Sunday, July 6, 2014


A month ago today, Korea observed Memorial Day. To celebrate, a group of us went to the coastal town of Sokcho. I've spent the past four (US) Memorial Day holidays going to the beach, so it seemed appropriate to keep that tradition.

No, Google Maps. The road was not that straight.
No trains go to Sokcho, so we had to take a bus from Seoul. It took us about three (or four? I can't recall...that's what I get for falling behind in posting) hours to make the trip.

On the way, we stopped at one of the few rest stops along the way, where many other buses were also letting people off for a 15 minute break. With all of the people inside that little rest stop (I'd imagine there were upwards of 70), the chance of going to the restroom in time to make it back to the bus was slim. Thankfully, I beat the line that formed quickly behind me, and I was able to go outside and check out the surrounding area with time to spare.

We jumped back on the bus and continued the trip. Initially, I was a bit befuddled that no trains in Korea went to a city that I'd heard a lot about. When we arrived, I found that the term "city" was unfitting. Sokcho is tiny. And uncrowded. And chill.

I loved it.

Our lodging, which Sarah (one of the group members) secured, was perfectly located. It was one block from the bus terminal even though we wandered around utterly lost for a while before we found the lodging, a ten minute walk from the beach, and right next to the LDS (Mormon) church.

We spent most of the first day checking out the shore.

Mysterious island off the shore. Its purpose is unknown.

I've seen these giant stone jacks before. I'm guessing that they help break some of the impact of the waves, but I'm too lazy to confirm that with Google.

A lot of the seafood in Sokcho is edible. This squid is not.

These murals could be found around the beach.

Cold, and worth it

Sokcho Harbor

Saturday morning, we got up late and walked into a cafe, where we completely overwhelmed the sole worker there. We ordered cocoa, sandwiches, and a bunch of other things. We sat down and just relaxed, because it was a cozy kind of place, and we waited. And waited. And you know what? I didn't mind waiting. We chatted and enjoyed the music. The food came after some time. Do you know what the server then did?

She gave us two pieces of cheesecake and apologized for making us wait so long. It was amazing.

If you want to go to this cafe, you'll know it when you find these pictures inside:

Ladies of the Purrenaissance

From there, it was off to the beach again (and this time, I went all the way in the water. I don't have a picture of it, but we can use this picture of me from three years ago. That should suffice).

This is close to what I looked like in Sokcho. Just imagine an ocean instead of a pool and no shirt, and it's pretty much the same thing.
Off we went to find a trail to hike. We weren't able to find any really cool trails, but the views were pretty great.

We found a 찜질방 (jjimjilbang - Korean sauna) to relax in for an hour or two, and then we had dinner with the LDS missionaries. We ate many, many delicious things. Chicken feet were on the menu, but they were not necessarily delicious.

On Sunday, we went to church and were treated to an awesome lunch by the members.

From there, we returned to the bus terminal and came back to Seoul.

Though I didn't realize it till after, I needed this trip. The teaching schedule I had for all of May was really wiping me out, and something about this trip gave me the boost I needed to keep chuggin'. Perhaps it was the small town feel, or the friendly people we met.

Or maybe it was the chicken feet.

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