Monday, July 10, 2017

Meals on wheels, South Korea, Jeju, day four

For our last day on Jeju I had had the intention to just relax...
But then I decided that we would hike to the hill that we could see from our hotel before breakfast!

Now, I am the person that gave a face to the portmanteau hangry (hungry+angry), so me taking the decision to take a long walk before breakfast is really really strange, but my mind was set and so we ventured out! 

And really, when the colors are so vibrant and the sky so blue and when there are even a bunch of horses along the way (how can they stand upright on that slope?!?), it's not possible to get hangry!
But after breakfast, which of course we had at Café delmondo again, we stayed right there and were reading and sleeping in their deckchairs until I, again, decided that we had done enough relaxing and that we should after all climb all the way Seongsan Ilchubong, the sunrise peak that Jeju is famous for.
The hike up consits of an estimated one million stairs, but the view, when you see the tuff cone from its edge, makes up for it all! It's difficult to do justice to it in a photo but below you have two shots of the tuff cone's edge.

I had read in our guide book that every day at 14:30, the Haenyeo, the female divers that Jeju is famous for would show their skills right below the sunrise peak and so we of course also wanted to see this.

The women looked like they were all over 60 years old which made their diving even more impressive. Apparently they can dive 30 meters down and hold their breath for more than 3 minutes! Now what are they diving after? Sea snails, sea urchins and octopuses!
They are sold right there at a little restaurant they operate and we said, hey, we are here, let's have a sea snail, after all, that's what you do when you are on Jeju, right? These little babies are pricy though and we just about scraped our last bills and coins together to be able to afford one!

It turns out it was good we didn't have enough money to buy one sea snail each because, what can I say? After sea urchin, which until then had been the culinary low point of my life (as in: I almost vomitted with every bite I had to eat), raw sea snails come second! I had expected something soft and chewy, like scallops, but each piece really took some effort to bite through! The only way to describe it is that I imagine biting through a human auricle must taste the same! Apparently there was one soft piece, which my sister was lucky to eat, but I really had to force every single small slice down! At least we impressed the Koreans sitting right next to us which was also why we couldn't just leave a piece and loose our faces! They had also offered us some of their Schnaps that one apparently should have together with the snail and though we declined, I could very well understand that you needed Schnaps after I had taken the first bite...

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at one of the many cute cafés along the scenic road (totally recommended by the way, what a view! Even when you are the driver) leading from Seongsan Ilchubong to Jeju-Si. Give me some coffee and chocolate cake pölease!!

After some more relaxation, we had dinner at another restaurant where if I remember correctly you could chose between two set menues? In any case it was an assortment of good things and just what I needed after a sea snail for lunch! The day after, I returned to Seoul where I was too exhausted to do anything substantial, and unfortunately, the city museum (as most other museums) which I would have loved to sea, was closed on Mondays, so I headed out to the aiport quite early to catch my flight back to Berlin! Will I travel to Korea again? I am almost positive! I really really had a great time, and I hope my posts conveyed this!

copyright of all photos j.

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