Solo travelling

13-15th July – Journey in Ulsan

13th of July

Today I left Jeju in the morning. It was raining. Again. The day before when I had a car accident the hostel owner took care of me a lot. At dinner time they asked me to go down and have dinner with three other Koreans. It was a good chance for me to practice Korean as they didn’t really speak English. The next day the owner even woke up early just to see me out. I felt so touched that we didn’t really know each other, still they took a great care of me.

The weather was interesting. The day I arrived it rained. The day I left it rained. Anyway I got to the airport and went back to Busan. I wanted to buy magnets but couldn’t find any at the train station. I couldn’t go outside either as my bag was so heavy. Therefore I stayed and waited at the station. I had some red bean porridge (patjuk) for breakfast- lunch as I hadn’t eaten anything before. Red bean porridge is said to cool down your inner body and it brings you luck as it keeps the harmful spirit away due to the red colour. I guess there was a reason why I craved for this food.

Red bean porridge

At 3:45pm the train came. I went by KTX, the fast train to Ulsan. It took around 20 minutes. When I arrived my friend came for me. I could stay at his place during the time I spent here.

As he had a schedule at the church I went to visit Catholic church there. I didn’t expect to see many church during this trip. In Busan my host invited me to  one and now in Ulsan. The ceremony took around 1 hour then I waited for my friend outside. While waiting I met a girl who was also Vietnamese. We talked for a while then the priest also joined. I was lucky as the girl was there, because she spoke Korean well, so she could translate and help me when needed.

After the church we went to Hey Mer! café by the sea. It was night and the lights came on. The weather was pleasurable and the whole scene was calm and enjoyable. We each had a drink then went home.

14th of July

Today my friend worked in the morning so after breakfast that his mom made, he took me to Samsan. It’s a modern district with many shopping mall and shops. I waited for him there until he was working. I tried to look around and do some shopping but I felt so pity to spend my money so I didn’t buy anything. Only a book. I waited 3.5 hours for him. I tried to find places to go nearby but the time didn’t really match. I also kept translating the task that I was given from home. Still that 3.5 hours were the most boring time so far. I guess shopping malls are not for me anymore.

Samsan shopping district

When he finished we went to Taehwagang park. It became a national park there. People set up a tent to do camping. It is near to the river so the atmoshphere is nice. There is also a bamboo park there. I loved that place. It’s green, natural, cool and the air was fresh. Only the mosquitoes were terrible. I wore short as the weather was sunny, so my leg was bitten all over.

Bamboo park
Taehwagang park

We walked around there until 5pm then we went to eat. I was craving for hot pot (Shabushabu) so we had that. It was a buffet style so I could chose what to put into the hot pot and cook it. If we had more time I would definitely stay there for many hours. But after 1,5 hours my friend realized he had some work to do so we left.

It was another church. He had a schedule to sing there. I didn’t expect to visit this much church during my trip. The ceremony was all the same. Since it was already late and my friend had to go to work the next day we went home. I didn’t do anything special during the day but I felt so tired.

15th of July

As today I was alone, I had to think whether I wanted to go out and where. Since I was a bit late with my post I decided to stay at home. Moreover I had been running sightseeing for 10 days now, I guess it was time to slow down a bit and finish the work I still had. So there was nothing special during the day.

They took me to launderette to wash my clothes as they were afraid my clothes couldn’t dry at home due to the high humidity. The self – drycleaning in Korea looks like you put the money into a machine and it will give you a card. You have to tap that card each time you use washing machine or the dryer. I realized we could have washed my clothes at their house and only dry it there. That would save much more money. The cold wash cost 4500 won and the dryer was 500 won / 4 minutes.

Later on my friend’s mum took me to Onggi village. Onggi is pottery where people kept the fermented food in it and stored during the winter time. In traditional society they even buried it into the ground so it could keep the food fresh and for long time throughout the winter.

Onggi village

I was very interested in this place. The Onggi village represents the old society when people still used it a lot. They made mannequin like figures to show it. There is a museum and also a school that teaches how to make them. We visited a family who were making small, cute potteries.

We crossed a clover field so my friend’s mum stopped to find a four-leaf clover. Even though I knew people liked to do this, I had never spent any time to find four-leaf clover. The mum found so many while I could only find one but that was a five-leaf clover. I guess this is a sign that I will have luck during the rest of my journey. 😀

Arriving back home I finished my work and called my mom. Then I was too tired and lazy to go somewhere or do something so I watched Running Man, then fell asleep. I can’t say I wasn’t bored staying at home. I could have gone out by finding places on my own. However I realized I also needed time to write the blog and finish translation. What was more important was to have a rest. Maybe due to the whole day of relaxing I had a really good night. I could sleep straight from around midnight until the next day 7am without waking up in the middle of the night. Finally after travelling for 10 days I could sleep properly. Moreover the food that my friend’s mom made was absolutely delicious. I hope after this my sleeping cycle will get better and I will eat more regularly. 

The next day I left for Gyeongju. Stay tuned for the upcoming adventures! 🙂

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