Thursday, December 19, 2002

Well another week down. The weekend was a lot of fun, Amy and I headed out to the beach here in Ulsan. It was an interesting bus ride, we ended up going in entirely the wrong direction from where we wanted to go. But, we got there in the end. Not without Amy nearly vomiting from all the jerking and bouncing on the bus and me nearly wetting myself. The last time I ever drink several coffees before getting on a bus for an hour and a half. The lessons you learn are sometimes small, but invaluable!

Once we got to the beach we walked out along the seashore, which is very beautiful. The Sea of Japan has clear, brilliant blue/green water and was still warm enough for some kids to be swimming in it in November! We strolled along the seaside and picked out some incredible shells that had washed ashore.

From the beach we walked up a hill to some trails in a small pine forest that wound their way out to some incredible rocks the jetted out into the ocean . Out on the rocks was a huge whale jawbone monument, that represented Ulsan's traditional whaling industry. Banned now, they do have a festival every year where they are allowed to catch a few whales and make traditional dishes that incorporate whale meat. That would be very interesting I'm sure, we'll have to make sure we are around for that!

The rocks had these intricate pathways and bridges that linked them all together so you could walk all the way out to the point. They were covered in people fishing and in the bay you could see several women in wetsuits out collecting shellfish. It was a very peaceful spot, it was nice to get out of the city and connect with nature again.

On the way back to the beach and the bus, we stopped to try a traditional Korean snack sold by the many vendors that dot the path out to the rocks. They were this little snails/limpits that had been boiled in sea water. You got a little cup full of these shells (kind of like peanuts at a baseball game) and you sucked out the meat from the opening of the shell. They were very delicious!

Anyway, Sunday was spent on the hunt for a cable for our VCR which is harder than you think to find! We must have trailed around to half a dozen stores until we could find someone who could understand what the hell we were talking about!

Next weekend I think we'll try and get out of the city, either to Pusan or Gyeongju where there are many Buddhist temples, royal palace and tombs to explore. More to come next week!

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