travel blog

Jindo: Puppies, Pink Cherry Blossoms, and the Parting of the Sea

cropped-20160409_063036.jpgWe had seen the sea parting once, not knowing it would part two more times again by sundown.  Some of us (self included) were a little worried about getting seasick on the boat out to Modo Island, so instead of braving the sea we actually ended up having a leisurely morning getting ready (after a well-deserved, post-parting nap!) before heading down the cherry-blossom lined paths and street over to the festival.


Seoulcialite takes on Seoul Fashion Week

With my new schedule I still hardly have time to breathe.  Two and a half weeks into my time in Seoul I was pretty much ready to call it quits with designers who had expressed interest in having their Fall/ Winter 2016 styles profiled on The Toronto Seoulcialite, only to still find no tickets in my new mailbox 24 hours before their shows.  Designers (well…people in general) can be fickle and disorganized, so I was ready to spend my Saturday catching up on sleep and Shonda Rhimes.  Star (of 87Pages) convinced me to get my ass outta bed at the crack of dawn on Saturday to take in the madness of Fashion Week in Seoul.

We arrived expecting a massive crowd quite early, but the place was pretty empty.  It was really nice to take in the first really warm weather of the season with the beautiful, modern architecture of Dame Zaha Hadid’s Dongdaemun Design Plaza where Seoul Fashion Week is held.  Stepping out of my taxi there was an eerily pristine moment of calm before the storm in which I got to admire the building and its empty surroundings bathing in sunlight from all angles.  I reflect on that moment now, just having found out that Hadid, first woman as well as the first Muslim to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, died of a heart attack only 5 days later on March 31st, 2016.

zwegphototorontoseoulcialite


Take me out to the Ballgame

On the eve of the home opener in Seoul, I figured a good Throwback Thursday would be to good times at the ol’ ball-game in Busan.  I’ve been an avid Blue Jays fan ever since I can remember.  I have fragmented memories of sitting in my Aunt’s and Uncle’s living room watching a big game snuggled up with my parents.  I also remember being down by the SkyDome (yes, it was still the SkyDome in those days and will forever be called the SkyDome in my vernacular) where I think my Mom and Dad bought a few sweatshirts celebrating the victories of 1992/1993 back to back World Series Champs.  I wear one of those sweatshirts just about every Sunday night when I Skype my parents.


Beyond Busan: Seoul Searching

I have been in Seoul nearly two weeks now and it feels like a year’s worth of events have taken place in the blink of an eye.  What is “sleep”?  What is “free time”?  In this video, you’ll see the progression from my suitcases exploding in my new apartment to a place that feels like home.  It feels like a dorm room, and while I’d much rather live in an environment I’ve decorated in a sophisticated manner, my biggest priority this year is using my 2 generous vacation periods to see the world.


Haeundae Beach Holi Hai 2015

The Bucket List


The Hike to Songjeong Beach


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At the far northeastern end of Busan, Songjeong Beach is a more beautiful and far less popular stretch of sand than the city beaches of Haeundae or Gwangalli. Although you can get there with bus or taxi, the best way to arrive is over a gorgeous three-km hike through the woods.


Jagalchi Fish Market


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The largest fish market in South Korea is found in downtown Busan, next to the busy shopping area of Nampo-dong and adjacent to the Lotte Aqua Mall. That it occupies such a valuable, central location speaks to how important the fish trade has always been to the city.


The Strange Creatures of Busan


Return to Mt. Geumjeongsan


On our first visit to the top of Mt. Geumjeongsan, we had ascended in a cable car and hiked from the South to East Gate. It was an all-day excursion, but we were only able to see a fraction of the gigantic mountain fortress which extends across the summit. So we vowed to return. Our second trip up this incredible mountain would start at the Northern Gate, bring us to Godangbong Peak and end with a well-deserved feast in the village of Sanseong.


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