2010.08.16 - Igidae

Heavenly Dining and a so-called typhoon !

This last week we dug in - prepared for the typhoon which was going to hit the southern part of the Korean peninsula on Wednesday. Paula was well worried due to where we live (on the 40th floor), but in the end there wasn't that much to worry about. The storm hit us Tuesday evening with heavy rain and winds and lasted until next day early afternoon. It wasn't any worse than a Scandinavian autumn storm though. Piece of cake !

Last weekend we drove up to Ulsan. Paula had a regular medical checkup there, so we called up some friends to see if they had time for us afterward. So we met Jade and Jean Laurent for lunch at Harmony. We haven't seen them for 8 months, so it was a happy reunion. We continued on to cafe H for dessert and returned to Busan early in the evening.

With Jade and Jean Laurent at Cafe H

Sunday we went for a bit of exploring in our neighbourhood. We waited until late afternoon to avoid the worst of the heat, and drove out to Igidae Park. We were not the only ones who had had this idea, so the streets were packed. We had to drive almost all the way up the mountain to find a place to park, which meant that the walk down to the shore path was so much longer (and the climb back up so much harder!). We made it though and Paula was very happy to see a drinks vending machine back at the parking after a hot and humid climb. But it was well worth the effort. I think we will return later in the year when it is a little cooler and at that time we will bring water ! Now we know what to expect!

On the way down to the shoreline path at Igidae park

At least we were in the shade! Still - around 32 degrees at 5pm ...

Paula enjoying the view ... or the rest ?!?!

My week at work has been quite busy. I have had to stand in for our Hull inspector Serhiy, who had to return to Moldova on short notice, so I have had little or no time to do my own job. Luckily all inspections were canceled on Wednesday due to the storm so I could catch up a little then. I will be glad to see him return to work on Tuesday! But even with all the physical activity during work, Paula has managed to drag me down to the gym almost every second day. We have a gym here in the building, which makes it a little more manageable - it doesn't really feel like you are going out, which is an advantage when you are tired after a full day of crawling up and down and back and forth on the ship.

In Ulsan we found REAL Danish rye bread - just like I used to make it when we lived there. What pleasure to come home to a good meal of smørrebrød and a cold beer !

Now the summer vacation has finished for most of the Busan expats and they have started to trickle back into town. Saturday Oscar and Nalini came over - partly to show us the flower market and partly to come bicycling. You can guess for yourselves who did what!

Oscar and Nalini ready for adventure outside our apartment

We had been hearing rumors about a flower market close to where we live, but with all the vacations we had nobody to show us where it was. So Paula was happy that Nalini could show her where to buy big bouquets of flowers for a few thousand KWon (Korean Won - about a thousand to the US$). In the meantime Oscar and I went out on a discovery bike trip. This was the first time I had been on the bike here in Busan (bad ankle and weather had kept me in for the first two months!), but I had had a good look on the surrounding area on Google Earth and thought I had found a good way up the mountain. It didn't turn out too bad and I was happy to see that I have a backyard mountain only 5 min away from the apartment. Oscar isn't used to riding on the mountain roads, but I don't think I scared him off. I hope not ! The mountain (Hwangnyeongsan Mountain) is a nice small mountain to roll around on. I suspect that there could be a few good singletracks as well, but on this trip we stuck to the main roads as the weather was pretty wet and foggy.

Oscar made it to the top without falling and he only walked up one hill! Pretty good for the first time!

A map of the mountain behind us. The mountain is right in the middle of town and the trails starts only 2km from our apartment

Oscar climbing .....

.... zig-zagging also works !

Gorillas .... no, sorry - Oscar in the mist....

I think he was happy to turn the bike around and head downhill !

Cruising - it's a pretty mountain - like all mountains here.

Safely back down (no blood spilled!) we had a quick shower, chat with Peo and a drink before Oscar and Nalini had to continue off to lunch.

Peo is very shy ... NOT!!!!

Arranging the flowers

Flowers with a view

We didn't have to be separated for too long ! Gaby and Andreas had arranged for a babysitter, so in the evening they had arranged a night out. We met in the Paradise lobby for pre-dinner drinks - Andreas, Gaby, Nalini, Oscar, Øyvind, Annveig, Paula and me. For dinner they had reserved a table with own chef at the Japanese restaurant - same hotel 3rd floor. We were in for a bit of an experience! First - the food was absolutely amazing with the best beef I have tasted here in Korea so far. The Service was unbeatable with our own private chef and waiters looking after our every need. The sake was smooooth ...... Amazing!

At the restaurant with our friends. Andreas, Gaby, Annveig, me, Paula, Nalini and Oscar. Øyvind hiding behind the camera

Annveig and Øyvind doing the Korean finger-thing

Nalina and Oscar

The Korean heart .. a famous photo-pose here. Annveig finding it difficult to keep a straight face !

Andreas and Gaby

The Nielsens

Our chef. We were all seated around him and could follow his every move.

... and feel the heat from the stove !

Sunday was another rainy day and we ended up staying in all day. I had some unfinished business with my web site (all my files were lost by the host and my backup was old and didn't work very well) and we had a date with Tom and Noelia on Skype. Today Monday is a Yard holiday, so we will be going out to do all those things we don't normally have time for on a working weekday - post office, shopping, eating ice cream etc. !!!