Life is settling back into a post-FIFA World Cup pace, darn it all! We have attended two soccer matches at the World Cup stadium near us.
Ulsan has a Hyundai-sponsored professional team that plays other big-company sponsored teams from around Korea. Anyway, the quality of play is not nearly as good as what we saw in the World Cup.
Both games have ended in 0-0 ties, but it's still fun to be there and watch the action!
One of Bill's co-workers took us on a day trip to an island off the coast of Pusan (southeast corner of Korea).
Mr. Moon and his daughter and son spent the day showing us the sights. We spent the first part of the day on Yeongdo-gu and at an area called Taejongdae. The rock formations were breathtaking and the sea was neat because it was when we were on the fringes of the typhoons that have passed through this part of Asia.
As well, we saw another, smaller island off this one and Mr. Moon explained that you can see 1-6 islands there, depending on the level of cloud cover-- pretty weird to think there were five more islands we couldn't see! Then, we went into the city of Pusan, and Mr. Moon took us to Pusan Tower (a Seattle Space Needle-type structure) and we went up into the top viewing area of it.
At the windows, there are pictures from the early 20th century showing what the view looked like then-- really quite different for every view.
It is truly amazing to see the development of this country and to know all the history that took place between when those photos were taken and now; these people are something else!
July 17 was Constitution Day, a national holiday commemorating the date in 1948 when Korea adopted its set of laws after so many years of occupation by other countries.
Anyway, we and the Kraelings set out to see the Korean Alps, a mountain range near here that is supposed to be similar to the European range.
Well, since it was a holiday and traffic is notoriously bad on holidays and since we were sight-seeing, we decided to take the back roads "MISTAKE " we were in bumper to bumper traffic for hours!
The number of people and the number of cars in this country have far surpassed the ability to build roads fast enough to accommodate all!
Anyway, the mountains were breathtaking, although shrouded by clouds (did I mention it's the rainy season here?).
The roads were wild.
We went from smooth sailing (a relative term) to narrow, rain-rutted, rock-slide areas that were barely passable for one car, let alone two cars going in the opposite direction. But, no one seemed upset.
One direction would sit a long time while the other direction of cars would creep carefully by (did I also mention the other direction of cars were next to a river, with a deep drop-off and no guardrails?).
We stopped for lunch, all-Korean language menu, but sat outside with the mountain view; very nice!
So, there were hotels, restaurants, and zillions of people playing in the rocky, flowing river, and barely a driveway by which they all got there and on which they had to return! Ahhhh, we are really spoiled, you know!
I am attaching a photo taken of the Kraelings and us in Seoul at the City Hall plaza following Korea's World Cup Consolation match against Turkey.
The photo was taken by either Kent or Anne McIntosh who were here visiting the Kraelings. Enjoy!