I am back in the land of the rising sun after spending a week of an incredibly intense and wonderful training in San Diego. The training awakened something in me, but San Diego, California and the USA left me wanting.
Wanting what? Asia, in a word.
I landed back in Okinawa on October 21 after traveling almost 24 hours and enjoying several interesting encounters along the way. However, I was on Skyscanner while I was in my hotel in San Diego and found a sweet little deal in Incheon, Korea. I decided to fly out the weekend after returning home.
I became enamored with Korea, almost as soon as I got here and have yet to be disappointed by the land, people, culture or food. Koreans are refreshingly frank, sometimes too frank, but they know how to have a good time.
My hotel, the Golden Tulip, had only been open for two weeks. A modern and sleek hotel, close to the airport and restaurants was just what I was looking for.
I landed on Friday night and on Saturday morning ended up heading to Incheon Songdo International City. But first I rode across the longest bridge (21.39 km) in Korea. In many spots it reminded me of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge…except its in Korea.
Being I am now an island girl, I found a beach. What is wonderful and glorious about Korea also is the four seasons…in Okinawa, we basically have two…summer (hot, humid and unbearable) and spring/winter/fall (less hot, humid and unbearable). I brought my Patagonia micropuff jacket and was able to wear it on the Eurwangni Beach as the wind played in my hair.
It was a gorgeous day, maybe the low 60s, with sun and clouds. The water was a silver of late autumn which heralds the darkening approach of winter. People walked along the beach, some sat staring at the water on the rocks, others fishing from little tidal pools. This area is also good for clamming and cars were parked all along the sides of the roads to access the beaches.
Although I could easily have spent the morning on the beach, I only had one day to spend before flying back, so I ventured inland to the Incheon Songdo International City’s Central Park.
I found out after reading about the park that in the parking garage and elevator (which I rode in), Psy filmed parts of his Oppa Gagnam Style video here. The dance battle with the dude in the yellow suit and the guy dancing lewdly in the elevator were shot there. I just watched the video again to check….and sure enough….
Although Psy was not on hand, there was a youth festival going on… there were kids everywhere and performances on the stages.
The park itself was truly a beautiful place, modern architecture harmonized, floating over the water and natural features. For a little more information about the park, you can visit this site.
Imagine Your Korea -http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_6.jsp?cid=1718482
Of course, everybody who comes to Korea talks about the food, and I am no different. I have no idea what I am eating ninety percent of the time, but it doesn’t matter…it is amazing. And since I plan on visiting Korea more often, I purchased some Korean chopsticks which are metal, hence more challenging than the Japanese wooden ones.
I helped myself to mackerel and tofu stews and chicken and kimchi (of course), the fabulous radishes and pickles… I am thinking particularly about the beef…
Saturday night was spent walking around the city close to the hotel, visiting a Starbucks and drinking hot black coffee on a cold October night.
Sunday morning, I awoke to rain and returning to my warm sweet Okinawa….
As I was leaving, I did not bother to change my Won into Yen…I feel as if I leave a part of myself in Korea each time I go…I need to return to reclaim it…
Have a great week everybody….and all you Americans, please vote! The midterm elections are more important than ever!