July Round-up: Part 2

When my mom arrived, Dean and I were proud to act as tour guides of Jeonju and show her around. Her visit was also perfectly timed to coincide with our 3 day vacation so we were extremely lucky to be able to visit Jeju Island.  Here are just a few photos to finish off the end of the month. 

Mum catching on with the Korean ways :) 

The flowers this time of year are lovely.

One of the larger traditional Hanok Village houses.

Enjoying the wonderful treats the village has to offer on a hot day.

A moving tribute to the victims of the Sewol tragedy. Korea is still in deep pain about this. 

More flowers and a cat!

My mom became a bit obsessed with cute Korean children. Snapping pictures whenever she could. Her camera must be full of them :)

Hillside village. How to disguise a drain pipe. 

Lucky for my mom, she also celebrated her birthday while she was here. We took her to try the famous Jeonju Bibimbap. We went to a restaurant called Gajok Hwegwan and it was definitely the best Bibimbap we have had so far. We followed up with traditional Korean desert Bingsu which is made from shaved ice and has various toppings. It is truly most delicious.

More flowers. In the forest behind our apartment. 

Gym time!! In the forest.

-One a side note, a funny thing happened at school the other day. My middle school students rushed in one evening to tell me about Ebola. And how Ebola is in Africa and that now I am lucky and I don't have to worry because I'm in Korea, I'm safe!!. The blissful ignorance...

Hanok Village in pictures

On a return trip to the Hanok Village we managed to visit some of the well-known places we didn’t get to last time and finally taste Jeonju’s famous Bibimbap. And it wasn’t too crowded either. 

We started off just outside the Hanok Village at Pungammun Gate and Jeondong Cathederal. Pungammun Gate used to be part of Jeonju's city wall and was built in 1768. At a plaza just near Pungammun Gate, there was a tribute to the Sewol ferry disaster. Yellow ribbons and decorated life jackets were on display. There were some haunting messages written on the jackets blaming the crew for killing the children. Jeondong 

Cathedral was one of the first  cathedrals to be built in Korea and has a somewhat European style. A sweet old man saw us hanging around the cathedral and offered to take our photo. He managed to take about 20 photos all with his finger over the corner.

Outside Gyeonggijeon, a shrine area full of beautful buildings and trees.

We loved this little shop-Mohair Shop (http://www.mohairshop.co.kr). It sells all sorts of teddy bears and teddy bear making kits. We bought 2 and have loved sewing up our little animals. 

"Happiness". Shops and stalls in the Village sell all sorts of trinkets and fans.

A very old convenience store.

Walking up to Omokdae, the view point above the Hanok Village. 

On the hilltop there is a resting place (note all the shoes) and once again an outdoor gym (just incase you thought about gyming while you were touring the village).

We wondered out of the Hanok Village to a very old, quaint, hillside village. I'm not sure what it is called but it wound its way up the hill and many of the walls were painted with all sorts of murals (more to come in a blogpost on this later).

We ended our day with some of Jeonju's famous Bibimbap. After trying some of the many snacks for sale in the village, we weren't too hungry so we only ordered 1 portion of food. And look at all that food!! Bibimbap is traditionally a mixture of vegetables served on a bed of rice in a stone bowel and topped with some meat and a fried egg. There are now many different variations. As you can see, our meal is surrounded by all sorts of side dishes, from crab to tofu and kimchi. This is common in Korea and best of all, they are FREE!

First weekend-visiting the Hanok Village

Having the long weekend after we arrived was perfect to allow us to recuperate after our trip and get over the jet lag. We were also able to start getting our apartment organized by making a few trips to Home Plus. There was hardly any storage space in our apartment so we managed to make a plan with some portable hanging rails.

Walking around our neighbourhood:

On Saturday we decided to explore and take a trip to Jeonju’s famous Hanok Village. It was relatively easy making our way there because we could just show the taxi driver our translation page Joanna had given us and off we went. The Hanok Village is very famous in Korea and attracts lots of tourists and locals. The village is full of traditional Korean houses, very old buildings and shrines and lots of tearooms and food stalls. We didn’t particularly have a plan for when we arrived, we just planned on wondering around. As the village is a very big tourist attraction, we expected to see a few foreigners. Not the case. I think we saw one Westerner there and I think about 3 the whole weekend. We are slowly realizing seeing Westerners is very rare. The village was really crowded, I think maybe because it was a long weekend. We didn’t get to see as much of it as we wanted and we definitely need to go back to see the Jeondong Cathedral, calligraphy museum, the Gyeonggijeon shrine and the Confucian academy. The crowds and the fact that NO ONE (well basically) speaks English was quite overwhelming. But it was a good start to looking into the Korean culture and seeing how our new life was going to be.

Around the Hanok Village:

I couldn't resist, I had to buy a fan, Koreans don't seem to notice it is BOILING!! (and the hat was a desperate purchase from Home Plus to avoid sunburn)

Trying some of the snacks! These are rice cakey type things and are filled with ice cream and topped with strawberries. Delish!!

This little boy, whose name was "Friendly", came up to us and gave us 2 chocolates. Korean children choose their English names (sometimes bizarre ones) so I guess his name suited him.

So crowded!!

Having an "iced beer".

This cute little kid was having a great time.

After visiting the Hanok village we spent the rest of the weekend spring cleaning our apartment and preparing for our first week of our new teaching job.