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Archive for August, 2010

Some Unknown Korean Holiday

Posted by Heliocentrism on August 21, 2010

theirOctober 3-5, 2008

All Pictures

Happy to be in Busan

Not unlike Seoul

The first thing we noticed about Busan was how much it looked like Seoul. When we left Busan Station, we felt a little comforted by the familiar “Lotte Mart” sign across the road.

We saw the crowd lining up to buy subway tickets. We hoped that our T-money cards from Seoul would work in Busan, but they didn’t. They are supposed to work in Busam, but somehow we couldn’t get them too.

Ready for some fun in a new city

We got in the line and got our tickets and entered the new subway system. It was like being in a parallel universe. It looked a lot like Seoul’s subway, but not quite. There weren’t enough subway lines. And the ajimas were… nice.

At one point during the trip, we were standing in front of a ticket machine trying to figure out how to get to the beach. An old lady came by and she was pointing to the map on the machine. Being a Seoulite, I assumed that she wanted to cut in line or rob us and leave us for dead. But in Busan, the city of smiles, she was just trying to show us the best way to get to the best beach.

I’m just kidding. An ajima, an married lady, from Seoul would never rob anyone. They just like elbowing, shoving, pushing, and stealing seats on the subway. But they would totally leave you for dead if they had the opportunity and enjoy every minute of it!

“Come on in. The water is fine!”

But I came here to swim…

Friday was an usually warm day, so our hopes were high for a day at the beach on Saturday. We had stayed out late on Friday night and our plan was to just lie around and swim a bit.

I love to swim, especially at the beach. So when I got to Heaundae beach it seemed like a sin to have traveled all the way to Busan and not even try out the water. I went in first. Vicky followed.

Vicky and I were the only 2 people in the water. It was cold, but I managed to stay in for a good 20 minutes before turning blue. Vicky and I teased and taunted Taryn to come in and join us. We lied to her and told her that it was only slightly chilly. She fell for it.

Titus claimed that he didn’t have anything to swim in. So, he guarded the purses… a man’s job.

beach frisbee

We got out of the water and Titus, Vicky and I played frisbee on land for about an hour. That’s when I first saw him… The Thong Man of Busan. At first I thought he was naked.

He had really dark skin and he was wearing a teeny tiny red thong. He was playing frisbee with his friends too. He loved the attention, but not enough people were enjoying his thong. He had to do something… take his thong on the road so to speak.

He rented a jet ski. Now, he could move faster along the beach. But how are the people going to really see him?

He thinks about this…

Taryn caught this perfect moment on camera.

Aha! He stands up proudly on his jet ski. Now his buttocks are in full view of everyone. The people are pleased. It’s all about the people you know.

When I saw “Thong Man” doing his thing on his jet ski, I had only one thought. “I need to get my photo taken with THAT man!” But how? My goal seemed too high.

“You wanna know who I would rather have a photo with?”

I turned to the girls a little embarrassed to tell them, but I did anyway. Their reaction… “ME TOO!”

All three of us practically ran over to him. We had no idea how we were going to ask him to pose with us. What if he said, “No”? Should we snap a picture and just run away?

As we got closer to him we saw a group of Korean girls approaching. “Damn it,” I thought, “They have the same idea!” But no, they were coming towards us.

“No, no, no, go away. We’re here on a mission! This is not the time to practice your English.”

They wanted us to say something in their camera. I don’t remember what it was now. Their pronunciation was really bad and we had no idea what they were saying. Luckily, Thong Man stepped in to save the day.

“They want you to say…” he said with thongish authority.

Then, he put his arm around me and looked into the camera. All four of us said the stupid thing the girls told us to say.

“We want another picture!” we said and we handed the silly girls all our cameras. Thong man moved between Taryn and me for a better picture position. Snap, Snap, Snap.

That’s me and my friends with the famous Thong man of Busan!!

We walked back to our towels with smiles.

I love Busan!

All Pictures


South Korea
(대한민국)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, or train, though entry by train is rare if not damn impossible for most non-presidents of North or South Korea.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to South Korea.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 90-day visa at the airport or ferry port.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Korean embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Korea is a generally safe country. You don’t really have to watch out for pickpockets,muggers, or scam artists.
    • You should watch out when crossing the streets, beware of scooters on the sidewalk, and the little old ladies that will push you to get that last seat on the bus or subway.
  • Use common sense and you will be okay.
  • Things are generally inexpensive and there are many wonderful things to buy.

Enjoy Korea! I live there for 2 years and had a fantastic time.


Busan
(부산)

How to get there:

  • 35°10’51.6″N 129°04’38.2″E

From Seoul

  1. Go to Seoul Station (the subway station) on lines 1 and 4.
  2. Go to the long distance station which is above the metro station. It is also called Seoul Station. (Don’t mistake it for the Old Seoul Station which is now a museum.)
  3. You can buy tickets for a train heading to Busan. Prices and times vary.

Websites:

Cost:

  • Train tickets will cost 20,00080,000KRW depending on the type of train you ride and what class ticket you get.
  • Busan itself is not an expensive city. The prices for things are the same as in Seoul.

Notes:

  • The beaches in Busan are crowded in the summer, but no one swims in other seasons. It’s not illegal to do so. I have done it. But, people think it’s strange to swim on a non-summer day no matter how warm it might be.
  • T-money cards work in Busan, but you need to go to special shops to add money to your card, so top it up before you leave Seoul.

Haeundae Beach 
(해운대해수욕장)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°09’30.7″N 129°09’37.6″E
  • Go to Haeundae Station #203 (해운대역) on line 2.

Website:

Cost:

  • Free

Hours:

  • They cannot close a beach.

Notes:

  • Bring your own towel. You could buy one near the beach, but they’re pretty crappy. You’re better off buying a T-shirt to dry off with.
  • The beaches in Busan are crowded in the summer, but no one swims in other seasons. It’s not illegal to do so. I have done it.

Map: 

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Wow, You Have 5 Friends!?

Posted by Heliocentrism on August 21, 2010

September 14, 2008

All Pictures

Happy to be back in Korea

Back Again

This was my first trip in Korea since my return. I had a new job and lots of new friends to go hiking with. I started work back on August 25 and this, when Korea celebrated Chusok, was our first long weekend. It’s kind of like Thanksgiving back in North America. Most importantly it is time away from work.

picking a trail to hike

Have you notice that I don’t go hiking with the same people twice? I can only talk them into once.

My friends and I all worked in different schools around Seoul and therefore live in different districts. I met some of my friends at the station nearest to were I live, Chang-dong, and others at Dobong Staion.

On our hike up the mountian we passed one of Sarah’s new co-workers. They talked for a little while before Sarah introduced her to us. The lady looked amazed. “Sarah, you have 5 friends! How?”

We teased Sarah for the rest of the hike.

“Man Sarah, your co-worker was really shocked that you have 5 whole friends”

“One or two, maybe. But 5? How?”

I think I’ve explained before how Koreans like to ask foreigners, “How many friends do you have?” I still don’t understand it…

David: Lord of the Hike

Do you need help?

We may have looked a bit lost and disorganized, but so what. Getting to the top is only part of what hiking is all about. I think just the fact that I woke up early in the morning and left my apartment is a big accomplishment.

But that didn’t sit well with on-looker “David”. He thought we needed a bit of guidance and motivation and he was just the man for the job.

“David is giving us dirty looks again; we better get back to the trail.”

Lord of the Hike

I’m out of shape, so I like to take breaks. Plus I really like being on mountains. The more breaks I take, the more time I can spend on the mountain. But “David” didn’t like that. He was always trying to get us going. He wouldn’t even sit down when we were sitting. He was really pushy for a guy we had just met only 30 minutes ago.

We only took this photo so we could sit without David yelling at us.

I think that eventually he just got fed up with us. Somewhere around the peak he disappeared. We just weren’t the type of lazy bums he wanted to practice his English with.

All that hiking made me hungry.

And for the record, I hiked up Dobongsan twice!

Here’s another great shot of us sitting.

All Pictures


 

South Korea
(대한민국)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, or train, though entry by train is rare if not damn impossible for most non-presidents of North or South Korea.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to South Korea.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 90-day visa at the airport or ferry port.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Korean embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Korea is a generally safe country. You don’t really have to watch out for pickpockets,muggers, or scam artists.
    • You should watch out when crossing the streets, beware of scooters on the sidewalk, and the little old ladies that will push you to get that last seat on the bus or subway.
  • Use common sense and you will be okay.
  • Things are generally inexpensive and there are many wonderful things to buy.

Enjoy Korea! I live there for 2 years and had a fantastic time.


Dobongsan
(도봉산)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 37°42’01.3″N 127°00’56.5″E
  • Take subway line 1 to Dobong Station.
  • Then follow the herd of people in hiking gear.

Website:

Cost:

  • Free

Notes:

  • If you need any type of hiking equipment you can buy it along the walk to the base of this mountain.
  • Dobongsan is a mountain in Bukhansan National Park (북한산국립공원).

Map:

Posted in Dobong, Seoul, South Korea, Uijeongbu | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Happiness is on a Mountain

Posted by Heliocentrism on August 21, 2010

April 26 – 27, 2008

All Pictures

Again, happy before a hike.

One Last Hike Before I Go

This was to be the last trip I took in Korea. Well, that’s what I thought. The plan was to leave the following week on a boat to China, travel around Asia and Europe for a bit, then get a real job back in the states.

What actually ended up happening was that I missed the boat to China and stayed in Korea for an extra 4 days. Then, while on the boat I began to miss Korea so badly that I almost cried. Then while stuck in Mongolia because my flight was delayed for 2 days I started to look for a job in Korea.

Within 5 months I would be back in Korea and loving it. But at the time of this trip, I was saying my farewells and getting all nostalgic.

Made it to one waterfall

How many restaurants?

I like hiking in Korea even though I’m not that into showing off my being out of shape. The mountains are where all the happy Koreans go. The people you find there are mostly retired and love to socialize, especially when you go on a weekday.

This was another trip where I talked yet another co-worker into hiking with me. On the first day my friend and I wanted to see a waterfall or two. We left our backpacks at the left luggage by the information center. It would have been cheaper and easier to leave them in the building with the cable car, but we didn’t know that then.

I have come to realize that in Korea the difficulty of a hike is directly related to the amount of restaurants you pass on your climb up. Bukhansan had a lot of restaurants, maybe 50 or 60 total, all in little clusters along the mountain. The hike to the waterfall here is only a 2 restaurant hike.

river of rocks

Back for more!?

The next day we went back to the park early in the morning. We ate breakfast in the park. Lucky for us, they had one picture menu with some basic English. I had lived in Seoul for almost a year and I could read Hangeul, but I still couldn’t recognize most dishes by just their names.

We took the cable car to the top of Gwon-Geunseong. There was a plethora of perms and visors as the ajimmas pushed and shoved their way on and off the cable car. They giggled and gasped as the car swayed back and forth a bit before coming to a stop.

It’s pretty far up!

After we rested for a few minutes we hiked up to Ulsanbawi (울산바위). I think it took us about 4 hours to get up and back down. We passed about 4 or 5 restaurants on the way up to the top. Once at the top there was a guy selling photos, key chains, and snacks. Think of the commute that poor guy has every day!

at the top

All Pictures


South Korea
(대한민국)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, or train, though entry by train is rare if not damn impossible for most non-presidents of North or South Korea.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to South Korea.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 90-day visa at the airport or ferry port.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Korean embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Korea is a generally safe country. You don’t really have to watch out for pickpockets,muggers, or scam artists.
    • You should watch out when crossing the streets, beware of scooters on the sidewalk, and the little old ladies that will push you to get that last seat on the bus or subway.
  • Use common sense and you will be okay.
  • Things are generally inexpensive and there are many wonderful things to buy.

Enjoy Korea! I live there for 2 years and had a fantastic time.


Sokcho
(속초)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 38°12’25.1″N 128°35’31.7″E
  • Express Bus Terminal has buses that go to Sokcho.
  • Most cities in South Korea has a bus station called “Express Bus Terminal” that have buses to Sokcho.
  • From Seoul it is a 4 hours bus ride.
  • There are no trains to Sokcho.

Website:

Notes:

The DMZ is an hour bus ride from this town.


Seoraksan
(설악산)

in the

Taebaek mountain range
(태백산맥)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 38°06’40.8″N 128°25’51.2″E

From the bus terminal at Sokcho

  • Cross the street
  • Take the number 7 or 7-1.
  • The national park is the last stop for both buses.

Phone:

  • +82-033-636-8355
  • Korean Tourist Information +82-33-1330

Website:

e-mail: sorak@knps.or.kr

Notes:

  • There are camping facilities here.
  • The building with the cable car has the better and cheaper lockers for your stuff.

Map:

Posted in Sokcho, South Korea | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Cable Car Doesn’t Go Far

Posted by Heliocentrism on August 21, 2010

March 01, 2008

All Pictures

I always look so happy before I go hiking…

It’ll be easy; there’s a cable car.

This one was my idea. I saw a picture of a suspension bridge on a mountain in Korea and it motivated me to see it for myself. I found that there were two such mountain bridges. One was on Wolchansan the other on Daedunsan.

I opted to hike up Daedunsan because it has a cable car that takes you part way up the mountain. That way I wouldn’t have to do so much hiking, right?  Well it helped me to convince a co-worker and his girlfriend into joining me.

Well, the cable car only takes you so far up. You still have to hike up half the mountain and the peak. But the cable car does give you a magnificent view if you’re brave enough to look.

You can’t see the fear in my eyes from this distance.

The suspension bridge is not very scary. The cable car was more frightening. The bridge doesn’t even shake when people walk across it. People would have to stomp their way along the bridge for it to move just a bit. I was able to look down at the heads of the people who didn’t take the cable car. That gave me a little satisfaction.

This is where it got real.

What was scary was the climb up the stair case to the peak. It was a fantastic view when I turned around, but then I wanted to throw up. The stairs are very high up and it made me feel exposed when I was on it, like I could easily fall off the mountain if I tripped or if the wind blew hard enough. I held on tightly to the railing and stepped very carefully.

There’s no turning back.

It was very icy on the peak. Sometimes ice forms at the top of mountains on windy days. There was a stone path and a rope to hold onto. I was quite entertained watching hikers try to get up the peak. I counted 7 falls by 5 different people.

I just want to be alone for my mountain top photo!

There were some hikers wearing crampons, but I didn’t think that was needed. There was some ice at the top, but it didn’t justify lugging crampons up the entire mountain. They would only be needed for the last 30 meters.

I’ll just push these guys off the mountain.

I made it up to the top without falling, though I came close a couple times. I was quite proud of myself and looked down on the people who fell. Then, on my way down from the peak, the mountain must have moved and smacked me on my back side. I jump up before anyone saw, but had trouble staying up. I slid again this time right into a patch of mud. I descended Deadunsan with a muddy butt.

That’s better

No, there are no pictures of that!

All Pictures


 

South Korea
(대한민국)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, or train, though entry by train is rare if not damn impossible for most non-presidents of North or South Korea.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to South Korea.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 90-day visa at the airport or ferry port.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Korean embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Korea is a generally safe country. You don’t really have to watch out for pickpockets,muggers, or scam artists.
    • You should watch out when crossing the streets, beware of scooters on the sidewalk, and the little old ladies that will push you to get that last seat on the bus or subway.
  • Use common sense and you will be okay.
  • Things are generally inexpensive and there are many wonderful things to buy.

Enjoy Korea! I live there for 2 years and had a fantastic time.


Daedunsan
(대둔산)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 36°07’12.5″N 127°19’24.5″E
  • At the time I went, first we had to get to either Daejeon or Jeonju.
  • From there we had to go to Seobu Terminal in Daejeon or Jeonju Intercity Bus Terminal to get to the mountain.
  • I think both bus rides are about 1 hour.

Website:

Cost:

  • There is no entry fee
  • The cable car is 3,500KRW

Hours:

  • 9:00 – 18:00
  • Times change dues to seasons and weather

Notes:

If you hike in the winter, you might want to bring crampons and a change of clothes. Okay, maybe crampons are a bit extreme… But watch your step.

Map:

Posted in Daejeon, South Korea | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

I Like When People Back Home Visit

Posted by Heliocentrism on August 21, 2010

December 22 – 23, 2010

All Pictures

My mom at a subway station

My Mom in South Korea

I love it when family and friends come and visit me when I live in a foreign country. It’s always great when out of town loved ones stop by for a few days, but the joy is multiplied many times over when they’re coming in from another country. I’ve only had a few visits from people back home.

There was Makeeya, who was a teammate of mine from my CUC lady pioneers days. She visited me in England one summer. I saw her again in South Korea. I’m not sure if that really counts as a visit since she moved to Seoul and still lives there now.

Then there was Taryn in Thailand. Remember?

Most of the photos from this trip were lost. 😦

My mom has visited me twice, once when I lived in Japan and once when I lived in Seoul. On her Japan visit she brought her sister, my aunt Audrey, and aunt Audrey’s husband, uncle Mike. I took them to Tokyo Disney and they had a great time.

Eating chestnuts and enjoying the decorations.

In Seoul, my mom visited during Christmas. She was in Korea for about a week, but I didn’t have too much time off. I showed her around Seoul and took her to a few places outside the city.

Walking the wall

I had the great idea for us, Floridian winter haters, to spend lots of time outdoors in the cold December air. I first took her to Suwon. We walked around the the city walls, learning about Korean history and culture. That wasn’t too bad.

No, we love cold damp caves in the winter!

Then I thought, “Hey, let’s check out a nice cold cave?” So we rode clear across the country, for about 4 hours, to Samcheok. At least the bus was warm.

From my caving experience at that time, I thought that caves were things under the ground. Little did I know that we would have to hike up a mountain to get to this cave. But everything in Korea requires a hike up some mountain.

My mom had to rest several times along the way, but she did make it all the way up. The cave was great. Some people criticize it for having too many tacky lights. I said it needs more tacky lights!

Waiting for the bus inside an historically reconstructed Korean house

My mom really enjoyed the cave. She still talks about it anytime someone asks about her trip to South Korea. “…and you know I had to hike up a mountain in the cold to see the cave!”

This Christmas she will visit me again. I will be living in Japan. She will bring one of her grandkids with her too. She’s just waiting to find out Alex’s school schedule so she can know for what dates to book the flight. I wonder what cold mountains I should make them hike up next?

All Pictures


South Korea
(대한민국)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, or train, though entry by train is rare if not damn impossible for most non-presidents of North or South Korea.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to South Korea.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 90-day visa at the airport or ferry port.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Korean embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Korea is a generally safe country. You don’t really have to watch out for pickpockets,muggers, or scam artists.
    • You should watch out when crossing the streets, beware of scooters on the sidewalk, and the little old ladies that will push you to get that last seat on the bus or subway.
  • Use common sense and you will be okay.
  • Things are generally inexpensive and there are many wonderful things to buy.

Enjoy Korea! I live there for 2 years and had a fantastic time.


Suwon
(수원)

How to get there:

  • 37°15’56.7″N 127°00’00.8″E

From Seoul:

There are many ways to get to Suwon.

  • Bus: The easiest way would be to find a red bus that stops in your neighborhood that goes to Suwon.
  • Subway: Go to Suwon Station on line 1. Make sure to get on a train heading in Suwon’s Direction or you’ll end up in Incheon when line 1 splits. It takes about an hour and a half to get to Suwon from Seoul Station.
  • KTX: You can also take the KTX to Suwon from Seoul Railway Station. It costs 8,100KRW, but there are slower, cheaper long distances train that are around 2,500KRW.

Websites:


Samcheok
(삼척)

How to get there:

  • 37°26’24.4″N 129°10’08.5″E

From Seoul:

Go to the Express Bus Terminal subway station on lines 3, 7, and the new line 9. I think you go out exit 9, but I’m not sure. Usually you can just follow the crowds of people pushing and shoving their way to Express Bus Terminal. If all else fails, you can just follow the vague signs or ask for directions.

Website

Cost:

There are three types of buses, general, excellent, and midnight excellent. To Samcheok they cost 15,900KRW, 23,400KRW, and 25,700KRW respectively for an adult one way ticket. Check the website for times and prices.

Hours:

The first bus out of Seoul leaves at 6:30 and the last leaves at 23:30. The return trip has similar times. The website says the trip is about 3:30 hours long, but it was actually about 4 hours. (Every bus ride in Korea is about 4 hours!)

Notes: 

There is a rest stop during the bus ride to Samcheok. Remember which bus is yours.


Hwanseon Cave
(환선굴)

How to get there:

  • 37°19’31.5″N 129°01’01.0″E

From Samcheok’s Express Bus Terminal:

  1. Go to Samcheok Intercity Bus Terminal (right behind the Express Bus Terminal where the bus from Seoul drops you off)
  2. Take bus #60.
    • Bus fare is 2,700KRW and the ride is 50 minutes long.

Address:

Gangwon-do Samcheok-si Singi-myeon Daei-ri San (Mt.) 117

Cost:

It costs 2,800KRW for one adult ticket.

Samcheok Cave Bus Schedule

  • You need cash. You can’t use your T-money card.
  • The first direct bus leaves Samcheok at 6:10 and the last at 12:15. After that there are no direct buses to the cave.
  • The buses leaving Samcheok after 12:15 will drop you off at a corner store. You will have to buy another ticket and wait for another bus.
  • Also if you leave after 12:15 make sure to bring change and small bills. Sometimes they aren’t able to give change.
  • There is no point in going after 17:10 since the cave closes at 18:00 the latest.
  • The first bus from the cave leaves at 6:50 and the last at 19:30. All these buses go directly to Samcheok.

Hours:

  • Mar – Oct 8:00-18:00
  • Nov – Feb 8:30-17:00

Phone: +82-55-1330

Notes:

  • There are two caves, one you walk through (Hwanseon) and one with a monorail (Daegeum Cave).
  • There is a long hike up a mountain to get to the cave in the picture above, Hwanseon cave.
  • Daegeum Cave (대금굴) (The one with the monorail)
    • 3,000KRW one-way
    • 5,000KRW round-trip
    • Phone: 033-570-3257
    • You need to buy tickets for the monorail online in advanced. You cannot buy them at the cave.
      • Unfortunately the website is in Korean and the writing is in picture form, so google translator isn’t much help. Maybe that will change in the future.
      • Try to get a Korean friend to help you, or quickly learn the language.

Map:

Posted in Samcheok, South Korea, Suwon | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

North Han Mountain

Posted by Heliocentrism on August 21, 2010

November 18, 2007

All Pictures

We’re all smiles because we’re still warm and we haven’t started the real hike yet.

Dress Warmly and Don’t be Afraid

I don’t know what I was thinking. One of my co-workers had the crazy idea of  hiking up the biggest mountain near Seoul. I’m not sure if Bukhansan is actually the biggest mountain, but that’s what we were going for. He asked everyone at work to join him and his girlfriend for the trek. I was the only one of the co-workers who showed up.

We met at Hoeryong Station early one morning to begin our climb up. I thought I was well prepared because I had a hat, scarf, and thermal underwear on. None of us were really prepared and it became apparent when we passed a little food stand selling cup noodles.

That’s when I remember that I didn’t bring any snacks with me, nor did I eat breakfast that morning. Aaron and Hee-Jung did bring snacks, nuts and dried fruit, but they didn’t have breakfast either. So we stopped to eat.

The partially frozen waterfall should have been a sign of things to come.

When we were done we started on the hike again. At first things weren’t too bad. We all had plenty of energy. We stopped every 15 minutes to climb into a dry river bed or to climb up some rocks to take interesting pictures. I was beginning to think that hiking up mountains was easy.

There are many food stalls along the easy-to-walk sections of hiking trails in Korea. Once we passed the last set, the hike got more and more tiring. It got colder. I began to notice what a bad idea hiking in running shoes was.

When you need some prayers for your hike.

There are two main problems with hiking in the winter with running shoes. First off, hiking should never, never, never be done in running shoes. Running shoes are soft and flexible. This is so your feet can bend when running. When hiking you need shoes with hard soles, so that you can walk comfortably on rocky unpaved surfaces for a long time. My feet hurt for several days after this hike.

Another disadvantage of hiking in the cold with running shoes is that they don’t keep your feet warm. Your feet sweat when you run. Running shoes are very breathable to allow your feet to dry off. Otherwise you’ll get athlete’s foot. On a cold hike,  breathability is the last thing you want. When your feet are cold, you will feel really cold.

Never hike in anything other than hiking shoes. The cheapest hiking shoes are better than the most expensive sneakers. So it doesn’t matter if you buy them at Wal-mart or Payless. If they’re comfortable and they have a hard sole, they’ll do fine.

I smiled through all the pain.

So I was freezing and my feet hurt. But when I saw the gate, I thought that my torture was almost over. Once at the gate, I knew it was not. The gate marks the end of the hike and the beginning of the climb. The smile you see in the picture above is a fake.

I wanted to stop there. I told Hee-Jung that I would meet her and Aaron when they came back down. But Aaron wouldn’t have it. “You don’t want to wuss out, do you? Besides, we’re not coming back this way. We’re going down on the other side.”

It’s always nice to have a doctor with you.

That’s when DongHee, the chiropractor entered the picture. He was hiking up Bukhansan for fun by himself. He offered to help us. He had done this hike several times this year alone and would give us pointers.

At first, I didn’t think we needed any help, unless he was going to physically carry one of us up to the top. But there were sections on the climb where I would have turned back if he didn’t tell me that is was perfectly safe.

At one point, it got very windy and we had to use a rope to hoist ourselves up. There was no way to go down since there was a long line of people waiting to pass through this very narrow section.

Hee-Jung got very scared and started to cry. I almost cried going through myself, but DongHee helped me. He went back to talk Hee-Jung through and eventually got her up the rope. It was really high up.

This is not a good place to slip.

I felt that one missed placed step could cause me to slip and I’d slide right off the face of the mountain. I had the urge to pee the whole time I was on the peak. I could not stop shaking, but I made my way to the top.

Don’t ask me to stand up or look down. I just can’t.

At the very top, my legs just stopped working. I could not make myself stand up so I just slid on my butt. Seoul was very far down. But I made it; all the way to the top! I enjoyed it, even though I was too scared to look at the view.

Don’t turn around and you’ll be fine.

All Pictures


 

South Korea
(대한민국)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, or train, though entry by train is rare if not damn impossible for most non-presidents of North or South Korea.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to South Korea.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 90-day visa at the airport or ferry port.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Korean embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Korea is a generally safe country. You don’t really have to watch out for pickpockets,muggers, or scam artists.
    • You should watch out when crossing the streets, beware of scooters on the sidewalk, and the little old ladies that will push you to get that last seat on the bus or subway.
  • Use common sense and you will be okay.
  • Things are generally inexpensive and there are many wonderful things to buy.

Enjoy Korea! I live there for 2 years and had a fantastic time.


Bukhansan
(북한산)

How to get there:

By Public Transportation –

  • To to Hoeryong Station.
  • or Take bus #36, 39, 136, 139, 1148, 1151 or 9101 to Hoeryong Station.
  • It’s a 20 minute walk from the subway station. Just follow the people in hiking gear.

Address:

San 68-1 Ui-dong,
Gangbuk-gu, Seoul
South Korea

Phone: 

  • +82-2-909-0497~8

Website:

e-mail: pukhan@knps.or.kr

Cost:

Hours:

  • You can hiking any time, but you should not go at night.

Notes:

  • Like most mountains in Korea there are many restaurants and vendors along the trail up this mountain.

Map:

Posted in Seoul, South Korea, Uijeongbu | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Al Italia

Posted by Heliocentrism on August 21, 2010

April 01 – 07, 2005

All Pictures

Young and sassy

He’s going to die, so we should leave the city.

I planned this trip… well, sort of. This was when I learned backpacking motto number one: things very rarely go as planned.

We were supposed to stay in Rome for most of the trip. I wanted to see every square inch of the Italian capital and Vatican City. When we were finished with them, maybe we would move south to some little Italian town. Or we could just stay at the beach near Rome.

The first and second day we toured Rome. We visited the Colosseum, Spanish Steps, and many more must-sees. At the end of the second day the clerk at our hostel told us that if we wanted to see any of the museums in Vatican City we should go tomorrow. “The Pope is about to die and when he does everything will be closed.”

The night before Pope John-Paul II died

The next day we ran through several churches and museums in and around St. Peter’s Square. It all happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to take in much of it. That night we caught a train to Naples.

My guess is that the Pope died that night because there was a lot of chaos on the train. We tried to buy tickets, but the counters were closed. We boarded the train anyway because someone told us that we could buy our tickets on the train. Normally there is an official who comes by to check your ticket or sell you one. No one came by that night and we rode for free.

Just laying in the middle of the road taking a photo.

See Naples and die

We didn’t actually do much in Naples. We planned to, but never got around to it. Other things just called out louder for our attention.

First we went to Pompeii. It was very sad. There are many casts made from the bodies of victims. Looking at their very expressive body language you can see how afraid they were. There was one of a child who made him or herself into a ball. I could almost hear that kid crying.

Going to the hot spring!

For most of the vacation we were on Ischia or Capri, but mainly Ischia. At Sorgeto beach on the island of Ischia there is a most wonderful, free hot spring. I soaked there for hours at a time.

Water comes from a volcano and leaks out of earth boiling hot then it mixes with the ice cold water of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The big rocks at the beach can be used to make seats and to form a tub. Bathers move the rocks around to create higher or lower tub walls and let in more or less sea water. This adjusts the temperature of the natural tub.

There was a restaurant nearby that sold overpriced food, but it had the only shade for miles. If you go, make sure to bring plenty of water, food, and maybe a beach umbrella.

2 more days in Italy!

No, no, not cancelled… transferred

We bought our round trip tickets on Ryan Air. It’s a great airline for cheap flights around Europe. The trouble with this no-frills airline is that there are no guarantees.

The day before our flight back to Manchester (well Liverpool, then we would take the train into Manchester) we spent the night at Ciampino Airport. We tried to stay in the arrival area because it had better seats, but it was closed off. No one would say why, but we figured that it had something to do with the Pope’s funeral.

As we were moving over to the departure section my travel partner thought he saw John Kerry. At that time John Kerry was running for President of the US. I thought my friend was just being too wishful. Why would John Kerry be in a tiny run down airport like Ciampino?  Later I found out that Ciampino was where all the heads of state flew into Rome for the Pope’s funeral.

The following morning, when it was time to check-in, we were told that we wouldn’t make the flight.

Me – Why not?

Clerk – Because it’s too far away.

Me – What?

Clerk – You are at the wrong airport.

Me – But this is the airport in which we arrived.

I looked at my flight confirmation paper. Sure enough, it said I would depart from Ciampino. “Look,” I showed the guy my paper, “it’s says Ciampino.”

Clerk – Yes, but that changed. Ciampino is closed for the next week. See the sign?

He pointed to a small white board sign that listed several flights and stated that they are now leaving from some other airport. We had spent the night at the airport in the departure section and we never saw this sign.

Me – How long has that sign been here?

Clerk -I put it out 5 minutes ago.

Me – Where is this new airport?

He took out a little map of Italy and pointed to a city… on the other side of the country.

Me – That’s not in Rome!

Clerk – No. That’s Pescara. You’ll need to take the train.

Me – So. I’ve missed my flight! How am I going to get back to England? I have class on Monday.

I asked the man if I could at least get a refund on my flight so that maybe I could have some money to pay for another one. He told me that RyanAir only gives refunds for cancelled flights.

Me – But the flight was cancelled!

Clerk – No, ma’am. This flight was not cancelled. It was transferred.

My friend and I asked to speak with the manager. We explained that we were at the airport since the evening before and there was no indication of the change. The manager, in his Italian fashion, said, “No problem. I’ll put you on tomorrow’s flight.” He printed out new flight confirmations for us and even gave us directions to find the train station.

I was very mad until I got on the train and looked out the window. Italy is a very beautiful country and now I was going to be able to see the other side.

All Pictures


 

The Colosseum

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 41°53’24.8″N 12°29’32.3″E

Go to Colosseo on Linea B

Website:

Cost:

  • €12 (including a €3 exhibition charge) standard,
  • €7.50 reduced rate.

Hours:

  • 8:30 –  one hour before sunset,
  • Open every day except Christmas day and January 1st.

 

Saint Peter’s Square

How to get there:

  • 41°54’07.9″N 12°27’26.4″E

By Bus –

  • From Central Rome take bus #64
  • Once in Vatican City, everything is in walking distance.

Website:

Downloads

e-mail: stpetersbasilica@gmail.com

Cost:

  • Free
  • The Museums and tours will cost money

Hours:

  • St. Peter’s Square is always available.

Notes:

  • Some of the churches and attractions in this city have a dress code.
    • Please have your shoulders covered,
    • Don’t wear shorts or shirts that are too short,
    • and take your hat off

Naples 

How to get there:

By train:

By Boat:

Website:

Notes:

  • Naples is the city that we used to get to Pompeii, Ischia, and Capri.

 

Pompeii 

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 40°45’02.8″N 14°29’22.1″E

By Train –

Phone: +39 081 8575331

Website:

Cost:

  • If you are an EU citizen and you are under 18 or over 65 you can get in for free.
  • € 11.00

Hours:

  • November – March, 8:30 – 17:00 (last admission 15:30)
  • April – October,  8:30 – 19:30 (last admission 18:00)

Videos: 

Notes:

  • Drink lots of water. It’s a lot of walking.
  • Bring your own toilet paper.

 

Ischia 

How to get there

By Boat from Naples:

Website:

Notes:

There are many hot springs on this island.

  • I went to the one called Sorgeto Hot Springs in Panza.
  • Boiling hot water from the volcano mixes with the freezing water of the sea to make a very nice natural hot tub.
  • To get there take a bus to Panza and follow the sign towards the beach. It’s about a 1km walk. There many steps that lead to the beach.
  • The hot spring is free to use.
  • Bring your own water and food. There is a restaurant there, but it doesn’t have a wide selection, it’s quite overpriced, and it’s not always open.
  • I read somewhere that people sometimes bring potatoes and eggs to cook in the hot water.
There were many movies that were filmed or partly filmed on this island. Among them are:

 

Capri

How to get there:

By Boat from Naples –

Website:

Notes:

  • The Blue Grotto, though really beautiful, isn’t worth it if you pay too much. The whole thing will last about 5 minutes.
  • The Chair Lift to the top of Monte Solaro is completely worth it. Even if you, like me, are afraid of heights the view is just too good to pass up!

Pescara

How to get there:

By Plane –

By Train –

Website

Notes:

  • Every July Pescara holds an International Jazz Festival called Pescara Jazz.

Map:


Posted in Capri, Ischia, Italy, Naples, Panza, Pescara, Pompeii, Rome, Vatican City | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Put My Toes in the Thames

Posted by Heliocentrism on August 20, 2010

November 26 – 27, 2004

All Pictures

Piccadilly Circus

Bright Lights, Big City

This was another trip planned by the International Society in Manchester. They made all the reservations for accommodations and tours. Two of my classmates and I took the big I.S. charter bus to London and had a great time.

My roommate for the trip was Nalleli along with 2 other girls I’d never met before, and haven’t seen since. They had thick European accents that sounded exotic to me.

Since the hostel was segregated by gender, David, my other classmate, bunked with some other guys who had the misfortune of not travelling with any male friends.

Dinner at McDonald’s

We ate our breakfasts in the cafeteria in the basement of the hostel then boarded the bus. The mornings where packed with tours and activities. There was so many things that we did that I can’t remember a single one now.

In the afternoons we were free to go where ever we wished. The girls who stayed in Nalleli’s and my room went shopping. In the evenings they came home, tired with bags and bags of overpriced designer goods. They brought empty suitcases to be filled with the spoils of their hunts. “These are just such great deals! There are just no good shops in Manchester.”

Nalleli and I sat on our beds each evening as the girls paraded their new clothes for us. During these fashions show the ladies would tell us how much each item cost. Nalleli and I kept a running total in our heads. They blew through almost a thousand pounds each by the end of the trip.

Dali’s Elephant

My group, however, was there to see the sights. David, the only British one among us, had already seen everything. He showed us around.

Nalleli and Me: “What should we see next, David?”

David: “I don’t know. What do you want to see?”

He was very helpful.

Big Ben

For the Old and Learned

London is expensive. I don’t care what those shopping girls said, everything in London is overpriced. But there are discounts to be had. For every tourist attraction we went to, we looked to see if there was a student rate. Sometimes the student rate was £2 off, other times it was half price. Even students from schools outside of Britain can get the discount. Just bring a valid, up-to-date student I.D.

The only thing better than the student discount, is the senior citizen discount. If you are over 60 and you are traveling the world, carry your passport with you when you go sightseeing. That thing will pay for itself!

Don’t focus on the river. Focus on the bridge.

Wait until you see it…

Before the trip began I made a proclamation that I was going to wade in or at least dangle my feet into the Thames. How could I leave England and not be able to tell everyone that I touched the most famous British body of water? David looked at me incredulously. “You should really hold off until you see the water before making any oaths.”

I only took pictures of the Thames at night. That way you cannot tell how dirty and gray it is. I never did touch it. eww!

All Pictures


The United Kingdom

How to get there:

You can enter this country by land via an underwater tunnel, air, or sea.

Check with your local UK embassy for visa information.

Phone:

  • Use 112 or 999 for the police, fire department, or to get an ambulance

Website:

Videos:

Books: 


The London Eye

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 51°30’12.0″N 0°07’10.3″W
  • Go to Waterloo Station.
  • Look up, the Eye can easily be seen.
  • Walk to it.

Address:

Merlin Entertainments London Eye
Riverside Building
County Hall
Westminster Bridge Road
London
SE1 7PB

Phone

Website:

Cost:

Hours:

  • Usually 10:00-20:00
  • Open everyday, but Christmas
  • Time changes each season

Notes:

  • You can have parties in the Eye.
  • You can get some of the best views of the city. The best time for romantic looking photos are just before sunset.

Buckingham Palace

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 51°30’04.5″N 0°08’31.3″W

Use any of those underground stations:

  • Green Park (Jubilee. Piccadilly and
  • St James’s Park (Circle and District lines).

Website

Cost:

  • Tour                                      £8.7515.50
  • Changing of the Guard   Free

Hours:

  • Tour: July 31 – Sept 29  9:45 – 15:45

When the Queen is not in residence 19 State Rooms are open to the public. Make sure to book in advance to ensure admission. £8.75-15.50

  • Non-Tour

Well no one can stop you from strolling by at any time day or night, but it’s best to pass by during the changing of the guards.

  • Changing of the Guards

It takes place in front of the palace at 11:30 everyday in summer and every other day in winter. In the summer it’s gets pretty crowded so come with some sort of icy beverage and grab a good spot.

Notes:

It’s great to just walk around and see the gates of her Majesty. Who knows, you might even get a quick glimpse of one of the Queen’s butlers.

Map:

Posted in England, London, United Kingdom, The | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

We’ll Go in December

Posted by Heliocentrism on August 20, 2010

December 06 – 07, 2003

All Pictures

See, not too many people here.

I know how to avoid the crowds…

Anne and I planned a trip to Stonehenge. Well, Anne planned the trip; I was just the tag-along. At this point in time I was still pretty useless when it came to planning activities, remembering directions, and finding places. At the end of this trip, Anne had to walk me to Oxford Road, the main street of our university, because I couldn’t remember how to get home from the train station.

I think I was the one who came up with the brilliant idea of going to Stonehenge in the middle of winter. I thought that we would have the place almost all to ourselves. Anne apparently thought it was a great idea too, because she put the trip together.

I told several people about the trip. I should have guessed that something was up when no one ask to join us. Who wouldn’t want to take a trip to Stonehenge?

Well, there is a reason why Stonehenge is crowded in the summer and not the winter. In the winter it’s COLD!! Thermal underwear will only do so much.

But… other than one bus filled with Japanese tourists, it was just Anne and me.

Anne walking to see a mound

Lets go see the mounds.

I didn’t know that there was anything other than Stonehenge in the town of Salisbury. In fact, I didn’t know I would be going to Salisbury until I went with Anne to buy our train tickets. I wasn’t much help in doing any of the planning on this trip at all. I did no research. I just left it all up to Anne, but she did a great job.

In case you where wondering Salisbury steak and the town of Salisbury, either in England or in Maryland, have nothing to do with each other. The dish was name after a Dr. Salisbury from New York.

Warm enough to take off my hat and mittens

So after we stared at the monoliths long enough to make our noses hurt from the start of frostbite, Anne said, “Let’s catch the bus to Avebury and see the mounds.” We left the freezing Japanese tourists behind and waited in the frigid air for the bus. I was so happy when the bus finally arrived. I thoroughly enjoyed the warm bus ride to another cold destination.

At Avebury we walked around looking at mounds and rocks as we shivered. No one knows who put them there or why. Some think the whole thing is some sort of message for aliens or by aliens. Others, say it’s just a great gimmick to lure tourist to the town.

Afterwards, we had a long wait for our bus back to the hostel. There was a pub right next to the bus stop so we went in to warm up. I ordered something to eat and a hot cup of tea. I was so cold I was willing to drink tea!

Saints

He was eaten by dogs, you say…

The next day we visited the Salisbury Cathedral. The most astonishing thing about this church is that it houses several original copies of the Magna Carta. They usually have it on display, but for some reason, the day we went there, none of them were available for viewing.

Jesus fell

We walked around the church yard and the church itself. I notice that there were many statues of saints on the exterior walls of the cathedral. Some of them were holding their heads in their hands. Others were impaled, while still more were tied up with fire at their feet. One was standing next to a sinister looking dog.

“The statues depict how the saints died,” Anne told me. “That one there, was eaten by a dog. And that one was beheaded.” I noticed very few of these saints passed away peacefully in their sleep.

Anne and I posing in the crypt

… and this was the great dining hall.

The last thing we saw was Old Sarum. It used to be a fort and royal palace back in its day. But now, it’s just a bunch of rocks on a pretty lawn in the quiet country side.

There are lots of old ruins like this in England. Sometimes there is an overly enthusiastic, underpaid tour guide who would like nothing more in life than to share his or her joy of history with the world. Their words do nothing to stir any passion in the hearts of tourists, because all the tourists see are rocks.

It was amazing to walk on the pretty grass knowing that a long, long time ago, people lived here. Those people were there before there was a thing called England, before the Romans, before Christianity… Eventually English speakers would come along and build the fort that I didn’t see that day, because all I saw were rocks.

All Pictures


 

The United Kingdom

How to get there:

You can enter this country by land via an underwater tunnel, air, or sea.

Check with your local UK embassy for visa information.

Phone:

  • Use 112 or 999 for the police, fire department, or to get an ambulance

Website:

Videos:

Books: 


Stonehenge

How to get there:

Address:

Wiltshire – SP4 7DE

Phone:

  • 0870 333 1181

Websites:

Cost:

  • English Heritage Member Free
  • Adult                                         £7.50
  • Child                                          £4.50
  • Concession                             £6.80

Hours:

  • 9:00 – 19:00

Videos:

Notes:

It gets really cold here in the winter.


The Avebury Mounds 

How to get there:

Address:

near

Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 1RF

Phone:

  • 01672 539250

Website:

e-mail: avebury@nationaltrust.org.uk

Cost:

  • Stone Circle – Free
  • Other Actives cost money

Hours:

  • Stone Circle – Sunrise to sunset
  • Shops – 10:00 – 16:00 (Time varies a bit depending on the time of year.)

Notes:

No one knows what’s inside the mounds.


Salisbury Cathedral 

How to get there:

Address:

The Chapter Office
6 The Close
Salisbury
SP1 2EF

Phone:

  • 01722 555 124

Website

Cost:

suggested voluntary donation…

Hours:

General Times: Varies things open at various times and change throughout the year.

  • M-Sa 9:00 – 17:00
  • Su    12:00 – 16:00

Notes: 

  •  This church holds several copies of the original Magna Carta.
  • The best ones are on display.
  • In the novel The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follet based Kingsbridge Cathedral on the cathedrals of Wells and Salisbury.

Old Sarum

How to get there:

Address:

Wiltshire – SP1 3SD

Phone:

  • 01722 335398

Website:

Cost:

  • English Heritage Member Free
  • Adult                                         £3.70
  • Child (5-17)                           £2.20
  • Concession                             £3.30

Hours:

Times varies depending on the season.

  • 9:00 – 17:00

Salisbury YHA

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 51°04’08.5″N 1°47’15.5″W

Walk east from Tourist Information Centre along Milford Street, which leads into Milford Hill and underneath road bridge.

Address:

Milford Hill
Salisbury
Wiltshire
SP1 2QW

Phone:

  • 0845 371 9537

Website

e-mail:  salisbury@yha.org.uk

Cost:

  • Check their website for prices.

Hours:

  • Open 24 hours a day
  • Reception  7:30 – 23:00

Map:

Posted in Amesbury, Avebury, England, Salisbury, United Kingdom, The | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Did You See the Undercroft?

Posted by Heliocentrism on August 20, 2010

November 22, 2003

All Pictures

Two of my friends exploring in the cold

The Wheels on the Bus

While attending the University of Manchester, I spent a lot of time at the International Society. There was always something going on there. At the very least, they served delicious, inexpensive meals and the staff was always friendly and willing to chat your head off.

In those days at the International Society, every meal was a surprise. The head cook was an Indonesian lady named Maria. She mostly cooked what ever she felt like. But, if you asked her to, she would cook a dish from your home country, as long as you gave her a recipe. I read in an e-mail from the International Society, a few years back,  that she died. She was a great cook and she was always very friendly to me and my friends.

Other than food, what I like about the I.S., were their trips. It was always well planned out. All you had to do was sign up, pay for your ticket, and show up on time. The I.S. did all the planning and provided a bus.

Sometimes there would be an hour by hour tour planned. That mostly happen on visits to big cities. But for smaller areas, you were left to roam free. Either one was fine with me.

They also had a take-a-book-leave-a-book library when I was there. I hope they still have it.

We’re pretending not to be cold.

All right already, we’ll look at your crypts!

This trip to York was an agenda-free trip. They parked the bus downtown and told us what time we were expected back. They also gave us an idea of some of the stuff that we could see in town.

“…and be sure to see York Minster,” the leader called as we bounded out the bus.

In the US, churches aren’t very old. Therefore, they aren’t very interesting. I was surprised that a church would be a tourist attraction. I wasn’t interested in it. My friends and I went wondering around downtown aimlessly looking at statues and old buildings.

It didn’t look anything like New York. Everything was so old. It looked like a Christmas card version of a small English town. And the fact that it was around Christmas time and all the decorations were up, only helped. The town was romantically beautiful, but at the same time it was really cold and we wanted to warm up indoors.

Visiting this on a cold day, was a very bad idea.

We stopped a lady on the street and asked her what indoor things were there to see in this town. She recommended York Minster. “A church, really?” I whined. “Yes, dear. It’s really nice. And make sure you see the undercroft.”

I turned to one of my friends and asked her, “What’s an undercroft?” She explained that it is a place under the church, like a cellar, where dead people are kept. “Wow, these Yorkers are very morbid. And how horrible that the city’s claim to fame is a bunch of dead bodies under a church.”

We did go to see the church, but it had no heat. We walked around the freezing church, looking at grotesque images of Jesus on the cross and ones of Mary. We looked at more statues while losing the feeling in our fingers. As we were about to leave a lady stopped us.

“Where are you going. You haven’t seen the undercroft yet. It’s the best part of the tour!”

Nice sandals…

So we went downstairs. It wasn’t too bad. Down there you could see the original streets and foundations of the roads and walls the Romans built. It was all very interesting, because until then all that “Roman conquering Europe” stuff had just been a bunch of forgotten pages in my high school history book.

Then someone asked us if we were ready to see the crypts. “Sure, why not? I’m already walking around on old Roman roads several feet underground. I can’t possibly get any colder.” No photography was allowed in the crypts. It was very creepy.

Later we found a museum of Roman history in York. We asked if the museum was well heated before paying to go in. Since it was, we stayed in there until it was time to get back on the bus and head to Manchester.

All Pictures


 

The United Kingdom

How to get there:

You can enter this country by land via an underwater tunnel, air, or sea.

Check with your local UK embassy for visa information.

Phone:

  • Use 112 or 999 for the police, fire department, or to get an ambulance

Website:

Videos:

Books: 


York

How to get there:

Websites:

Videos:

Notes:

  • This was a day trip I did through the University of Manchester’s International Society. They have lots of great trips for all the students and people living in Manchester.
    • Here is their address and phone number:
      • 327 Oxford Road William Kay House, Longsight Manchester M13 9PG
      • +44 (0) 161 275 4959
  • Make sure to see:

Map:


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