October 25th 2009 - Kings meal

October 25th 2009

Royally fed!!

Today we were treated like kings. At 10:30 our limo rolled up in front of our apartment and after our very friendly chauffeur and hostess had assured that we were comfortable, we headed out of town. We had brought our own navigator (GPS) but found it of little use as the telephone number we used to search for our destination placed us somewhere in the rice paddies on the other side of Munzu mountain. Not a bad place to be - just not the place we wanted to be at that moment!! We had a business card from the place we wanted to go, so we pulled over at a factory and asked the first person we saw for advice. He started to give us directions in Korean, which is still completely lost on us. Navi seemed to be the magic word - eyes lit up as the chance of success dawned upon him - but unfortunately (well .. unfortunately in this situation but not normally) our navigator is in English, so he couldn't look the address. In the end he decided to drive ahead of us, showing us the way. Apparently he didn't mind because our chauffeur, when he doesn't cater for us, does moonshine work at Hyundai. The connection being that factory where we had stopped was a Hyundai subsidiary. It turned out to be a 15km drive !!

Real royalty only leave home with an escort!!!

The restaurant is apparently also used for wedding parties.

So after an escorted drive we finally arrived at the destination - a very nice traditional restaurant in the foothills of the Yeongnam Alps. Here we were treated to a Kings meal. One of the few Korean meals I have had which weren't 50% kimchi - fermented cabbage in chili sauce!!

Resemblance to the snake that Jamie saw earlier ....???

Colin wasn't quite sure whether to eat the crab with shell or peel it! In the end he decided just to eat it all ....

The kings meal laid out in front of us.

The restaurant surroundings are really nice .. there's even a little Swiss feel to it (it should have been Heidi with pony tails and lederhosen in this picture, but Jamie was a close-enough substitution ?!?!).

Fresh kiwis

The meal was followed by tea at the on-ground tea house and then a short transfer to Seongnamsa. We have been to Seongnamsa many times now, but the setting is just so spectacular that we enjoy it every time. This time we could take in the multi-colored leaves and the large amount of local tourists ... much more than normal.

At the entrance to Seongnamsa

Seongnamsa with the late afternoon sun rays coming over the mountains in the back.

From the temple site we again had a short transfer - this time to the ship-on-the-mountain restaurant for an early sundowner, before joining the Sunday afternoon rush back to Ulsan. Our day as royalty had come to an end ....

Second ice cream ...... somebody tell her that summer is over!

The rest of the week has been a little uneventful, I think. Well, that's not really true. Yesterday afternoon I went for a bike ride. I was enjoying a quick spin around the house mountain when a twig made it into my gears and twisted the gear lever into my back wheel. Without the right tool I was forced to walk down the mountain with my bike in hand and from there halfway home before coming across a tire centre where I could borrow the tool I needed! I had spent almost one hour with the bike on my shoulder at that point, so needless to say I crashed with a cold beer in my hand when I finally made it back to the apartment!

Thursday Fernando and I went down to Busan for the annual marine exhibition, Kormarine. Tuesday Paula went to a beneficial lunch (with bingo!) for the orphanage. They we able to raise around US$500 for the kids' X-mas party, which I think was a satisfactory.

International dishes at the orphanage lunch.

Jade, Maria, Paula, Sonya and a couple of other girls I don't know - at the orphanage lunch.

At Cafe H with Colin and Jamie on Saturday