We needn’t have brought a camp stove, we could have cooked on my feet!!
For Jesus’ birthday we all get gifts and eat altogether too much food. Similarly, last weekend for Buddha’s birthday J and I did a considerable amount of eating. We also got the gifts of wonderful memories, new experiences, and horrific sunburn.
We began our adventure like all the greats: at mental o’clock on Saturday morning. It seems that this crazy hour is the time for all of the activity as we buzzed about throwing our supplies into the bags and then banging out the door, laden with everything one might want on a camping trip. Bar my sleeping bag which remained on top of my wardrobe. An unfortunate oversight on my part, but I’ll blame the early hour for this one.
So we bungled ourselves onto the subway (line 1 to Hadan), and grabbed a bus to the famous Geoje Island. In typical fashion, both Jamie and myself had looked at different sets of directions as to how to find the right place to catch our last bus to the beach. This resulted in a panicked leap from the bus in Okpo and an over-long sojourn at a forlorn bus stop waiting for a bus that would never come. Needless to say we looked like something Keats could dream up, alone and palely loitering.
Eventually, having given up all hope, we descended the hill into the town proper and searched the internet for the correct set of directions. It’s a shame there isn’t some kind of internet connection available on you mobile phone when WiFi is not available, that would be very handy. So, we finally managed to find our bus stop (after climbing a hill that felt like some kind of paved Everest if I’m honest, but that may have been the tiredness) and make it to Gojura Beach.
Having left off at the end of my first day in Seoul (in Monday’s extensive entry) I’m not going to go as in-depth with what followed. Needless to say we got up late on Sunday considering we had high hopes for our tourist activities, however, when faced with lying in bed over suffering a headache J opted for the former.
Therefore, when we got up and dressed we decided it would be best to head right to the station to get bus tickets to ensure we actually made it home that day. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived back to the bus terminal, we had missed every single bus until 3AM. Great.
We did eat in a Rockin’ Joes, where they draw a man in your ketchup…
Panic unfurled in my stomach like the Kracken reawakened. What on Earth do we do now??? Jamie on the other hand kept calm, outwardly at least, and suggested we head for the other intercity terminal and try there. Needless to say this was the better of our two responses and we managed to secure tickets on a bus home. Sadly, the time spent getting around the city’s subway system and finding the ticket office in the intercity terminal ate into our tourist time and we were forced to change the itenerary and drop Seoul’s most international neighborhood, Itaewon, and the palace, disappointing but unavoidable.
Instead we spent the intervening hours at the riverside at the CNN cafe on the floating islands. They were rated quite well on Tripadvisor and happend to be close by so we opted for convenience over culture. The cover photo of this post shows the islands from a distance, they weren’t quite what I expected but were quite pleasant to look at. I was, however, rather disappointed with the CNN cafe as Anderson Cooper was nowhere to be seen, nor were any other newscasters from the network. CNN is liars.
Overall, the trip to Seoul will be considered a success, however, I must say I was somewhat underwhelmed by the city, or the small areas of it that I saw. I think the ‘capital city feeling’ is not as full of appeal as I had expected it to be. I know I missed out some of the best parts of Seoul but all in all I think I’m a Busan boy now and shan’t be making the move to Seoul during my time here in Korea. Thus leading to the conclusion that although I’ve been so Seoul, I’m just not a Seouldier.