May 4, 2013 by rkpcs
Today has been another very eventful day in and around the beautiful city of Yeosu.
The day started with a visit to a museum displaying a semi-submersible North Korean boat which had been captured by South Korean forces after it had been detected in south Korean waters during the early hours of 18th December 1998. The whole episode is explained in great detail in the museum as is the construction of the craft – which is relatively high tech, including a top speed of 50 knots and a hull surface designed to absorb radar! This visit served as a true reminder of the ongoing threat posed by North Korea.
Next on the agenda was a visit to the magnificent Hyangilam Temple which was built in 644 by the Buddhist priest Wonhyo and is located on Geumosan Mountain at the end of Dolsando Island (about 30 minutes drive from Yeosu). The temple stands on a steep coastal cliff meaning visitors have to embark on a steep climb to reach it! The walk, however, is well worth while as the temple is surrounded by sub-tropical plants like camellia trees, huge rocks and the view is incredible.
After the temple visit it was time for another delicious traditional Korean lunch. The “starter” consisted of strips of beef cooked on an open grill at the table, wrapped in lettuce leaves and garnished with salt, various sauces, kimchi and garlic (amongst other things) and then eaten whole! This was followed by a further course consisting of soup containing clams, green chilli and courgette and rice and then a cup of chilled cinnamon tea. The meal was absolutely delicious and our Korean hosts were excellent as always – taking the time to show and help us prepare our food and seemingly having great fun in doing so! I am also pleased to say that our chopstick skills are improving too!
After lunch we were taken on a ferry-boat tour of the waterfront of Yeosu and the nearby Odong Island. This was followed by a visit to Jinnamgwan Hall – the naval base of Jeolla-do Province during the Joseon Dynasty. Admiral Yi Sun-shin (who is often compared to Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson by the South Koreans) used the site as his headquarters and led the naval forces to seven major victories between 1593 and 1601. As such Jinnamgwan Hall is not only a beautiful building – it is a site of great cultural heritage to the people of Yeosu and South Korea as a whole.
This was followed by another delicious meal – but this time of authentic Korean and Japanese food. The food on offer included sushi, duck, beef, a variety of shell-fish, soups, noodles and vegetables. As always food – delicious, choice – overwhelming, hosts – exceptional, team – happy.