The famous quote for London by Samuel Johnson is “why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford“. I think the equivalent for Seoul must be “when a man is tired of Seoul, he is tired of hangovers“.
However, seriously, there is a point in every expat or, even, city dweller’s time when they have just had enough of that hunk of concrete and morass of people that they normally so love. And so it was with Seoul and me. I felt the beginnings of a mini-break up coming on. So it was great that a couple of weeks ago some friends I made when living in Hong Kong flew over to Korea in order to do a 500 km (if you don’t get lost) bike ride up from Busan to Seoul.
Obviously we got extensively lost and ended up doing nearly 600 km. Still, much more importantly, it re-invigorated my relationship not only with Korea but also my curiosity about it. My desire to hunt down the esoteric and un-gochujang’d* is rejuvenated and I am still in a “wow the Korean countryside is beautiful” state of mind. Also, for a food blog, I would have to say the food outside Seoul is much better than the stuff in Seoul and now I want to find that here.
So here are some pictures I took along the way on my iPhone. I apologise for the thigh shot above, it is a cyclist’s thing. And I cannot recommend enough exploring the Korean countryside. I am still amazed by how many Koreans are (i) surprised we made it alive; and (ii) have never visited some of the places we cycled through.
PS for those who have a slight fetish for bikes we rode a fairly interesting haul. From right to left, front to back, it is a (i) Firefly; (ii) Yamaguchi Frame Building School; (iii) Circle A; and (iv) Independent Fabrication. With the Firefly winning the ridiculous low weight award by being 6.5kg built up and steel…
* the Korean spice that floods 99% of Korean dishes rendering subtly or complex cooking a rare thing.