Thursday, October 9, 2008


I've been meaning to post about our trip to Gapyeong last weekend, but the few times I've had some time to myself this week, I've not felt like sitting in front of the computer. But I did have a wonderful time last weekend and wanted to post some photos.

I brought up going to the Jarasum International Jazz Festival to Sejin about a month back and he did the smile and nod thing. Sejin isn't a jazz fan -- he was actually nodding off when we saw Branford Marsalis in concert a couple years back. But I've been really wanting to go to this festival, so he agreed, booked train tickets and festival tickets and I marked it on the calendar.

Then I remembered we had talked to Hayan and her boyfriend, Yungyu, about going away for a weekend. So, I thought, let's just all go to Gapyeong. And why stop there? We hadn't seen Christie and Wonsang for a while, so we invited them along.

Usually I'm not much a group travel person -- I find that traveling with a group usually slows you down, so I prefer to travel with only one or two people with a similar plan in mind, but this trip worked out well. Yungyu booked a nice pension (which we had neglected to do) and Hayan had the excellent idea of visiting Nami Island, which is quite close to Jara Island.

The train ride to Gapyeong was great. One thing to remember about traveling in Korea -- weekend traffic sucks. Last weekend was especially bad because it was a long weekend. The trains here (even the old ones) are awesome. They are quiet, comfortable, not very expensive, and best of all, as with all trains, you miss all the traffic. Hayan, Yungyu, Sejin, and I enjoyed a smooth 1 1/2 hour trip from Seoul to Gapyeong, having some good conversation along with some sandwiches and kimbap. Poor Christie and Wonsang. They decided to drive and we didn't see them in Gapyeong until dinner time -- their trip took them over 5 hours!
That evening we took a walk by the river, and had a barbecue outside our pension. It was nice to hear the peace and quiet, and fall weather was perfect. After dinner, we headed to the festival, which was very busy. We saw a couple of bands perform at Jazz Island. It was a bit chilly, but we had fun and headed back to the pension at around 11pm in high spirits where we celebrated Hayan's birthday.After cake we played cards. I found out Koreans seem to like seeing each other suffer, and so they took great care in thinking of a proper punishment for losing. The loser of each game had to eat a sizable chunk of raw onion. Luckily I didn't lose -- Christie said she could still taste onion the next morning. But to me, the entire table setting looked like punishment enough. As snacks, we had a strange assortment of strawberry birthday cake, tuna, dried persimmons, chocolate cookies, shrimp chips, and of course onions (see above photo collage). They were drinking soju mixed with plum juice.

The next morning we got up, had an equally strange breakfast (the assortment from the night before, plus ramen), and headed to Nami Island. Unfortunately, that Saturday was not a good day to go to Nami Island. I should have remembered, never visit any popular place in Korea on a long weekend! But it worked out well and Nami Island was quite beautiful. I think I'd like to go back on a less busy day to get some better pictures.

After returning from Nami and getting lunch (Chuncheon dalk galbi -- very good), Hayan and Yungyu headed back to Seoul, while the rest of us stayed to catch some more jazz.
Although we were only gone for two days and one night, it was a long weekend and we were pretty tired when we got in the door at 12am Saturday night. But it was a really fun trip and one I'll remember for a long time. It was so great to spend time with friends in the nice weather and scenery, since in another three months I'll be housebound with an infant! I'm hoping to fit in another trip or two before then.

1 comment:

Mama Seoul said...

Sounds like a great trip!