Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jeju Island: Westside Tour

Jeju-do is a beautiful island.  The pictures pretty much explain themselves in this post.
Here begins my series of palm tree photos.  One of the girls on the trip was from Florida and thought it was hilarious I was taking pictures of palm trees:)
You will find these little guys all around Jeju Island.  They are called, dol hareubang.  They offer protection and fertility.  They are carved from volcanic rock.
Beautiful bridge to the waterfalls.
Being silly...
Jeju Island was created by volcanic eruptions about 2 million years ago.  The volcanic rocks are both really cool and beautiful.
If you click on this one you'll be able to see how detailed the rock formations are...
Jeju-do is known for their tangerines.  If you come to Jeju-do in the wintertime, I was told you can constantly be picking tangerines off the trees because they are so abundant.  They even make a special chocolate with tangerine flavoring in the is surprisingly very delcious.
We stopped at a beach to relax for a bit.

Last stop was a temple.  If I was to do another temple stay, I'd want to do it right here!  How relaxing would it be to meditate with the sound of the crashing ocean waves...

I'm really sad I missed the best part of the temple.  Everyone went up this hill and it looked to me like a forest.  I wasn't really interested in walking around it so I spent my time down below at the temple.  Little did I know, there was a temple up top in a cave.  I took a lot of pictures at this temple because I was waiting for everyone to come down.  I was wondering what was taking them so long...that's what I get for being so lazy!
Thirsty for some natural spring water?
When we arrived at our new hotel on the West Side...we were so excited to try this burger place we heard about.  It was called Giant Burger.  This is a burger for three.  It was a pork burger with anything you can imagine on it...apples, cucumbers, etc...  Served with green tea, of course.  Not what I was imagining a burger place would be...but it was still delicious and probably the most interesting burger I've ever ate.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jeju Island: Scuba Diving!

The highlight of the Jeju trip was definately scuba diving.  It is something I never really thought I would try, but when the opportunity was right in front of my face, I couldn't turn it down.  I was a little more scared in the water than I thought I would be.  The breathing was a little difficult for me as I kept getting water in my mouth.  I got a little freaked out and came up for air.  They told me I wasn't clenching my mouth around the regulator you will see in the photos they took of me below I am trying to seal my mouth around it as much as possible.
On my way out to scuba dive...the bridge behind me was pretty cool.
There were only 7 of us beginners that went to intro scuba diving, 3 getting their diving license, and 2 experienced divers (one of which got hurt and had to go to the hospital).  As far as the rest of the group, most of them climbed Halla (san) Mountain.  We could see Hallasan from our diving spot.
On the way to dive...
We arrived!  We were so surprised to see we were diving off of this rock!
There were several experienced divers diving that day.
You have to spit in your mask really, really, good and rub it around to prevent fogging.  Looks like Caitlin is really inspecting how well she did.
ahhh...we are in the water!
I'm practicing breathing under water.
I believe this is when he said, "ok...let's go."  I said, "what? now. think I'm ready?  are you sure?"
going you smell fear??  I'm so worried about the breathing...I look like a blowfish!
I survived!  I believe this is me telling everyone how much I couldn't believe how silly I felt for being scared of the breathing.  But really, it was so worth it.  It was so beautiful down there.  The corals were bright pink and purple...the fish were so colorful and traveled in schools.  It was really a diferent life down there.  I really want to try this again.  Now that I know what to expect, I think I will be able to spend my time swimming around to see the fish instead of spending my time figuring out how to breathe.
The instructors gave me some photos they took at our diving spot from the camera they used to take our pictures.
The corals I remember were much brighter than this!

While I was in the water, my new diving friends took some photos of the area with my camera.

Sung was the coolest instructor!  I wish she would have been down in the water with me...
Group photo at the dive shop.  Beautiful day, beautiful dive, beautiful people to share this experience with!