It’s been almost a month since I spent a weekend at home in Daegu. The holidays extended the weekends and little trips away were organised for wintery fun times. As I’m not going away during my winter vacation, I’ve taken my holiday dates to extend pretty much all my weekends to three days until I finish in Korea. So lots of mini-trips to come!
First up was a return for Vic and I to our favorite spot out in the countryside. We’d visited before at the end of summer, where we spent time basking in the sun by the river drinking wine, but now, the weekend before Christmas, it was going to be a much frostier affair.
Part of the reason we were so excited to return was for the log burning fire in each room. We got the fire going pretty much as soon as we arrived and it was roaring until we departed the following afternoon.
The river, that before we had asked some Koreans to borrow their raft so that we could cross with all our wine, had completely frozen over. Large rocks couldn’t break it and you could safely wander/slide/be pulled across it.
It was a very relaxing weekend enjoying the fire and wintery surroundings. Our own mini Christmas as we’d be doing separate things over real Christmas.
Christmas Long Weekend
The following weekend was Christmas! In following in the theme of returns, I’d organised a little glamping trip to a spot I’d visited in autumn last year. The big tents are super warm and it was also a short ten minute journey from the ski slopes that we wanted to go hit. After picking up our rental car and the stresses of figuring out where we could put LPG gas into it, (not at a petrol station), and getting out of Daegu, we were on the winding road into the national park.
The evening of our arrival was a fairly warm, (for winter), evening and we sat out late by our fire roasting marshmallows and setting off sparklers.
Christmas eve greeted us with rain picking up whilst we were organising our ski gear. We retreated into the tents and spent the day playing games, until the rain passed and we could go for a short hike by the glamping site.
As darkness we descended we drove up to the slopes and spent the rest of the time skiing. As midnight struck the fireworks started going off and we skied down to be treated to an array of colorful explosions as we chilled on the slopes. Champagne was popped when we arrived back.
All in all a fantastic Christmas here in Korea. It’s a time where it’s easy to feel the pangs of homesickness as everyone else gathers together and celebrates, so it’s great to spend it surrounded by friends.
New Year Long Weekend
Another long weekend and another hire car. After 2 years, most places that are easily accessible by buses, I’ve visited. I wanted to check out Juwangsan national park, which is much easier to visit if you can just drive.
I was spending the long weekend in Pohang with Vic, so we drove up the coast, stopping at a few beach locations with our morning coffees and then saw a very cool ice climbing wall.
We went for a fairly long and adventurous hike through the national park. It started by following the frozen stream and waterfall with cliffs towering above us, before a leaf-hidden trail up to the highest peak and following the ridgeline to the second highest peak. We got down just before the sun set and treated ourselves to a delicious pajeon (Korean savoury pancake) and makkoli (rice wine kind of thing) before the journey home.
New Years was spent with some of Victoria’s friends, first with some delicious scallops for dinner and then on to one of the nicest apartments I’ve seen an EPIK teacher have for drinks. New Years day was spent mainly relaxing with cards and Netflix, but we did get out into some hills near Vic’s place for a little hike/run through the trees.
This first week of just being sat at my desk is going fairly quickly. Reducing it to four days helps a lot and my kindle, coffee, christmas chocolate and Netflix do their bit to make time shuffle by.