Wednesday, 22 July 2015

동해 | Donghae

Bright and early, first thing, we all got up and had a great little breakfast together. Fresh fruit and lightly toasted bread with cream cheese and a bit of bacon. It was really simple but delicious and relaxing, especially with all that sun coming through the window.

We went to a nearby airfield where an Aerobatics Drill was going to be performed. We took an exciting shortcut through some farmland, bypassing huge queues of traffic, parked up and joined the steady flow of foot traffic heading towards the runway.

The show had just started by the time we got there, and the crowd was pretty big. Thankfully, the show is in the sky, so no worries about not being able to see anything ;p

I always find air shows really impressive. It's impossible enough that we as humans are able to fly around, let alone at those kinds of speeds, in such a tight formation.

The sounds these planes make when they whizz past is more than a little terrifying (you don't so much hear them as you do FEEL them. In your chest.) and makes me wonder how scary it must be to live in one of these countries where fighter jets are soaring around on a regular basis, and they're not just there to make pretty patterns.

But I digress.

I'm a bit overwhelmingly happy with these photos, which are all just from my phone (LG G3 in case you were wondering). After years of cheap phones with slow, shoddy cameras amongst other problems, I'm amazed at what this one can do while the DSLR languishes enviously on a shelf waiting for a more serious occasion.

Once the show was over we said goodbye to my coteacher's brother and his family, and set off a little further down the coast to Donghae. We headed straight for a restaurant where we met her parents, sister and nephews and indulged in more incredible fish as well as plates and plates of great banchan.

After lunch we popped over to my coteachers' parents' house, which was slightly more traditional and hanok-y than the various apartments we've been to so far in Korea.

Mrs Park's mother does calligraphy, and the wood-panelled walls were covered in examples of her gorgeous work, as well as a whole room packed with hundreds of sheets of incredibly thin paper, and dozens of jars of painbrushes in varying sizes.

I would have loved to take a photo or even buy one of her paintings but it felt like a bit of a weird thing to ask. Sob, sob.

After a short break we drove to one of the many lovely beaches in the area and had a walk around, making the most of the wonderfully dry, hot sun. (Sounds horrible, but when you're writing this retroactively from the humid monsoon days of a month or two later, it sounds like a dream)

Feeling blue?
Chuam Beach's main attraction is its 'candlestick rock', a towering freestanding rock formation shooting sharply out of the water and straight up into the sky.

We headed over to the walking path that winds around to the rock, but I was distracted by this adorable family of ducks (and the terrifyingly large gander lurking under a bridge nearby).

Once we got around to the viewing platform I was really excited to see so much clear, blue water everywhere. So much so, that I'm pretty sure I didn't actually get any photos of the candlestick rock or the lighthouse overlooking it. Oops.

My coteacher didn't come with us, having probably visited a million times on family or school trips as a child, so she understandable just spent the time with her sister for a catchup. We didn't want to keep them waiting, and the sun was being quite unexpectedly relentless, so we headed over to our agreed meeting point.

Excuse my disheveled appearance, I packed for comfort not photos :p
We had dinner back at the house before Nick and I headed to the hostel that Mrs Park's mum had arranged for us to stay in, being concerned about the lack of space in her own home.

Donghae was really lovely to walk around in the cool evening air. It was quieter than Incheon, being a small city with fewer buildings, and those that did exist were far shorter. I could see more sky than neon lighting! Also, as a testament to how hot it was, even in the "cooler" night air, we walked past a firefighting crew extinguishing a car that was on fire from overheating. Oops!

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