Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Summer Vacation! Jeju, Day 2

Sorry about the delay in posting about our summer vacation! It's already been a couple weeks since we've gone and come back, actually, so these postings are testing my memory (and letting me re-live the vacation ... seems like it was so long ago!).

Day Two, here we go!

The photo above was taken, I believe, on the first night we were in Jeju. It was a good thing I took this photo, too, because they took the letters off the building the next day! (Ah, construction, always so fun...)

The view from our room. Not great, I have to say. I appreciated that the little house directly in front of us had a dog, but I felt bad for the dog because it was tied up the entire time I saw him. People in Korea are so much meaner to animals than people in the U.S. (I'm generalizing! Mostly it's like this!) And look at those clouds ... should have taken that as a sign, really, of tons of rain about to fall. (Click on the photo above for a larger version, as always!)

We woke up and drove over to O'Sulloc, (website in Korean), a famous tea plantation (are farms where they grow tea called plantations?? I feel like they should be!) and tea museum (the museum was meh, but free, so worth going, though there were a ton of people there!). They grow green teas, which I don't love but I drink a lot of, as it's supposedly very good for you. (No, I can't tell a difference at all between drinking tea and drinking water.)

The tea fields above are the first time I've seen tea in its raw state, and it was a little ... weird. Disconcerting, I suppose. It doesn't smell like anything, even like the tea you steep, and it's just ... leaves. It was really pretty, though! The fields were huge and, I thought, very lovely. (It was so hard to crop out all the people milling around!) Anyway, now I know- I love tea plantations!

It was raining, unfortunately, so I took about two photos of the fields and then we dashed inside to the museum. Ahem, the "museum," since I didn't really see how it was a museum! It didn't have any artifacts or anything, it just had a few teapots and teacups and a cute little diorama-thing (seen above). I don't know what those red creatures are, but they were cute!

This was right beside the loudest, most crowded cafe I've ever been to in my entire life! I think of tea and think of ladies, sitting and sipping and talking quietly. Not so with Koreans. They were shrieking, it felt like, and there was a LOT of insanely loud yammering. We had two very expensive tea drinks (that were really good, actually!) and high-tailed it out of there.

We went to the World Automobile Jeju Museum (website's in Korean), which had a lot of cars outside and a ton of cars inside. They also had deer outside!

That's not his tongue, it's a carrot! There was a sign that said we could ask for deer food to feed the deer, but it was raining and we were getting wet (we only had one small umbrella for the both of us!), so we dashed off to get to the car (and get dry).

Sorry my deer shots are so blurry; he was moving and I was in a hurry to get out of the rain! We got into the car and drove to go eat, because I was getting hangry again. (Recurring theme of this trip, I tell you!)

We went to a restaurant called Shillawon (website in Korean), which is famous for its horse-meat dishes. It sounds odd to me, as an American, to eat horse, but it's common in other countries (I just learned from that Wikipedia page that Koreans don't generally eat horse meat except on Jeju Island, and usually raw!)

Above is the raw horse-meat, which was the best of the three horse-meat dishes we had. It was so good! Horse-meat tastes a lot like beef (why don't we call it cow-meat??), but very, very lean. The leanness was probably what made it not very good when cooked, because it cooks up really tough and stringy, like chicken breast can get if you don't cook it well. Ah, the joys of fat-less meat... ㅎㅎ

The above is a photo of braised horse-meat, which was not very good at all. I like my meat braises to be sweet and salty, as they usually always are. This one was ... neither. It didn't taste like ... anything! It was so bizarre, because it looks just like braised beef, but it didn't taste like it AT ALL. Maybe we got a bad batch, where the cook forgot to add the seasonings?? Whatever the case, we ate all the meat, puzzling the entire time why it tasted so odd.

The whole table. That dish at the top right was the only pork we had, which was good (and seasoned!) but tasted really fatty after all the horse meat. We were having shabu-shabu with horse-meat when I took this photo, which is what's in the pot in the middle of the table. The shabu was okay, but not great. Again, horse-meat has too little fat to be eaten very well when it's cooked (though that braise...! Such a waste, it would've been so good if it had been seasoned properly!).

We took a drive through the middle of the island after lunner (that's between lunch and dinner, FYI) to check out the mountains. Jeju is a volcanic island, after all, so there are mountains here, there, and everywhere! 

In the mountains (this was at a rest stop, because I wanted this pastry that they sell at rest areas, but the store was closed!), it was cool and foggy and mysterious, which I LOVED. I love fog, I love cool, I do not like hot and sticky, and I love mysteries! It was so pretty, and this photo doesn't do justice to the landscape at all. 

We went back to the hotel afterward because I was pooped. I had gone to the hospital the day before we took off for Jeju, so I think I was rightfully tired! The poor husband just got nagged at the entire time we were on vacation ㅋㅋㅋ

After resting for a little while, we decided to go see Jeju LoveLand, (website in English has less information, the Korean version has tons more!), which is a racy theme park that people kept posting about online.

The entrance, which looked like an ice-skating rink to me, for some reason. The moon was either full or just about to be full, and the husband's looking a little weird in this photo, but oh, well!

We wandered around the park and saw all the sights (lots of sexual statues! Lots of sexual noises!), but I got rather chilled, because it got pretty frosty at nighttime, and we went around 9:00 or so. There were tons of giggling 20-somethings, which was funny, and a few buildings where we could go inside and see "artistic" renderings of things and lots of sex toys for sale. 

The pastries above were filled with Jeju orange paste, which didn't taste all that different from regular ol' orange paste, but they were warm, which was nice! The husband's finger is there for scale (though he has abnormally large hands, so I probably should have used my own hand!).

We got back to the hotel, where I filled in my journal for the day. I love having a Midori (well, two of them!) because it's so nice to have one place where I log my day, schedule my week, write down reminders, etc., etc. My hand is looking a little wonky in this photo...

And we had green tea lattes! The husband loved his green tea latte at the O'Sulloc Tea Museum, and they were selling them there, so of course we had to buy some! They're actually really good and not as many calories as I had feared (I think it's around 55 per packet), so I love these! (We also found them at a store near our apartment for only ₩500 (about 43 cents) more than what we paid in Jeju!)

The second day was tiring for me, for some reason- I think it was the medication I was taking for my tonsillitis. I miss our summer vacation, though! It was so much fun to do nothing and worry about nothing for a few days~

The third (and last full!) day coming ... soon-ish!