Gallivanting around Gumi
It's Seollal/Seollnal, which means I have a three day paid holiday, plus the weekend. Therefore, it's time to explore. I've not really been anywhere in Korea yet, so instead of going abroad, I stayed in the country. I was going to go to Japan or Hong Kong, but I left it too late to book and flights were expensive.
On the first day of Seollal, I traveled to Gumi. Most Korean's will say that Gumi isn't worth visiting. But, it was where David was placed back in 2010 when he was first here. It's nice to revisit a place you once used to live.
Because it was Seollal, I was worried that it'd be difficult to get a bus there. There's only two buses a day from Gangneung, so we left the house at 8am, and managed to buy tickets for the 9.40am bus. The roads were pretty clear too, so it only took about 3 hours.
Our hotel was in the downtown area of Gumi. So right in the middle of the action. It was called Ekonomy hotel. It was pretty easy to find too. We got there 10 minutes before check in, There was no one at reception though, even though they claim to be open 24/7. We phoned the number, and the guy said not until 3. Fair enough. So we left, went to eat, and went back 40 minutes later to no one there. Again we phoned and he said 10 minutes. When we went back, he was there finally. The room we were checked into was decent but pretty small. The window was a tiny hole in the wall though. Then at night, they crank up the floor heating so that you suffocate.
We didn't do much during our first day. We explored the downtown area and went to Im-dong where David used to work and live. We even went back to the apartment block where he lived.
They had an Outback steakhouse, so of course I had to go. It's hard to get a decent steak in Korea.
My girlfriend David had the wee steak and mango salad.
I had this beast. A rare sirloin with steamed veg and a sweet potato.
We then got a taxi back, and it was nuts. The guy was watching a Korean Drama whilst driving.
It was crazy. He would be speeding down the road with his head turned towards the screen. Then at one point he slammed his braked, and my bags fell. He looked into the rear view mirror then stood a little to get a better look, without watching the road. When he couldn't see, he turned his body round to look at me. All this while speeding down the road.
I'm glad I don't live in Gumi though. There's nothing there really, apart from the mountain, 굼오산, Gumosan. We went there on our second day in Gumi. To get there, you can walk (which is pretty far depending on where in Gumi you are. Or you can get a taxi which is what we did. I was a wimp, so I didn't hike the mountain. There was ice everywhere and I didn't have good shoes. I'm also very lazy. I was happy to see a cable car! YAS! It was 5000 won for one way, or 8000 won (although the website states different).
The cable car only goes up 0.6 kilometers. So it isn't really that far up. There are other hiking routes you can take which can be 4 hours, 1 hr 30 minutes, 3 hr 30 mins, or 3 hours. I now wish we did the 1 hr 30 minutes one.
This view is pretty amazing. It looks like a roller-coaster ride!
The cable car was enclosed, thankfully. I'm afraid of heights so I was petrified. I was worried it would be an open top cable car.
The view from near the top. It's not actually that high, but it felt like it.
Here I am, holding onto the bar for safety!
When you get out of the cable car, there is a temple nearby. I think it's still in service too.
The walk back down was decent enough. There was ice, but part of the walk had artificial flooring so it was easy. It took 15 minutes max to walk back down.
Just in front of the mountain is the reservoir. It's beautiful. The whole reservoir was frozen over too so it looked spectacular.
The rest of our stay in Gumi consisted of stuffing our faces twice at Cosie's then heading to the Lotte Mart and E Mart (boring I know) but we managed to find some awesome boots for 10,000 won and shoes for 10,000 too! Bargain!