Sept 10, 2008 – Seoul to Sokcho

Seoul to Sokcho

Internetless today. It is a travel day today. We moved from Seoul to Sokcho on the Northeast coast of Korea. Leaving Seoul by bus, we could see the develpment occuring in the south of Seoul. Entire blocks of apartments being built. Not just one 20 or 30 story building being erected but sets of eight or ten 20 or 30 story buildings. As we moved more out of the city there were more fields of rice and smaller towns.

About 2 hours out of Seoul we went through Wonju. A town that last week was hosting an International Tatoo that included the Canadian Forces Pipes and Drums. Though intrigued, we passed figuring that it was too far from Seoul. I didn’t actually realize how far it was.

We splurged on an deluxe bus for our trip about $22 each to travel about 4 hours. The deluxe portion is that there are only 3 seats to a row so it is quite spacious. There were maybe 12 people on the bus.

There does not appear to be a wholelot to the town, but we are using it as a staging area for Seorksan National Park where we will do a few days of hiking.

We wandered toward the port area of the town, going over a larger bridge that went over one section of water only to find there is another section of water that we had to get over and the second part of the bridge isn’t finished. You can’t get there from here. So we wandered back toward the hotel and found a korean grocery store with a food court in it. It was dinner time so we got some dinner (about $6 for both of us), a kind of rice filled omelette, hamburger steak and cole slaw and soup and free water!

Then we wandered through the grocery store which is really Korea’s answer to Walmart (though I am sure if we look we will find it). What we noticed is that gift sets are very popular. Gifts sets of oil or ham, you name it there is one. We just picked up some breaky for tomorrow and snacks for during out hike – though Koreans seem not to travel with food as much as we do as they tend to pick up food along the way. We we travelled on the subway during rush hour and most people just had a purse or paper (and cell phone) but no signs of a lunch.

You can buy fireworks in the corner store here and someone was just setting them off on the beach.

We understand from the guidebook that the beach is lit at night. Not for swimming but so that spies from North Korea can be spotted. As the bus got closer to Sokcho we noticed fencing and razer wire along the coast for probably to prevent North Koreans from entering.

No pics for the next couple of days as the thigh-top is not hooked up to the internet.