Spring in Taebaek, at last

20 04 2009

Eventually here in out little mountain town, spring has struck. The flowers are out and blooming everywhere, with an amazing display of whites, pinks, yellows and purples. Strange but I don’t recall it being so beautiful last year, however maybe I just didn’t pay as much attention.

Either way, its stunning.

Detail of a Magnolia in Hwangji Pond Park

Taebaek Magnolia

Hwangji Pond

Hwangji Pond

With spring in the air, the bee’s came out to play. Thousands of them

Cherry Blossom and bee

More Magnolias (with spider)

Taebaek Magnolias

Cherry blossoms

Cherry Blossom

The old men in town gather under the tree’s and talk, even occasionally drinking soju.

Cherry blossom and old men

More Cherry blossoms

Cherry Blossom

Cherry blossoms and Green Tea

14 04 2009

After our fearless leader finished our tour of Seongyojang house, he invited us to a Green Tea ceremony down on the other side of the lake.

The drive itself was, um, unique. He appeared to have no clue as to where we were going, going into various back streets, U-turns, parking in busy roads and asking directions. Eventually we were about to get out and go our own way but he convinced us he knew where to go this time.

Eventually we arrived in a car park, full of course. We parked in between some trees and met the rest of the bunch.

The cherry blossoms were out in full force as we walked down towards the park.

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom

The park itself was full of families having picnics and people performing the “green tea ceremony”. We were brought to a lady who performed the ceremony for us. All volunteers.

Green Tea Ceremony

Green Tea Ceremony

While participating in the tea ceremony the horde of local kids spotted us and decided to communicate on paper by writing us notes.

Crazy Kids

I was also interviewed twice by TV camera’s but I’m not sure if I’ll make it onto the tube. I’ll have to wait and see if I get spotted 🙂

Following the tea ceremony we were taken to make traditional Korean candy. Basically taking a paste and forming it into a candy shape, pretty easy really. Just avoid the pine tree pollen one (bright yellow).

Making Korean Candy

Candy Adjummas

Following what felt like an hour of photos with various people, we managed to leave and grab some lunch. A very late lunch. Luck I doubled up on breakfast.

We had fresh Sundubu, or tofu soup. In Gangneung its made with seawater and is supposed to taste much better, a bit of a local speciality. We also had JongSik with the Sundubu, JongSik being the mixed extras you get with this kind of meal.


Sundubu and Jongsik

And where would we have been without our fearless leader, who’s name I don’t think I ever knew.

Our Fearless Leader