Uiam Lake, Chuncheon

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May 7th 2016
Published: July 12th 2016
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We took the subway from Seoul all the way out to Chuncheon. It is great that the Seoul subway system is so extensive and cheap, but it was a long journey. The subway was packed so it was standing room only. I ended up standing the whole way, for an hour and a half. It was nice looking out of the window watching the city turn into countryside. At Namchuncheon Station there was a coach waiting for us. It was nice to finally sit down. We drove through Chuncheon to Uiam Lake. The drive didn't take too long. We sat near the lake and took in the views. It was a glorious day, sunny but with a nice breeze to stop it getting too hot.

Since we were a very big group we had to split into two as there were not enough canoes to accommodate us all in one go. I joined the group that would go hiking first as I really wanted to do that. In fact, I wasn't too bothered about going canoeing. We walked along past the lake and came to a boardwalk. There was even a skywalk, an area with a glass floor that you could walk out over the lake on. But since you had to take your shoes off, I didn't bother, I hate having to take my hiking boots off unnecessarily. From there, the boardwalk continued on until it reached the main road. It got a little confusing here, the path seemed to suggest that we should go right, but it was blocked off. We turned left and then crossed the road.

There is a temple just down the street, Daewonsa, and we headed up its steep drive to reach the start of the trail. The temple is really small, but very pretty. It had lots of brightly coloured flags out in celebration of Buddha's upcoming birthday. The start of the trail was just behind the temple. I don't think that this was the proper path as it was quiet hard to find. The trail was short and steep. I was sweating buckets! Summer is definitely here, why couldn't spring last just a little longer? We reached the top in good time. There was a nice, small deck, that you could look down onto Uiam Lake. The views were stunning. There is an island in the middle of the lake, which is covered with solar panels. Since the deck was pretty small, I moved further round and continued to take in the gorgeous views. We decided to stay up there and eat lunch, it was a bit cramped, but a beautiful picnic spot. The hike down was short and a bit slippery.

We headed back to the lake as it was our turn to go canoeing. We had a little rest on the bank of the lake, before it was time to start. We had to organise ourselves into groups of eleven. That took a bit of work, and since there were so many of us, four groups of eleven, we had to go two groups at a time. We dumped our bags on the deck and were given life jackets and paddles. I was hoping that we wouldn't get wet as I didn't bring a spare change of clothes. It didn't bode well that our instructor was in a wet suit. After a safety and instruction briefing, we were led down to the canoes. It took a while to figure out where we should all be sitting so that the weight was evenly distributed. The canoeing was really fun. We rowed down the river, our team was much faster than the other team and it didn't take us too long to get quite far down. Our captain said that we could head to the skywalk if we wanted, since we weren't tired we headed down there. We wanted to go further, but weren't allowed as that would be a different company's part of the lake. Then we rowed back up to the start. I really enjoyed the canoeing, a lot more than I thought I would. The boat was a little rocky, but not too bad.

After canoeing, we were in need of some refreshments. I thought that the glass building next to the lake would house a coffee shop, but I was proven wrong. We headed to the ice rink behind us as there was a convenience store in that building. I got a coffee and an ice cream. We went back to the lake and watched the others canoeing while eating our ice creams. It was a lovely way to relax after the hiking and canoeing. The sun was shining down on the water making everything look really pretty.

Chuncheon is famous for dalkgalbi (chicken barbecue), so of course we were having that for dinner. The bus that brought us to the lake was waiting to take us to the restaurant. The journey took about ten minutes and I was surprised to find that the restaurant was located right next to Namchuncheon Station. We ordered some dalkgabli, which soon turned up and we cooked it on the grill. I really like this style of dalkgabli as it is just the chicken meat, which had been marinated in sauce. The regular style that you get in most restaurants is chicken cooked in the sauce on a big hot plate with vegetables and rice cakes. Dinner was washed down with some beer and finished off with a free machine coffee. Then the long train journey back, at least I gt a seat this time.

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