Friday, May 19, 2006

This is northeastern Seoul on the clearest day we've ever had since being here. This was the day we got back from Deokjeokdo - still having trouble typing that word (Sunday)! We never knew that the mountains across the valley were so close. Some days we can't even see them because of the yellow sand and smog.

Those two peaks are ones that we really really want to hike. That mountain is called Dobongsan.

This, again, is our transformed mountain after the weekend rain. The creek was full, and the water clear and cool.

Possibly the coolest shot in the world.


Our trip to the island of Deokjeokdo... or Joke-Joke-Joke as we called it for lack of pronunciation ability. As soon as we were off the bus that transported us from the ferry, we were like, so ready for some beach frolicking. Ah, the somewhat caged life of cityslickers we lead (really, we're country bumpkins at heart)!

The Beach Love Motel. We were going to check out the rates for fun, but then we saw the guy behind me coming out of his van with a shotgun... !!! we found a better lodging place instead at SomeLove motel nearby. Don't ask me about the names, hey it was cheap and we were cool with that.

les babettes

just two peeps

Does this not look disgusting and yet intruiging at the same time! Methinks a scuttling crab did the dirty deed.

A close-up view of the propellor on the following boat

Ar... swashbucklin' pose on a rather rhinocerous-looking rock

Monday, May 15, 2006

Our room at SomeLove, eating rameon noodles and tuna, the only thing we could find at the little store nearby besides chips and some outdated drinks in their fridge, along with a toothless ajuma who bartered a high price for her goods. We had no idea there would be so little food!!! No grocery stores in sight. Tuna never tasted so good. Luckily our room came equipped with a small burner and a bowl. We all began daydreaming of Outback Steakhouse halfway through Saturday and on, being that we were all never satiated completely throughout the weekend. Boy did we binge on Sunday when we got back!!

We went fishing with two poles that Adrian found all tangled together at low tide earlier on. He spent a good two hours in the dark, the night before with his headlamp on disassembling the mess. The results of his labour? Well, it was a fun time, bacon for bait and no fish! There's something so exhilirating though about waiting to get a bite, and then realizing that fish just don't dig pork.

On Sunday, it was absolutely spectacular. So we left.

Ahhh... this could've been our island, but it wasn't.

Bustin' a move...

...and sailing away from the foodless Deokjeokdo on a superfast ferry that puts B.C.'s fleet to shame.

Jamie slowly convincing me that coffee is indeed a good thing to drink.

Thought this bike was pretty darn sweet. Just wanted to share it with the world.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Lantern Festival

The lantern festival / Buddha's birthday was a top-end neat-o experience! It was on most of the weekend, and well into each night. They really went all out in a lot of areas and there was tons to see and do. These here are some dancers doing a dance -and there were also kids doing songs and dance routines and drummers and everything. As I said: neat-o.

The streets were PACKED and they had breakdancers, booths where you could make stuff for free/cheap, a temple to visit, special performances and general culturaltivity. So we went to McDonalds.

Lydia and Nathan getting caught stealing lanterns from Koreans... again.

Hilary making a Lotus Flower lantern at the festival.

Ahhh... the fruits of Hilary's labour.

With the temple behind, hundreds of lanterns were above our heads. It was kinda funny, cuz at dusk they turned all the lanterns on, and then there was this guy who had to go around on a platformy thing checking to see if all the bulbs were working. Could you imagine a more patience-testing job??! It got me wired just thinking about it -so un-zen.

There was one lone tree in the middle of the temple grounds that was the mainstay for the hundreds of lanterns that formed the canopy above. And aren't these girls just so dang cute together?!

This is the temple and inside was a Buddha statue with lots of fruit. It made me want to eat healthier. Don't worry -that soon passed.

Here's our best picture of the parade. Most were colourful, but reminiscent of those drinking and driving commercials. But close your eyes and imagine many people with red lanterns walking down a huge road, and then Ooh! an elephant! and then -by golly- more people with lanterns and... wait, is that... yes it is! another elephant and a peacock that breathes fire! And just behind the animals, wait for it... wait for it... more people carrying LANTERNS!!! It was beautiful and endless -we lasted as long as the fire-breathing dragons (very cool and we'd love to show you but...blurryblurblurblur); it was spectacular seeing thousands of lanterns as far as your eye could see. It truly was a festival of lanterns. And other stuff.

On the way home we met some of the paraders and decided we should be in their picture. Nathan was very much at home with these feathered folk.

...and what religious festival would be complete without an inappropriate touch by Jennica?

Hilary's Classes

Here's one of my (hil's) favorite classes. Not the best shot of them, cuz they're all real cute.

Serious little girls, crazy boys.

Here's one of my other classes. These guys begged me to bring my camera and take pictures, so how could I resist? The girls are a close group, while the boys... well, you may be able to tell yourself from the picture and my strained reaction. Ow my ears!!

Here's my favorite shot. This kid Kevin (English school name of course, on the left) was egged on by a co-worker to put both thumbs up when he saw me and yell, "Rock on!!" just to see what my reaction would be like. Now I keep getting him to do it cuz he's so willing every time, and so cute with his accent, hee hee. Poor kid.

The blossoms of spring!!

A priceless take on some peeps in the subway. We had a picture of men before sleeping on each other's shoulders. Now here's a cute lil' fam shot. Awww!