Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Korean Wellbeing Cooking Class

I've been taking about it for a long time, but I finally got around to taking a Korean cooking class!  I ended up taking the class through the continuing education department at Jeju National University.  The class is going pretty well, and actually now is almost over.  I think there's only two more weeks actually after tonight.  The class I'm taking is kind of a class for never-evers, and we're really learning pretty basic dishes.  I really love Korean food and am learning how actually pretty simple it is to cook.  Sometimes it can be pretty labor intensive, in cutting vegetables into very small strips for Japchae, or Kimbap (California Roll).  It can also be relatively easy, such as Pa Jun (Vegetable and Seafood Pancake).  All in all it's going well.  I'm taking a break for a couple of weeks, but I'll be back next week to learn some Doenjang Jjigae and Sun Du Bu, two of my favorite soups!

My teacher and myself

Pa Jun, seafood and veggie pancake


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Olle Route #7 Oedolgae to Wolpyeong (올래 7 코스 외돌개 -> 월평)

Olle trails are the system of hiking trails that circle all around Jeju Island.  Whenever I talk to people who've hiked Jeju Olle trails, it's inevitable that Route #7 comes up in the conversation.  I don't have any official statistics, but it seems to me that #7 is the most popular Olle trail in all of Jeju.  
The trail starts at Oedolgae Rock. This sea stack is a must see for all tourists that come to Jeju.  The parking lot is always packed with tour busses, and on this day, they were particularly full of students from a visiting high school from Daejeon.  The cliffs around Oedolgae are stunning and the water nearby is fantastic for snorkeling in the summertime.  

Some of the Olle trails really bring you to the countryside of Jeju.  You can walk for hours without even seeing another person.   On the other hand, Olle trail number seven is particularly crowded, so I found that one of the surprising pleasantries was the surprisingly large amount of vendors and food available on the way.  I stopped for some amazing seafood fried rice along the way.  It was great!


The construction has begun on the controversial new naval base that you pass towards the end of the trail.  Jeju has some conflicts with promoting its image as an eco-friendly and peace island and the current construction of a massive US naval base.  The protests are on-going.

The picture below isn't a sign telling how far away famous cities are.  Can you guess what it says?

In the end, Olle Route 7 was a fantastic walk and I met some wonderful people on the way.  Most people just do the first half of it, but the die-hard people who are willing to finish it are well rewarded with a less crowded trail, wonderful views and a highly recommended experience.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Seobi and Amy's Wedding Photos

Two of my best Korean friends, their nicknames are Seobi and Amy, asked me to take their wedding photos for them!  They are getting married on the first weekend in June so they they hired a professional photographer and studio to get the shots.  Basically, he just set up the poses and a few of us followed them around snapping pics.  I was quite nervous because my good camera lens got dropped one too many times this winter.  I ordered a new lens, specifically for this photo shoot, but it didn't come in time (and still hasn't come) due to the tsunami in Japan.  In the end, I was stuck with the kit lens which did a fine job. I've tried to do a little soft focus effect.  What do you think?