Monday, October 3, 2011

A day in Chuncheon (춘천)

     Sunday morning I woke to the chilly air and hinting sunlight with a full day set ahead of me. My 이모 and 이모부 were taking me with them to 춘천 (Chuncheon), a place outside of Seoul, way out West with loads of mountains and bearing a famous title for its 닭갈비 (dak galbi), chicken galbi.
     I met with them at the crack of dawn (while all the drunk kids were venturing home) and within a 1 hour and 20 minutes train ride, we were in the chilly hills and mountains of 춘천. We took a ferry to an island where there were temples. And while snacking on tea and apples our eyes were teased with what was to come.
awaiting (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     I thought we'd be alone at this hour, but we were only three of the hundreds of people eager to get their legs moving!
piling into the boat (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     As soon as we landed we decided to grab some eats (and fuel) before our hike...luckily there were vegan options!!!
all that 김치 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     The red kimchi I'm not sure if it was vegan, but the 물 김치 and 된장김치 were vegan...and yummy! The 반찬 was also good, I liked the mountain roots the best. So packed with flavor and hinting on this isn't a bad thing!
various 반찬 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     I got my FAVORITE food...도토리묵 if I could, I'd eat this only...all the time. It's hard to come by or find often..and throughout Korea it's made differently. This mountain side one was full of tangy lettuce leaves, 김 (seaweed), crushed sesame seeds, perilla (sesame) leaves and of course, 묵 (acorn). The sauce was thicker and clung onto the ingredient...cucumber is usually in this dish...and well, I never can get enough cuke!
도토리묵 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Walking up the mountain, there were tons of stands selling 전 and 튀김(fried goods). I'm glad I don't have a major temptation for fried foods...this cleanse man. The fried stuff was actually of some roots that are rumored to provide the body with some serious health benefits.
fried roots~ healthy (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     I loved this hike to the temple, we wandered into all sorts of lovely things!
waterfallin (photo taken by VeganBeats)
old temple being renovated (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Closing in on the temple I started hearing scratching records and bumping amps. What?! Apparently, the monks like to shake their hips too!
Buddha beats (photo taken by VeganBeats)
temple crew (photo taken by VeganBeats)
giving out 막국수 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     춘천, I guess is pretty famous 막국수 (spicy buckwheat noodles) and the monks were handing out plates of these for everyone visiting today. The line wrapped around all sorts of temples...looked like everyone was enjoying it!
nom nom nom (photo taken by VeganBeats)

     The temple was lovely, and even thought there were loads of people, I felt relaxed, happy...calm even. Getting out of Seoul~ needed. Here's some shots (a better camera is arriving...)
shy lights (photo taken by VeganBeats)
cute kids (photo taken by VeganBeats)
a little color (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Coming back down, my eyes focused on the greenery...I am missing VERMONT so much. Seoul, I love you, but get some more trees. This girl wants to climb something besides subway stairs!
we climbed that kid (photo taken by VeganBeats)
our boat (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     The boat ride back was nice...I want to swim!
swim swim swim (photo taken by VeganBeats)
photo taken by VeganBeats
     That chicken my family got me to wait for over an hour to sit inside one of these restaurants... The streets were packed, the homes were packed, the restaurants were packed...this isn't a vegan friendly location. Close your eyes...
the street sign (photo taken by VeganBeats)
the line outside (photo taken by VeganBeats)
닭갈비 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Seeing all that raw stuff (not talking yummy veggies) laying naked on the iron pan got me family promised to eat wasting or disrespecting omnivorous folk!
     I nibbled on lettuce and water while observing the crowded place around me.
packed (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     After stuffing guts and growing tired...we walked back to the subway, fell asleep on the train...and now I'm home. 

It's been a great day...thanks to Seoul...I got a little bit of soul back in me. 

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