Fresh fish on Friday


The top photo shows just the starter – sashimi with side dishes of kimchi, pickled vegetables, eggs, noodles, tofu and pancakes. Then came the spicy stew in a stone pot before the main dish – a cutlass fish, half a metre long and slender, complete with a jaw full of serious looking teeth. What a feast for a cold evening in January.



Olle 2


From Olle trail 1 we went straight on to Olle trail 2, covering the first few kilometres as it got dark on Saturday evening. This early part passes through wetlands, a habitat for migrating birds, and significant stretches were diverted to prevent disturbance.

The rest of the trail passes through farmland before reaching the coast at its end point at Onpyeong Pogu. There was the usual scattering of grave sites on the side of the oreum that the trail crosses and in fields.



And here’s a kohlrabi to finish with. There are plenty of fields of radish, carrots and potatoes but fewer kohlrabi.

Agricultural machinery, graves and root vegetables; this is the life!

Pink parking


The introduction of parking spaces just for women in Seoul made the UK press  – The Independent reported it in May 2014. Well, it has now found it’s way to Jeju and here is a photo from the car park for Seongsan Ilchulbong. The spaces are in the prime position in the car park but they are also significantly wider than the normal parking spaces, allegedly reflecting the (how do I put it?) different abilities of women when parking.

You see that white car reversing into the space on the left-hand side of the picture? It was being driven by a man.

Olle 1


Seongsan Ilchulbong is never far away on Olle 1. The photo above is taken from the top of Meolmial Oreum, soon after the start of the trail as it makes a large northwards loop before turning back southwards again, following the coast. The peak gets larger and larger before the trail passes beneath it to finish a couple of kilometres further down the coast.


There are a couple of Haenyo restaurants along the way; the photo below shows their floats and nets hung up in a Haenyo house in Seongsan village.


Traditional dance


Sunday’s Myth and Culture expo included a display of dance. The only insight I have about the interpretation comes from the expo booklet which says “This chum (dance) is based on the Jeju Shamans’ dancing steps which express the rule of creation and destruction of the universe as well as large or small movements of the universe.”




Myth and culture


These are the illuminated displays that greeted visitors to the Myth and Culture expo in Jungman’s ICC (International Convention Centre) today. The placid looking characters in the top photo look as if they represent the dol harubang that are so common on the island, the stone figures that act as guardians, often placed on either side of a gateway or entrance.

The expo booklet describes the idea that Jeju is a kingdom of 18,000 gods, and that Jeju’s myths contain the local living culture, values and language. I guess the images below show the local creation myths. There’s a story of three brothers appearing out of the ground (the site is still there to see in Jeju city), each firing an arrow and going to live where the arrow landed, and of three princesses (isn’t it lucky there were three?) arriving in a boat and marrying the brothers.

I might have fitted the wrong story to these displays; there must be other stories with arrows and boats amongst that many gods and I don’t know where the one-eyed creature with earrings comes in.





It’s common to see opercula on the shore but not in the concentrations shown in these photos. I saw these outside a seafood restaurant, discarded as the creature is extracted from its shell.

An operculum is attached to the body of the shellfish and is used to seal it inside the shell. Wikipedia suggests that the purpose is either as protection from predators or to prevent shellfish that live in the intertidal zone from drying out. They’re no match for the Haenyo, the women divers of Jeju.


Happy meal


It’s a common feature of restaurants in Korea that they specialise in one kind of food only. It’s also common that the speciality is portrayed with a smiling animal that illustrates the type of food served.

Perhaps I have to assume that the pig or the hen or the duck in the picture is only too happy for you to patronise the establishment they’re advertising, and only too happy that you enjoy the wholesome food inside.

I’m still looking out for some smiling tofu.





Olle 21


We’ve just completed Olle 21, as far from Global Education City as you can get on Jeju, right in the north east corner of the island. It’s a relatively short trail, joining the end of Olle 20 to a point part way through Olle 1. Given that we started on Olle 5 a year ago, we’ve just got four to go to complete the circuit.

The village in the first two photos is the small port of Hado, a couple of kilometers after the start of the trail. It’s surrounded by a substantial and partly rebuilt wall, defence against the Japanese during the Joeson Dynasty. I assume the rebuilding is cosmetic rather than anything else.


And there are plenty of reminders that the Haenyo, women divers, are a feature of this part of the island. The trail starts at the Haenyo museum and there are several statues on the rocks along the shoreline. We even saw some real ones working in the water in the bay as we ate lunch – noodles with seafood.


This part of Jeju also seems to be carrot country. The soil appears to be sufficiently light and clear of rock for carrot to be a common crop, along with radish and potatoes. The ladies below are packing the harvested carrots into boxes; there also seems to be a real waste, with lots of misshapen and split ones being left behind in the field.