Muju Ski Resort & New Years

January 10, 2012

The week before New Years, Patti and I headed toward Muju to one of the biggest ski resorts in Korea. We really had no intention of skiing/killing ourselves but thought we would enjoy the sights before the holiday rush.

The drive into the mountains was amazing.




On the first night we stayed in a pension called "Moon River"; a little wooden cabin that was just a drive away from the resort.



After meeting the creepy pension owner (and seeing the blowtorch on the patio), we were pretty convinced that Muju was the murder capital of Korea and that we wouldn't see morning. Logically, that night was spent watching horror movies.

As you got closer to the resort, it was made obvious by the heaps of ski and board shops.



We took an amazing 'gondola' ride to the top of the
tallest mountain at the resort.



The ski hill at the top of the mountain was essentially
a plummet off the edge of the Earth. Suffice it to say, this was
a great place to see gruesome wipe outs.


Korean-style Chinese for lunch...
탕수육 (tangsooyuk; fried pork with vegetables and sweet/sour sauce)


This was a super creepy, abandoned part of the ski resort. We were
looking for a geocache which led us to this ski jumping park. This
picture is dark but shows the score board, stadium seats, and two ski
jumps.Although this place looked completely desolate, it's apparently
used for training and was used as a set for the movie '국가대표'.

For our second night we stayed at a pretty shady place that looked abandoned. As a recap: first night we risked being murdered by the pension owner and second night we risked being murdered by hills people. We were the only people staying in this three-storey hotel; It was awesome :D

Saturday was New Years Eve so we headed back to Mokpo, but not before a wine-tasting pit-stop.



For 2,000 won we got to wander around the 'wine cave', taste many
wines, and kept the glasses as a souvenir.



***

New Years Eve was a great, low-key night. Patti, her friend, and I had some wine before heading to Peace Park (the harbour-front in Mokpo) to light off fireworks. The night ended at Caffe Bene where I was able to call Matt and wish him a Happy New Year from the future (Canada still had 12 hours to go before it reached 2012).

Mokpo cityscape circa 2011

Fireworks wedged between some rocks. Seemed legit.

***

In day-to-day news, I'm currently working my 2nd week of Winter Vacation classes. Although the school year has officially ended, my students are still at school for full days with elective classes. I'll explain the details of that in a separate post. I'll be conducting these classes until the first week of February which will be interrupted by the arrival of Matt on January 29th! He and I will travel around Korea for just under 3 weeks before Patti and I head to Cambodia on February 17th.

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