2011.03.13 - Family visit

Chilean family visit and Team building

I left off on the last web page entry being all alone here in Ulsan, with Paula in China and Japan with her family. While she was living it up, I was working hard with launching at the Yard and just a lot of work in general. When I wasn't working I was doing sports, it seemed. My colleagues Bjarne and Serhiy were good at keeping me company and I managed to do 5 different sports one of the weekends! First tennis, squash and tabletennis on the Saturday with Serhiy and then Volley and squash with Benjamin on the Sunday. So you see that my sports life has been pretty varied lately but I have still been missing my mtb rides a lot (it has just been too cold to go out alone), so with the spring-like weather today, I went for a short ride after almost 3 months hibernation. I had forgotten how tough it is ! Or my physical condition is pathetic ... one of the two! Being bummed about my poor state, I stopped halfway to play a few sets of volley with my Sunday-Volley buddies.

Launching of our first vessel from Ulsan. Second vessel followed 2 weeks later, this past Friday.

The new Pagoda at Yeompo Peak. Our vessel in the back, but too small to really make out.

Volley at Mibo

Serhiy and Eddie celebrating my arrival (?!)

But back to Paula and her family:

They returned after 10 days in Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima) and we went straight to Van Gogh's Terrasse at Marine City in Busan, after I had picked them up at the ferry terminal. They were apparently sushi'ed out ! Paula's brothers were going to stay with us for only 5 days but her mother and Jorge had 10 days left still. We were not too lucky with the weather the first few days. It was cold and rainy but at least it didn't snow. Monday I gave them a short tour of the Yard which as always managed to impress the visitors. In the evening we went to the local Sashimi place for some fresh and raw tuna. I don't know why the Chileans were so surprised at my appetite ..... it was TUNA ... HELLO!!!!! Only Hector could keep up with me (under pressure) - the others didn't seem to keen on raw fish.

Tuesday was a holiday so I was free to join the sight seeing tour. We first went to the Brazilian training ground, Munzu stadium and Jinha beach for lunch and then continued on to the mountain tea house which we always pass by with our visiting friends. From there to Seongnamsa and the boat in the mountain. Paula had plans to take them to GyeongJu the next day, but the weather didn't improve and they decided to stay around Ulsan instead. Thursday came much too early and we had to drive Hector and Benjamin to the airport in Busan. It was good to have seen them after so long time, but I only had less than 5 days with them, which wasn't much.

As soon as the boys left the weather improved ! Saturday we went to Ulsan Grand Park to see the Museums and War memorial there. By chance we bumped into our friends Mr. Kim and Ms. Lee, whom we haven't managed to meet up with so far this time around (in Korea).

Ms. Lee, me, Pilar, Jorge, Paula and Mr. Kim in Ulsan Grand Park

From the Grand Park we drove over to the Old Downtown and then Ballentines for dinner. Sunday we did the tour of the mountains. First to Munzu mountain together with half of Korea, it seemed. It's a really nice walk up to the temple although it can be a little tiring. Pilar and Jorge did suffer a little even if they are used to hilly Valparaiso!

On the way up to Munzusa - Munzu temple

Reminded us of the Inca Trail in Peru!

Jorge and Pilar almost there

Pilar enjoying the fantastic view


Munzu Temple bell tower - also the entrance to the temple

From Munzu we drove across town to Muryon Mountain. This is much easier to climb as there is a paved road all the way to the top! The views are still spectacular and you get a good sense of exactly how hilly "our" Ulsan is. From Muryon we drove through the mountain road to Seongbulsa - a small typical mountain temple which I from time to time visit on my bike rides. And from there down the mountain and home.

View from Muryong Mountain towards Magol mountain with Nammok and Seobu out of sight behind all the green

The Turkish training and beyond


Monday Pilar and Jorge slaved in the kitchen all day to make us empanadas. We invited Marlene and Anders over for a Chilean treat of pisco sour and empanadas ...mmmmm! Tuesday Busan, Wednesday packing and Thursday up at 4 am to drive down to Gimhae Airport in Busan. Pilar and Jorge were not looking forward to the 37 hour flight back to Chile, but I think they WERE (Jorge at least) looking forward to some "normal" food and a "normal" daily life. They had been away for over three weeks, which is the only holiday they have had for many years .... they have grown accustomed to work no play !! In any case, it was good to see them here in Ulsan, show them a bit of what our life is about and we are looking forward to seeing the entire Chilean family later this year !

This Saturday we had arranged a teambuilding event with work. I had a lot of plans as to what we could do on the day, but I wasn't able to arrange any of it myself. Last teambuilding in November I arranged it all myself, but this time I still didn't have anything booked on the Wednesday, 3 days before the event. But this was the day that our Korean secretary returned from holidays and then things started to move! Amazing how lost we are as foreigners here in Korea ! I was stressing a little out over not having arranged anything, but I must say that everything turned out really nice. We met at 9am and drove all together to the Archery field, so that my colleagues wouldn't realize what we were about to do until the very last moment. We got a small introduction to the different bows and arrows used, got "suited up" and were shown the basics of archery before having a go at it ourselves. It wasn't as easy as it appeared ! Our target was a mere 40-50m away and we were missing big time, whereas the experienced people were hitting bulls eye 300m away! I had arranged a small tournament and trophies for the winner and the one who had the biggest miss. It turned out to be the same person ! Out of the 5 arrows we used in the competition, Mr. Ryu managed to hit the target two times and ALSO do the biggest miss! For for sake of good order, we let Bjarne win the Biggest Miss trophy!

At the archery field, getting ready for some serious Robin Hood action

Mr. Ryu, Bob and Serhiy chatting while Mr. Kim is trying to suss out the technique of the experienced archers

Seems like it worked. Nothing wrong with the style at least !

Serhiy's style was somewhat different but still effective.

Mr. Ryu needed some coaching but in the end he persevered and won the Championship!

Paula just after sending an arrow off towards the target

Anatoliy's daughters were the keenest arrow collectors - it's them in the front.

From this distance it's called cheating, Paula !

Bob and Serhiy with Natasha and the kids in the background

Bjarne celebrating his big miss !

We had a good couple of hours at the archery field. None of us had ever tried it before and it was something that everybody could participate in. Anatoliy's two daughters were expert arrow-collectors !! For lunch we drove in to the mountains. Going west on route 24 you get to Dodong turnoff which in turn will (if you remember to take the right turn-off ... not like me!) take you to a beautiful restaurant on the foot of the Ulsan Alps. The menu here goes by the name of "King's Meal" among the foreigners, but I don't know if that is just a sales trick. The food IS really nice and not spicy at all.

The three musketeers - Mr. Kim, Mr. Ryu and Bob in front of the restaurant

Paula on her way to the tea house

Last activity of the day was ATV madness near the Ametyst mine. I think the photos says it all - even though there are no photos of us after we were let loose in the mountains .... the below photos are only from the practice.

A meaner version of Paula

Serhiy seemed to enjoy it !

Mad Max !

A camera swap almost caused a small-time crash between Paula and me!


Ready for the mountains !

We were greeted by a forest fire near the shipyard when we got backhome from the teambuilding. The helicopter is bringing water in a basket in the top left. They extinguished the fire in less than one hour.

In the evening Anatoliy had invited us for his son's 1-year birthday at Hyundai Hotel. Ahh - so much good food in one day ! Really excellent day and a very nice way to start the spring here in Korea.