Anyone who knows about teaching in Korea will tell you that at the end of a semester the school gets together for a day. Usually it is some event and then has a meal together complete with drinks and then heads home.
This year we decided to go hiking. Our destination was Namhansanseong. A fairly easy hike but then Korea may be rock and full of hills but very few of them are ever very steep. The biggest concern for us was all of the snow and ice. It made for a few cautious steps. We did hike it without incident. The great thing about this particular hike was that it is full of history. The fortress was used on several occasions and lucky for us we had a history teacher or two that gave me a detailed lesson on the location. As a history buff I really enjoyed this portion of the hike. We would stop on from time to time and she would point out distinct points along the trail and give me a story. A great way to pass the time and educational.
After the hike we headed down below the trails to a quaint little restaurant where I finally had an opportunity to try some duck (Ori). I have had duck before back home, but according to one of the teachers the way that they prepare the dish is to stuff the bird with rice and beans and then bury it in a fire pit and let it cook for several hours. After a while it is dug up and roasted until it is done. When it arrived on our table it looked delicious and I was overjoyed to find that it was even better than it tasted. It had a much more richer taste than turkey. The only downside to the meal was that the duck was not very big and I was left wanted more. However, this week I was able to try two dishes and fortunate enough to like both of them. As a picky eater it is good to see me branching out.
One of the benefits to the hike was the amazing views of downtown Seoul and what I believe is Gangnam. Nearly every high point on the hike I was able to get a fairly decent photo of the downtown area.
This was one of my favorite staff outings. I even sang Sittin’ By the Dock of the Bay without complaint when we hit the noraebang (singing room). Luckily they have no idea just how tone deaf I am so my belting/destroying of the tune went unnoticed.