Part II from my trip to the Taebaek Snow Festival
I spent an hour walking around the Taebaek snow festival and sculptures and watching kids sledge across the frozen pond and slide down ice, my friend and I headed over to the coal museum to warm up. We learned a bit about mining and how coal is used, but I don’t seem to have any pictures my computer.
Next we went over to the little food area. On the way, we passed a chain link fence with orange paper hearts attached to it. They all had handwritten wish/hope/dream on them. Love, money, job, school, etc. There a lot of these in Korea, even outside the smallest of temples.
We passed underneath the yellow and pink lanterns outside the temple, and I noticed that the Buddha statue had a large flat box on its head.
I’m not sure what this is supposed to be, but somebody once told me it was a pizza box.
The story goes, Koreans are the ones who invented pizza, they have been eating it for hundreds of years, and it was stolen by Italians. I don’t know whether this is true. I suppose it depends on how you define pizza, for instance, whether pajeon can be called pizza. But pajeon and modern pizza are so different, it seems a bit of stretch to make this claim.
I’ve also heard claims that Korea invented spaghetti and sushi, which were stolen by Italians and Japanese. But these are not arguments that I want to get into with Korean people..
Down at the food area, there were several tents cooking warm winter treats. A group of ajumas were cooking bacon and cabbage, pouring flour over it, then rolling it up to eat. They were very eager to give it to us. They pushed it into our hands before we could walk away so they could watch us eat it. It was alright, and they let us have it for free, so that was nice. Other tents were selling various fried things and makgeolli.
Then I saw some kids taking turns pounding mochi.
Also, another slide area. This was made from snow, and you went down on an inner tube. One little boy went down with his father, but the boy looked like he was sleeping. So I guess it was the dad who really wanted to go. It was pretty cute though.
We finished walking around the food tents and looked out over the little town and river. I hadn’t chosen the best footwear for this trip. They were Ugg-like boots, and although they were fuzzy and warm, walking around in the wet snow was not a good idea. Even though I tried to walk so that I didn’t brush snow over the toes, they ended up wet and cold on the inside. I had no choice but to suffer with frozen feet the rest of the day.
After we joined the rest of our tour group, we got on the bus and headed to our accommodations.
We had a big dinner together then went to our room at the end of the evening. I was still cold from the day. The first thing I did was climb under the futon that had already been set up on the heated floor, thus trapping myself in between the warm floor and the warmed futon. I stayed there until I was toasted through and then proceeded to get ready for bed.
We had a big day of hiking ahead of us tomorrow. Stay tuned, for the next part of my adventure!
Read: Taebaek snow festival, snow sculptures
Read: Taebaek Mountain snow hiking