Nonsan Strawberry Festival and Yeosu


Advertisement
South Korea's flag
Asia » South Korea » Jeollanam-do » Yeosu
April 6th 2013
Published: April 26th 2013
Edit Blog Post

6th Apr: Up at five and out the house by half past. Onto the bus to Seoul by about ten to six. Got to the Express Bus Terminal and the bus left there around 7:30. The traffic was heaving as usual, but we didn't get stuck in any major traffic jams. Had a rest stop at Cheonan. We got to Nonsan around 11 ish. Of course the bus driver got lost once we got off the motorway.

We dropped some people at the festival area and the rest of us stayed on the bus and headed to a farm about a 15 minute drive away to pick some strawberries. The weather was crappy, it was misty and raining. It had been raining when I'd got up and hadn't let up eventhough we'd driven three hours south. Luckily the strawberries were grown in a greenhouse, so we didn't get wet. The bloke explained to us how to pick them, place the strawberry between two fingers and gently tug. If the stem comes off, you've done it wrong and damaged the plant. We were given plastic containers to fill. So off we went filling our containers and stuffing as many as we could into our mouths. I did pull a few off the wrong way, but hid the evidence in the bushes. Also the bloke that owns the farm makes his own jam, so I bought some of that.

Back on the bus we headed to the festival area once again. We stopped to listen to some musicians banging on traditional drums. Others love it, but it just gives me a headache. A few of them joined in, and were rewarded with shots of soju. We headed to the food tents and had a good look around them all investigating our different options. Of course we went back to one of the first ones for cheese donkass. The food was good and we were well and truly stuffed afterwards.

We braved the still crappy weather, it had stopped raining by this point and had a look around the festival area. We pottered around looking at the different things for sale. We all ended up buying some bits and bobs. One horrible thing to see was the animal section. There are no animal cruelty laws in Korea (or not that I know of). There was a monkey in a tiny cage
Strawberry MaskStrawberry MaskStrawberry Mask

We got these free at the festival. Nonsan Strawberry Festival
swinging back and forth with no room and barely an inch of the ground. The animals all looked and sounded distressed. There was a giant tortoise and he was boxed in on all sides. His box was so small that he couldn't even extend his head. I'm not a huge animal fan, but it was heartbreaking to see.

To cheer ourselves up we went to the cake making stall we had seen earlier. After being stopped by a group of high school girls to record a video message for their school's anniversary. Of course we corrected it, to make it sound right. Such good English teachers. We bought a coupon to make a cake. It was 16,000 won. Not bad as the cake was massive! Then we handed the ticket in and got cracking under the guidance of a professional. I was first up and I put some cream on the bottom half of the cake and added some strawberries on top, before sandwiching the top half on. I left the icing and the majority of the decorating to the others. The professional did a lot of the icing for us, so by the end our cake looked fab.
Art From RubbishArt From RubbishArt From Rubbish

Nonsan Strawberry Festival
Before we left we had a quick look around the main tent explaning a bit about the festival and Nonsan. There were lots of guarded strawberries.

Back on the bus at 3:00 and we drove for a couple of hours down to Yeosu. We were meant to stop in Gwangyang to see the maehwa flowers but this was dropped because of the bad weather. I was glad I got to see them a couple of weeks ago, when the weather was nice. We pulld up on a random street in downtown Yeosu and we all hit the supermarket to buy booze and snacks for later, and also extra coffe for the morning for me. Then it was back onto the bus to drive to the island where we were staying. We ended up staying in the same crappy place we had stayed in for the Expo. Luckily we weren't in the 16 person room this time. Although getting the five of us in our room was a bit of a squeeze. It was obviously meant for five Koreans, who are no doubt a bit shorter and thinner.

Since the weather was crappy, we spent the evening in the
Art From RubbishArt From RubbishArt From Rubbish

Nonsan Strawberry Festival
room. We went and got our dinner, lovely cheeseburgers cooked by Jason. My belly was feeling a bit dodgy so I didn't eat mine, but gave it away. However a can of lager and some cake did settle my stomach, along with onion crisps. Weird, I know. The cake was delish! Well of course it was bound to be as we had made it. We spent the evening chatting, playing daft games, and drinking. When we were putting the bedding out we found that the strawberry maekgeolli had leaked everywhere. I suppose that's why it was so cheap.

7th Apr: A terrible night's sleep. The ondol had gone off in the room sometime in the night and we were all freezing. So we didn't get much sleep. After getting up and dressed we went and got some breakfast. A delish breafast burrito. We sat out in the sun to munch on our brekky, as the weather was a million times beter than it was yesterday. We packed up all our stuff and headed out to get on the bus. Normally we are up and out at the crack of dawn, but I don't think we left until nine or
Art From RubbishArt From RubbishArt From Rubbish

Nonsan Strawberry Festival
ten. We had a bit of a problem trying to get seats together on the bus and we all ended up sitting apart and spread over the two buses.

We drove back into Yeosu, and parked up in the Expo carpark. It was quite sad to see that a lot of the pavillions and buildings had been taken down. It's a shame really as they spent so much money on the expo. Some buildings, the main ones, were still there, though. We walked around the edge of the festival site and whie everyone else was heading over to the isand we hiked up tp the viewpoint first and looked at the lovely scenery around us. It's lovely to be by the sea, as where I live is pretty inland.

We then headed over to Odongdo Island. The island is connected to the mainland by a concrete path. We had a hike around the island taking lots of photos of the pretty red camellia flowers, that were blooming. We also hiked down to a small cave. We couldn't access the cave, but we were pretty close. The local folklore states that 'Yonggul', the cave, was occupied by a dragon,
Art From RubbishArt From RubbishArt From Rubbish

Nonsan Strawberry Festival
and when the dragon died a 300 year old centipede replaced him. We also went to take a gander at the penis tree. It was a let down. It wasn't very penile. We walked back through the bamboo forest and went to get some lunch. We were pretty hungry and there was one restaurant on the island. Most of us ordered yukgaejang, a spicy soup. It was delicious, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

After luch we frogmarched ourselves back to the bus, as we were running a bit late. We then drove for about twenty to thirty miuntes to the place that we would hiking at. We were dropped of randomly at the side of the road. We had to walk through the village to find the start of the trail. I think the mountain was Yeongchwisan. Yeongchwisan is famous because it is covered in azaleas at this time of year. I never knew the montain's name at the time and with the help of google, I think this is the correct mountain. The westher was beautiful, I'm glad I remembered to put some suncream on. The hike was a bit tough. Well it probably wasn't for those who are fit, but I'm not. Our group gave up before we reached the top and indtead found a nice patch of grass to lounge in. The views were stunning, we could see for miles, down into the valley and the villages there, and out to sea.

On the way back down we decided to take a supposedly easier route, not back through the forest but taking the paved road instead. Well this turned out to be a huge mistake. The road kept going up, not down. There weren't many people on the road, and eventually we found a bloke who seemed to know what the crack was, and he pointed us in the right direction. Well the route we took back through the forest was a lot tougher than the way up. We had to hold on to a rope to and go down backwards as it was that steep. Also we were a bit streesed about the time, as we were due to leave soon. We alos had no idea if we were going the right way. We made it down, but were further away from our starting point, so had to leg it back to the starting point. We mad eit back to the bus, only about five minutes late. Then we had the longand tedious drive back to Seoul, and I don't think I got back in the house until after eleven.



Additional photos below
Photos: 85, Displayed: 28


Advertisement

Making Our CakeMaking Our Cake
Making Our Cake

Nonsan Strawberry Festival
Making Our CakeMaking Our Cake
Making Our Cake

Nonsan Strawberry Festival
Making Our CakeMaking Our Cake
Making Our Cake

Nonsan Strawberry Festival
Making Our CakeMaking Our Cake
Making Our Cake

Nonsan Strawberry Festival
Artwork By Local School ChildrenArtwork By Local School Children
Artwork By Local School Children

Nonsan Strawberry Festival
Artwork By Local School ChildrenArtwork By Local School Children
Artwork By Local School Children

Nonsan Strawberry Festival
Artwork By Local School ChildrenArtwork By Local School Children
Artwork By Local School Children

Nonsan Strawberry Festival
Artwork By Local School ChildrenArtwork By Local School Children
Artwork By Local School Children

Nonsan Strawberry Festival


Tot: 1.897s; Tpl: 0.085s; cc: 12; qc: 32; dbt: 0.0197s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb