Tuesday, 12 August 2014

월미도2 | Wolmido Deux

Quite a while ago now, one of the teachers in my school took myself and Nick out for a trip around Wolmido with his family. He broke me out of Summer Camp deskwarming (classes finish at around midday but I can't leave until normal school time of 4:40pm, gah) by asking 교장 himself if I can be excused early. Then we hopped into the car, greeting his lovely wife and daughter, before speeding off to Nick's school, grabbing him, and continuing on to Wolmido.

I think there was originally some misunderstanding or miscommunication, but it turns out that the reason for the rush was because we were due to get a ferry! Just a little chain ferry across the water to the Airport Island, but as the last one was at 6pm we had to get a bit of a wiggle on.

We were handed a large bag of shrimp crisps, which are great (popular with the Filipinos back home) but a bit too fishy for my liking. But we were told "for the birds". Hm?

Turns out the tradition with this little ferry is to lob these snacks into the air for the seagulls to catch and fight over. A braver man than me, 김 선생님 would hold one between his fingers for the birds to snatch right from his hands. They did it very delicately and with great accuracy, but I value my fingers a little bit too much to risk it ;p

When we arrived on the other side, we trundled over to a restaurant which is apparently well known for the meal we had. I can't remember the name of it (I'm terrible at this) but it was a big bowl of shellfish in a sort of udon noodle soup. Really filling and tasty, even for me, the self-proclaimed shellfish-hater.

Afterwards, we went to a nearby beach. It was quite quiet, being the end of the day, and it was a nice way to walk off our food listening to the sea.

I look terrible because I totally forgot to make myself presentable. I still have hair, I promise.

After a bit of wandering and photo taking, 김 선생님's daughter dashed off and returned with a handful of fireworks?! Apparently anyone can buy them here (she's a first year middle school student. Definitely not old enough to be buying explosives by the UK's standards, haha). I think they're more accurately termed 'firecrackers' and are harmless(ish) in a similar way to sparklers, which we also had!

This was really exciting for me, as I've never really had this kind of experience. But also a bit terrifying because everything makes me nervous. Oh well.

The firecrackers consisted of a long cardboard tube that you set fire to and just hold. Carefully. Sounds safe. Eventually (as long as you don't fall into the trap of thinking it's taking a while or failed, and decide to examine the explodey end) a little capsule will shoot out of one end, into the sky, and go BANG with a bit of colour. You can feel the trigger explosions, and there are about 20 shots in each stick. It's very cute and fun for a little trip to the beach.
Nick went first because he's braver than me. I failed to actually get any photos of the sparkles.
Fire! Explosion! Danger!
EX-PELLIARMUS! Or something.
The mobile generation.

We finished the trip by driving back across the Incheon Bridge, which is the world's 7th longest cable-stayed bridge at over 60,000ft long. It's certainly impressive to see, even at night, where certain sections are lit up with big pillars of light. We passed through Songdo, one of Incheon's newest expansions in a very modern, snazzy way, before saying goodnight and goodbye to our wonderful hosts.

Something I love about Korea is that we're constantly meeting people who are so proud of their country and so eager to share it with visitors that they bend over backwards to give them a good, memorable time. It makes that love and excitement really quite contagious, and I'm really grateful to everyone we meet for all of these little experiences.

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