Saturday, 26 March 2016

Korea – Jeju Island and Busan.

The social whirl on board ship goes on apace …….


……. a nice couple we’ve spent some quality time with during the early part of this cruise and who, (maybe not so amazingly) in this small world, live in the next village along the coast from us. Allan (with his back to us!) and Kim (in the black and white shawl). Between Kim and Doug is Jonty Hearndon, famous for “Antiques Roadshow” and “Cash in the Attic”. He’s given us some great talks on antique valuables and ‘behind the scenes’ of the TV shows.


Our first Korean port was Jeju Island situated south west of the mainland. The Far East communities wouldn’t be the same without their markets and Jeju City was no exception.


As usual, we veered off the main tourist trail and took a walk out of Jeju City. A beautiful little gem we came across was Jeonnongro (Cherry Blossom Street) – another couple of days and it would be spectacular.


Catching a local bus we took the 90 minute journey to the east of the island to Wooribong to see the Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise) Peak, an extinct volcano which erupted from the sea 5000 years ago.  


There wasn’t time for the two and a half hour hike to the top and back so …..


………. we opted for some lunch in a traditional restaurant. Our digestion wasn’t aided particularly by sitting cross-legged on the floor but it was an experience not to be missed!


The bus ride back to Jeju City was fast and furious but the surroundings were very pleasant with lovely pelmets and soft furnishings!


………. “who is the fairest of them all?”


Getting off the bus, we made our way back to the ship AND, there was another market we could walk through on the way!


It’s really quite an eye opener but once you’ve seen one fish market you’ve seen them all - as they say!


Leaving Jeju in the evening we had the traditional sail away party on “Arcadia’s” rear deck. Chilly it was but the very good Entertainment Team we have on board on this cruise gave us a great party.

After a quick overnight trip from Jeju Island we docked in the port of Busan. Korea’s second largest city with population of 3.5 million it’s situated in Gyeongsangnam-do Province (only just saying, as some of these names are stupendous if unpronounceable!)


Although passengers could go about their normal business of getting off the ship after it docked there was one of the regular safety practices going on at the same time. By the look of the inflated safety raft dangling from it’s crane as we got off in the morning the crew take things very seriously!


Busan is a heavily industrialised port at the mouth of the Nakdong River and is home to part of Korea’s huge ship building industry. The city has it’s shops (and “famous fish markets – you can have too much of a good thing!) but it’s quite a sight …….


…… to see, everywhere you look, bits of ships being craned about and put together.


The area is a forest of giant cranes all in the business of making ships.


And, talking of ships, we got back to our ship at the end of a pleasant, if not particularly exhilarating day in Busan. (James is itching to get some paint put on that anchor housing!)

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