Day 2 of our adventure in the Gangwon province on the East Sea! It’s time for some action by the Gyeongpo Lake!
So we woke up after our first day on the Korean East Sea with a big appetite (the day at the beach was so intense and full of energy-consuming activities, you know…). We quickly got dressed up and went out to grab something to eat, since our hotel room fee didn’t include breakfast.
The seafood restaurants on the main street were already packed with people eating fish. We love mixing with the locals, but raw seafood is not on our breakfast must-eat. We had spotted a Caffé Bene (one of the many Korean franchises that sells coffee, tea, sandwiches and cakes) the day before, so we headed there to get our daily dose of caffeine and sweets.
And we were finally ready to start our day with lots of energy!
This time, instead of the beach, we headed to the lakeside (경포호 Geyongpo-Ho), a 5 minutes walk from the back of our hotel. This part of the village is really enchanting! The lake has a circumference of approx 4 Km and the best way to visit it is to rent a bike: there are many bike rental shops one next to the other and the prices are more or less the same. Apart from bikes, you can also rent some four-wheeled bikes for 2 or 4 people (sort of cars with pedals) and also small electric motorbikes.
Gab (and his inner Easy Rider character) couldn’t resist the temptation to rent one of these motorbikes, so he impulsively grabbed one of these mini-bikes and revved up, leaving me alone for almost half an hour while roaming giggly around the lake.
When he was finally back from his solitary tour, we (finally) rented our bikes and went together to explore the lakeside.
The scenery was absolutely peaceful and relaxing, with tree-lined paths and well kept fields of grass. There were some very weird statues scattered here and there while following the lakeside path, probably depicting some local folk stories unknown to us, so I have no clue what they might mean (and I was too lazy that day to try and get know more about them)…but very funny to see indeed 🙂
The lake generally has a very artistic twist, with many interesting things to see while you’re walking/cycling around it.
However, the highlight of our exploration was, without a doubt, the wetland area with its wooden bridges to move around from one gorgeous lotus pond to another. We were soo lucky because the lotuses were in full bloom! We spent almost on hour contemplating these celestial flowers…I’m afraid pictures (especially taken with the crappy camera I had back then) can’t reproduce the beauty and that mystical aura they bring within, but I hope you can at least get an idea of the quite and peaceful environment we were surrounded by.
After cycling away from the wetland area, at the exact opposite side of the lake, we stumbled upon a very curious museum called “Charmsori Gramophone & Edison Science Museum” (참소리축음기 & 에디슨과학박물관). We got attracted by the massive gramophone collection, but ended up discovering a world of inventions created by the innovative genius of Edison, father of gramophones, light bulbs and projectors. What we absolutely adored was the collection of some 200 and more of his original inventions that included (apart from the major ones mentioned above): electric fans, coffee pots, typewriters, sewing machines, heaters, irons, fan heaters, clocks and the first ever battery-powered car. There were so many things we didn’t know about the eminent Great Inventor and we were absolutely delighted to get the chance to visit this exhibition, that is apparently the largest private museum in the world: its president, Mr. Son Sung-Mok, possesses over 1/3 of the gramophones and the inventions of Thomas Edison. Who could ever expect that such a museum existed in South Korea?
Unfortunately, we couldn’t take any picture inside of the museum, so I strongly advise that you find sometime, during your lifetime, to go there at least once and experience it with your own eyes -which is definitely better than looking at my blurred photos, isn’t it?
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
-Thomas A. Edison
After we returned our bikes we were, of course, starving and we stopped by a simple restaurant to enjoy some more spicy fish soup (매운탕 maeuntang) and a delicious potato pancake (감자전 Gamjajeon).
This simple, yet so tasteful meal, marked the end of our short trip to the East Sea. So many things in such a short amount of time! Time to head back to Seoul…