Ulleungdo Island

Rainy day on Ulleungdo

Bridge Jumping on Ulleungdo

Sunrise to Japan and Other Thoughts

Sunrise, Ulleungdo


Water Rocks and Animal Names

There’s a lot of rock jutting out of the sea around Ulleungdo.

Imaginative locals have named the shapely formations after the creatures and things they resemble: Elephant, Bear, Lion, Turtle, Candlestick.  There’s even a “Noodle” rock stretching up from the ground a quick jaunt inland:  a tall cliff wall lined with long stringy indents that look a little like the salty dried spaghetti snacks served at Thursday Party bars throughout Korea.


Noodle Rock

Finding the Snow Fields: Road to Nari Basin

I realize it’s mid-April, and photos of snowy Korean fields on an island off the east coast might contradict the reality of bursting cherry blossoms along my neighbourhood stream in Busan (as well as trigger an unexpected chill in my Canadian readers who are enjoying the thaw of spring), but snowy fields is what I’ve got to show you.

They were taken in a place called the Nari Basin, which is the only flat stretch of land on Ulleungdo–yep, I’m still posting about Ulleungdo (the island was gorgeous, why stop now?)–and surrounded on all sides by volcanic mountains.

Like most places we ventured to during our off-season stay in early February, the Basin, we discovered, wasn’t accessible by local transport.

How the Sushi Rolls Start

Just like this, with square sheets of seaweed pressed and sun-drying on a row of wooden rolling mats.  In Korea, I eat more tuna kimbap–seaweed rolled up with rice, radish, sesame leaf, and a spoon of mashed-up tuna–than sushi, but it all starts with that dark algae plucked from the cool Asian waters. 


Seaweed drying on Ulleungdo Island

Squid Boats and Island Dusk

Squid fishing’s big on Ulleungdo.  It’s done at nighttime, when old Korean fisherman pull out in boats strung with long hanging bulbs that plunge light deep below the sea’s surface, luring the creatures toward their next-day destiny of drying out in the sun. 

I’m not drawn toward spending days out on an open ocean, but I love strolling through ports like this one in Jeodongni, the island’s second-biggest (but still village-like) settlement.  Old, rusty boats rock against the dock at dusk, waiting to set out for the evening’s catch.

Death of a Laptop and Ulleungdo in Late Winter

Hello everybody!

The busy level here in Busan has cranked up about nine notches in the last couple weeks, hence my lack of Coco posts and pics.  I’ve got a couple new projects on the go, and as my Toshiba died its final death in early January, my current computer time is a juggle of brief breaks at school and late hours in the dungeon-like PC bong below my apartment building, where I prep essay-writing lectures while sitting wedged between teenage Korean gamers playing Starcraft.  At least I think that’s what they’re playing.  I slap the headphones on pretty quickly, click onto CBC Radio 2, and tune into the Classical station, attempting to drown out the sound of gunshots and K-pop blasting from both sides of my cubicle.  It almost works.

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