Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival *photos*

Walking under the canopy of Jinhae's famous Cherry Blossoms was honestly, quite surreal. This marked an important moment in my Korean journey... Spring is here and Winter is no more! Having come from sweltering South Africa, I was not coping too well with the intense cold during February. Yes, it was the tail-end of Winter, but that proved to be really challenging for me. But being around masses of people during the Festival, who looked as excited to see the delicate flowers, well this made me enjoy the experience even more. 

It was fantastic to see so many Korean
people and foreigners coming out to
admire this natural wonder. 
To give you some background into the trip...I signed up with a tour group on Facebook called "When in Korea." They organised a bus to pick us up from Sasang subway station in Busan. I paid 26 000won (around R260 or $26) and this meant I was on a bus there and back. So that was really good. We also had two tour guides showing us around. They hired a photographer for the day and his pics were superb! We paid for our food and in total I think I spent at most, 10 000won (around R100 or $10) on the day. There are many ways of attending the Festival ie: taking a bus there and opting to not use a tour group. I chose this option because in all honesty it was the easiest and many of my friends were doing the same. I want to try and organise my own adventure in the future so watch this space! Below are pictures taken from the day. Enjoy!

Coconut drinks anyone? Saw these and my mind was blown!
There were food stall set up everywhere. Here I
am about to devour marinated chicken on a stick. 

The Festival only runs for a short period of time as soon as the Cherry Blossoms appear. I had to get in a shot with these beauties!

Trying to get artsy :)

 I want to ask you something? How do you show when you are in a relationship? Do you change your status? Hold hands? Or tell anyone that will listen? Well these Korean couples match their clothing. They match everything... down to their spotted socks and shoes. I have seen this a number of times here in Korea and the images just make it that more real! Here are couples wandering the Cherry Blossom Festival. Check it out :) 

"Urm, mom? Dad? Why didn't I get the memo?"

In true Festival style here, the food options were numerous!

Towards late the afternoon, my friends and I were dying to use the loo! We couldn't find one, but finally asked a shopkeeper if we could use theirs. They were amazing! Until I saw this door... and what was behind the door. Inside was a squatting toilet and for some reason I could not find the handle to flush the squatter! So I just threw water from the running tap into the loo. During the act, I giggled quite a bit while trying to balance in the VERY SMALL toilet and not being a professional squatter yet, that took all of my concentration. And to be honest, I think there is something great about squatting. You get killer legs and learn control! But anyway, I was so grateful for the shopkeeper allowing us use their private toilet. 

Towards the end of the day we climbed over 360 stairs up to the Observatory to look over the Festival and beyond. These heart-shaped structures on the way up, with the Cherry Blossoms in the background made for quite a magical moment. 

Overlooking the festival. We sat up in the Observatory watching the sun set. I remember taking a moment to be alone and just be. Seeing sights like that don't come everyday. It was also a time to remind myself of how blessed I feel to be on this adventure. 

We came down from the Observatory and wandered past the many stalls. These scarves grabbed my attention... they were so soft too!

I remember just stopping to look at this guy work. I think he was making noodles, and his skill mixed with that beautiful smile left me in awe. Dude was killing it!

 Nadia xo 

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