene by the locals - I guess we got a few funny looks. On the way back we saw a wedding - on the banks ofthe river - just amazing.

We tried out our first Korean food a sort of hot dog and a similar crab stick on a stick with a sort of dough on - all in all fairly ordinary I have to say.

Later on after David finished school we went to a local restaurant where we had sort stew which we added thin slices of beef to it and cooked it on the stove ourselves in the middle of the low down short table, there was a range of side dishes, including hot yellow pickled radish and then they fried some rice in the same dish that had the stew in it - all in all pretty good - plus an occasional beer.

Yesterday we met Nami, - Davids friend, we all went on the train to see the Gyeongbokgung castle, this was rebuilt in 1998 and I have to say it was a good job, although it was a bit like Didney world - as I would expect as I have never visited Disney World. At the time they were preparing for a local TV programme in front of the castle, there were queues of people all over.

We also went to the Folk museum, which was in the grounds - oh by the way I nearly forgot - it was free entry - 'cos it was a national " family" holiday.

In the evening we went for another Korean meal, this time we had a sort of BBQ on the table in front of us, with a chimney to take away the fumes - quite something, we had beef and a range of salads, and sude dishes.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Arrived in Korea

What a trip we had, everything went well, taxi turned up, tube from Cockfosters to Heathrow - no problems, went straight through no baggage problems, then sat on the plane for 2 hours, every 20 minutes there was an announcement - delays.

Eventually off we flew to Doha, could not fault the flight except the delay - but that was down to Heathrow.

Arrived in Doha - 29c - of course the connection to Soeul had gone, but we were put on a flight to Hong Kong - always wanted to go to HK.

Then we had to transfer to another flight to Soeul, a rep from Cathay Pacific was there waiting for us - very impressed, then off we flew again - didn't see much of HK, except through the window.

Arrived in Soeul, - only three hours late - amazing.

So would David be there, yes of course he was - after a quick search of the airport arrivals. It was really good to see him.

Then onto the bus, then a taxi and suddenly we were at David's appartment. We stayed the night - he made us most welcome - giving up his bed to sleep on the floor.

Next mornay - Monday 2nd October - David went off to work and we went exploring - on David's advice of course we found a lovely park and stream to walk along, the day was spent relaxing and taking in the sun.

Tonight David took us for our first real Korean meal, we had snacked of course a hot dog in bread and crab stick in something similar. Well we had beef in a sort of stew which we cooked on the table in front of us - oh we sat on the floor and splashed the soup about a lot.

Then got a cab to our hotel, check it out at


It really is impressive.

Oh well that's it for now - CYA...

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