Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Seoul Day 4, What an adventurous day

Dear Matt and Mar,

What a day this had turned out to be, we tried (let me stress the word ‘tried’) to leave the hotel early, haa haa haa, Konjiam (about 40 km (as the crow flies) was quite some distance away, oh I wished we had hire the car for the day, haa haa haa haa, but we didn’t, so it was to the Underground once more :-)

001Maybe I could have chosen better route, with less changes (sorry), but soon enough we’d found ourselves looking at the empty taxi rank, haa haa haa, and we waited (what seemed to be half an eternity), and to be honest I was slowly steaming inside, as it was getting to be quite late (noon-ish) and I wanted you two to have lots of time at the ski resort.

Suddenly a taxi turned and we found ourselves heading towards Konjiam (which was less than fifteen minutes from the Underground station), once arrived, I was totally lost on what to do, haa haa haa haa. The obvious move was to buy the tickets... haa haa haa. Wow, what a nube... I went through the motion of selecting the ticket type and so on, but then she asked if we could ski/snowboard... well, my intention was just to go take you two in and have a go (on a very shallow hill), but she wouldn’t allow that, haa haa haa (I wasn’t laughing at the time).

The thought of all that travel and not being able to let you two play, did stress me quite a bit, but we decided to take a little time out and recoup at the local cafe nearby... after a superb cup of coffee, I went back to the ticketing office, and this time I knew exactly what I was doing, bought the tickets (by the hours), rented the right equipment (decided on snowboards for the three of us), rushed back to the coffee shop and ushered us all towards the main lobby, where we were fitted out for boots, then to upstairs for the snowboards.

WOW... as soon as we saw the slopes, I was totally in awe and dumb struck by the view that was in front of us, the white mountain sides that climb and climb, they was touching the light whisper of cloud, against the endless bright blue sky, the hint of snow being blown by the high wind in the far distance, the dashes of colourful ski suits and jackets across the white glittering canvas, the smiles, the laughter, the vastness of it was all truly amazing!

002

I didn’t need to snowboard or ski, I was perfectly happy in the viewing / waiting gallery, lol, but I was carrying 3 heavy snowboards, haa haa haa. So we said goodbye to your mother (all smiles) and we entered through the turn gates and headed toward the slopes... wow.

I didn’t know how to put on the snowboard, and all I can say is thank you ‘YouTube’, haa haa haa, talking about learning on the fly.

I looked for the beginners hill, haa haa haa, there was long queue at the ski lift, and so we trudged along and in no time we found ourselves being ushered into rows (people there were unbelievably lovely). The ski lift scooped in behind us, we sat down, but my hands were so full I couldn’t pull down the security bar... oh dear... our family stopped the lift... there were a bunch of Korean shouting (understandably, lol) and somehow I’d managed to pull down the security bar (using Jedi mind force) and a second later we were moving once more (I didn’t dare to look back, haa haa haa).

Now to the top of the hill... all snowboards were on and I was just sitting, it looked like I was just enjoying the view, the truth was I didn’t wanted to stand up, didn’t have enough strength for one, lol, and was afraid I was going to die for another. Matt on the other hand was willing to give it a go straight away, I never knew we were raising a maniac, lol, he stood up and whoooosh off he went down the hill. Now if that was on land I would have certainly ran after him, but we were not, we were on the slope of certain death...  haa haa haa, so I just sat there, haa haa haa.

003

Let me be clear, this was the first time for snowboarding and with zero knowledge. To me there was no ‘ready, steady, go’ on one of these thing. As soon as one stood up it was ‘GO’,  and ‘ARRRRGGGHHHH’, haa haa haa. Luckily I had Mar by my side, she was like my personal ‘something to grab’ thing, haa haa haa. Eventually after looking around and copying, we managed to glide down (somewhat awkwardly), the lesson here was not to go forward (and down the hill) but to go left and right, zig zagging down the hill, still that was still too fast for an old person like me... haa haa haa haa. But I was over the moon to see you two having such a great time, that was all your mother and I wanted.

A time later, Mar have had enough, and I noticed there was a huge sledging hill, and as I didn’t want to risk my life any longer, we all moved to the sledging. Now buying a ticket was a nightmare, I’d thought we could have bought the tickets at the sledging hill, but one had to go back to the front ticketing office, as I was halfway up a mountain it was a bit of a pain, haa haa haa. Long story short, by some miracles you two managed to sledge without tickets whilst I rushed and bought what was needed, it was like one of my ‘cardio’ day, and I don’t do cardio.

004

The sun had left the sky, the flood lights came on, and to me the mountain and slopes became even more beautiful, I was totally lost for words and now beginning to understand why mountain climbing can be an obsession! But for us, it was time to call it a day, instead of rushing back into the city we’d decided to just eat here, there was a very good restaurant in the main plaza, and it was perfect.

For a while I’d forgot that we had to catch the bus back to the Underground station, after our supper it was discovered that the next bus was at 23:00, haa haa haa and my little casio read 20:00 ish... haa haa haa. While you three were sitting and playing outside I’d went down to the information (absolutely great bunch of staff) who helped to call one of those moonlight taxi, as it was taking some time, your mother came and see how I was doing... The staff actually walked out into the cold with your mother and I, and the taxi was there waiting for us, but you two had disappeared!

A whirlwind of running and shouting ensue, the panic level doubled every passing minute, it was dark, cold and quiet... Suddenly I saw Matt coming out from the restaurant we had our supper, Mar needed to do a number two, haa haa haa haa haa, and her brother was just looking out for her, lol.

By the time we were all together, the taxi had left, can’t blame him... and that fantastic lady was making several calls out in the cold with us, it must have been another fifteen minutes before we found ourselves in the warm taxi.

005

The Underground was quite busy, but my main concern was what to do when Mar falls asleep, haa haa haa, and she did. Instead of catching the Underground all the way to Seoul Station and walk home, we decided to jump out at one of the main Underground station (well we just jump out when most of the people left the train, an indication of arriving at one of the bigger station) to catch a taxi back to the hotel. Apart from the first taxi refusing us (I think I gave him the wrong address), we arrived home all worn out and it was a superb day!

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