The weekend after Chuseok, Craig and I took the new teal-ish blue line (BTW Why are all the new lines shades of blue?) to Gangwon-do, almost to the end of the line: Chun Cheon Station (춘천역), then a short taxi ride to the Jung-do ferry terminal (중도), and finally, a five-minute ferry ride over to the island. It’s a small island near Nami Seom, of Winter Sonata fame. Despite the fact that the show aired several years ago, there are still promotional banners in town.
We had intended to get a cabin, drop our bags, and head back to town to see a soccer game. As small as the island was, we had to walk around the entire public area back to the ferry terminal, where I saw a tiny sign pointing to the admin office. We didn’t think many people would be there, but we only got a cabin due to a cancellation. Next time, we’ll know to make a reservation. When we checked out, I asked the guy for the reservation number. He told me to Google them and send an email. Wow. Thanks for the help. I almost felt like I was back in the US with that level of service.
Back to town an hour later, we crossed the road and had some Chun Cheon Dak Gal Bi for lunch, since we were in Chun Cheon, and all. The place was empty, which is usually a bad sign, but it was handy and we’d spent more time than allotted getting the cabin sorted. So, we asked to sit at the one table outside and had a great meal. I think we were good advertising, because the place was full by the time we left, but maybe in Chun Cheon people eat lunch in mid-afternoon. I choose to think it was all about us.
Thus fortified, we made our way to the stadium. It turned out to be a sports complex complete with an inline skate arena (seats all the way around!) and one for skateboarding, as well. There was also the soccer ground and a baseball stadium. Walking up, we could hear a baseball game going on, so we walked in the players’ entrance (why not?) and watched for a few minutes from the “VIP room” (otherwise solely occupied by wives and kids.) There was a tournament going on with the finals to occur the next day, so we decided to come back and watch the next day and crossed the parking lot to the soccer game. If you are interested, you can read about that here. To me, the best part of the game was the guy in front of us going to great lengths to hide the mic he had hidden in his shirt. Pretty covert ops for a lower division soccer match with equal numbers on the bench as in the stands.
After the game, we caught the ferry back over, as the last one goes pretty early. We had pots, dishes, and utensils in our cabin, so we got some ramyun and eggs and had a Korean camping meal. The two cabins facing ours were filled with about a dozen old men in one and their wives in the other. As soon as the men finished eating, the women came over and cleaned up their mess. I hope Craig doesn’t get any ideas… LOL He is much better about getting the housework done than I am. He was probably hoping I would get some ideas. Fortunately, it started raining not long after we went inside, so we didn’t have to listen to an all-night party.
We got up bright and early Sunday morning, but not as bright and early as the old folks, who had already cleared off. There was a restaurant on the island, so we had seafood pancake (me) and Bibimbap (Craig) for breakfast. His looked good, but mine was served doughy and wet. I ate the marginally done edges and called it a meal.
After breakfast, we rented a “Love Car” for thirty minutes and drove around the entire public area about five or six times. Craig ignored express directions and rode on a few dirt paths even. I say “public areas” because part of the island was clearly off limits. A man with more than a passing resemblance to Odd Job waved us along when we were taking a walk.
When we got to the stadium, two things were happening at once. One, the baseball game was ending. Two, a huge bike race was starting and the road back to the ferry terminal (and the station) was being closed while the bikes passed. In multiple groups. So, we walked back and got a bus back to Seoul.