Sunday, 8 June 2014

월미도 | A Trip to Wolmido

Selfie Faux Pas Prevention Tip #1: Make sure you're zoomed out first.
Hello! Sorry for the ridiculous lack of posts about Korea! We don't have any internet set up in our officetel yet, so I can only get online at school, whereupon I'm usually (surprise surprise) working.

But here's a little post about one of the places we went to last week, to celebrate the final day of our 5 day weekend! You read that right. We were in school for 2 days, then it was Election Day so no work, then Founder's Day at my school (so I got the day off, alas Nick still had to work. I was very exciting and did housewife duties.) Finally it was Labour Day followed by the usual weekend, so that was a pretty great way to start our year in South Korea ;)

We decided to go to Wolmido, an island that is technically not an island, and home to Incheon Harbour. We got the subway there, which was just like any other subway, apart from the fact there's a lot more room, better aircon and ventilation, and better signage. Oh, and, it cost us about £1.50 return.

We'd already had a brief tour of Wolmi Island thanks to Nick's co-teachers, which is why we opted for it over the slightly more intimidating original plan of Seoul.

It's quite a walk from the station to the harbour, which is probably why most places suggest you get off a stop early and grab the bus the rest of the way. Although getting a bit lost probably didn't help us out much.

There's a lot of cute art on the walls in the area, all with lovely, deep, and sometimes just odd messages on them. It's a nice way of brightening up an area, as well as a good community project. I wish more places would do it!

We finally made it to where we were going (we had to skip past a park which I can only assume had deer inside, so we're definitely going back!) and the first thing we encountered was a pretty lively funfair! On one side were loads of rides, mostly overshadowed by the two huge, dangerous-looking and apparently famous pirate ship rides.

While on the other side were dozens of street food vendors, selling all kinds of weird and wonderful foods, from your standard sweets and ice cream all the way to, erm, dried and fried fish and seafood? I swear I saw just a giant tentacle hanging around in one stall.

See those weird yellow dangly things? As far as I can tell those are ice cream cones. The entire thing seems to get filled with ice cream of your choice. I have no idea how you're supposed to eat it, but I want one.

There are also lots and lots of one of my favourite foods: things on sticks.
I bought what I can only assume was my first ever corn dog (finally!) and Nick had a sort of crabstick surrounded by pajeon (which is a Korean seafood pancake...omelette...thing)

"No really, stop taking photos while I'm eating" Dear Lord I'm my mother

Nick says the place reminds him of Santa Monica pier. All over the place there are restaurants, rides, performers, as well as a lot of water-based attractions. I also saw lots of children cruising around in tiny cars, turns out someone was renting them for the day. I wish I could have taken a photo of the tiny child who was maybe 3 years old, leaning back, sunglasses on, steering with one hand whilst eating ice cream with the other. So much swag in one minuscule container.

Luckily, we happened to get to the promenade while there was a fountain show on. The basic premise being that they play lots of pop songs, and pump several varied jets to the beat while children run around getting soaked and parents hide behind pillars or maintain a safe distance. Naturally this is a bit difficult to get a photo of, but this should give you an idea:

I'm basically a child and once I see something I want...I'll moan about it until we can turn back and get it. So here's a photo of me triumphantly waving around my long-awaited twist potato.

It's pretty much just a potato, spiralised and skewered before being deep fried. The nice thing about all the fried snacks here is that the vendors squeeze out a lot of the oil before giving it to you so you get actual flavour rather than a melted face via boiling hot oil. Once they give you your stick, you can roll it in some flavour powder. I can't give you any more help than that, as they were unlabeled, and I was expecting savoury (so the tray of big white salt-looking grains I took to be salt) but they were in fact quite sweet. Yay, asian junk food strikes again! (I'm looking at you, Philippines). So I think the salt was sugar, and the mysterious, irresistible bright orange powder was possibly paprika or something, but mixed with sugar. Possibly. I'm not sure, but it was great, even if I had no idea how to eat it gracefully (maybe that's not possible.)

I feel like my hair has successfully achieved the vague Alexa Chung vibe I was going for?
Finally, I thought I'd finish off with a photo of me fully embracing the current summer trend in South Korea, which seems to be "wear it as short as you like as long as we can't actually see your bumcheeks", plus "oversized to the max". For clarity, I will add that I'm wearing shorts under that shirt.

Anyway, it seems Wolmido is far too big to cover in one day, so we went home with a vow that we'd return at least once.

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