Monday, April 22, 2013

Jecheon Weekend

After a tremendous barbecue and house party on Friday, the plan was to go to Jecheon for their Cherry Blossom festival. Jecheon is in Chungcheonbuk-do, which is the only 도 in Korea without access to the sea. The mountains give it its own beauty however. I think the last time I visited a specific area in Chungcheonbuk-do was back in 2010, when I saw the beautiful Songnisan Beopjusa (and apparently never blogged about it so here is a picture of younger [and skinnier?] Mark).

 It was time to make another visit. Cameron organized the trip, but HS ended up helping with a lot. Particularly, he helped reserve our pension, which was kind of in the middle of nowhere. This would have been grand, if it hadn't been so far from the lake and festival. Nevertheless, we spent the afternoon wandering in the nearby mountains. That included meeting a very creepy older Korean guy who told us that it was too dark and we should turn back in a voice that was completely devoid of tone and emotion. Glad we made it back to Seoul.

After Margaret fell in a stream (ㅋㅋㅋ), the ungentlemen abandoned her to go wandering through the woods. There, we found an outdoor toilet that actually was pretty well made and had been freshly used, but where were the people? A lot of abandoned construction projects in this area...

Dinner was the good to try once 오리백숙, which is a soup made from the entire carcass of a duck. Unlike a lot of Korean food, it was very bland but I was assured this is because it is so healthy. While the soup may have been healthy, I'm sure the amounts of soju we drank were not... oops.

In the morning, we headed to the festival. I only got one picture, which is actually quite beautiful. The cherry blossoms were bustling and gusts of wind would cause them to fall to the earth like so many snowflakes. Really quite beautiful. If you look at the picture, however, you may notice the downside of a beautiful festival.
Yes, just like everything in Korea this festival (not even a well known one) was quite packed. What should have been a half an hour drive from Jecheon to the lake ended up being closer to two hours. We got to the festival and practically immediately had to turn around so we could catch our bus in Jecheon. But there weren't any buses coming by! So, of course, we had to hitchhike. Surprisingly, all nine of us were picked up (by three different cars). Although it was kind of a bummer at the festival, Saturday evening and Sunday morning as well as hitchhiking with strangers made the trip memorable.

Next time I go to Chungcheonbuk-do, though, I'm going to try to stay a bit longer. And hopefully see Guinsa temple!  

No comments:

Post a Comment