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Published: August 13th 2016
A day and a half left to go on bus tour.
This morning we leave for Andong, a city about mid-way up the east coast.
First stop was Hahoe Village
, a historic village and home to descendants of the Ryu clan. Like other traditional hanok (old style Korean home) villages, this one is also inhabited so you see a strange mix of straw roofed or large tile-roofed traditional houses with a Chevy or Lexus or Hyundai parked alongside. This area was already popular because it was birthplace of notable scholars of the Joseon Period, but in 1999 achieved even greater fame when Queen Elizabeth II visited. The village is also known for its Mask Dance and many vendors sell traditional wooden masks.
Because we were in an area with a reputation for having given Korean some of its best scholars, lunch was called a "Scholar's lunch" had had cuisine specific to what a scholar would eat - a lot of vegetables and grilled, salted mackerel.
Also in Andong is the Advanced Center for Korean Studies
where we learned of history of Confucianism in Korea.
Also nearby, staying with scholar theme, is Dosan Seowon
, a private school,
established in 1574. Our tour guide was explaining that some of the scholars the school produced are on the Korean dollar bills.
We settled in for about a 1.5 hour drive towards Gangwondo and Pyeongchang, our hometown and location of the 2018 Winter Olympics. We took a very scenic route, Route 5 or 35, which has magnificent mountain ranges. Like Big Sur in California, the road twists and turns with many spectacular views along the way.
Being our last night on the tour, we were happy to have kalbi (Korean BBQ) served. Very delicious. We noticed though that here in Korea, kalbi comes marinated but requires salt. Restaurants serve small dish with salt that you can add to the meat as you cook. Also, most people eat kalbi wrapped in lettuce leaves vs just eating with rice and kimchi. Interesting and delicious!
Our hotel for the night was Kangwonland hotel and casino where good fortune had us checking in with an hour to spare before fireworks started at 9p. One of the best fireworks displays we ever saw and we got to watch it from the floor to ceiling window in our hotel room - spectacular!
Tomorrow is last day. Better get some sleep.
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