Saturday, July 11, 2015
My entire draft just got lost due to technical troubles so I’m going to retype this as best I can….Korean Internet isn’t always as fast and awesome as they say it is! Hmph.
Sannam-dong (산남동), the neighborhood in which we live, is in the southern part of Cheongju (“nam” or 남 means “south,” which probably gives new meaning to the city Gangnam, eh? It’s South of the Han River 🙂 ). Mountains surround our little neighborhood and other areas within the city (and country for that matter!). They are all interconnected. What more? There is a trail that runs along the top of the mountains, allowing you to take in the nature and the city views (& bugs).
I decided to explore and take a mountain trail hike, confident in where I would end up, and surprised to find out how wrong I was!
Here’s a map I edited that I will explain below:
I have highlighted Sannam-dong. Please note the starting location in the southern part. I accessed the trail via one of the entry points in that location. This trail features varying elevations & inclines, as well as varying terrain. The black line is the general direction in which I walked. I thought I would end up in the northern part of Sannam-dong, but was way off and actually ended up in an entirely other neighborhood. The “Finish” location indicates where I came out from the mountain and onto surface streets again. The blue line is the rest of my walk home, continuing past the blue arrow. The mountain trail itself took me about an hour and 15 minutes at a leisurely pace while stopping to take photos, and the remaining walk took about another 15 minutes or so, culminating in my being able to get my hands on a delicious and thirst-quenching mango smoothie from Paris Baguette.
I had my phone with me so I was able to capture some sights on my hike. Take a look at the gallery to see what it was like:
I only logged about 8,500 steps on my Fitbit by the time I returned from the hike, which was definitely less than I suspected. I was hoping for at least 10,000! But I did log 83 active minutes which is a great success in its own right.
For dinner, Kevin and I decided to use his Outback Steakhouse gift card one of his students gave him for Teacher’s Day back in May. Our Outback experience in Korea was entirely different than at home – for the better! First of all, you walk in and can sense that Outback is some sort of fine dining over here. They don’t have all the kitschy Australian decor that the American Outbacks have; just nice large photographs on the wall. Lighting is dim, booths are dark, and there’s nice jazzy music playing. Additionally, they have a black label collection of really high-end and pricey steak. There’s a set you can even purchase for about $147. Uh what! Our waitress, “Sally,” even spoke a bit of English which was a pleasant surprise! I just smiled when she called me “Sir.” 🙂
We both ordered pasta dishes and a garden salad. They even had ranch dressing. Real ranch dressing! I don’t eat it much at home but it tastes sooooo good here, probably because it’s so uncommon to find. You always want what you can’t have, huh? They also have Outback bread!! It was so nice to see that the corporate office has instilled similar standards across the globe. Anyway, besides the delicious bread, the delicious salad, and the delicious pasta, when our waitress brought us the check, she also brought each of us a goody bag! “Here is a present for you.” A present from Outback? Yep! A sealed loaf of bread and butter to take home! Amazing!
To top it off, we were offered free coffee or tea for dessert.
This is one of the best dining experiences we have had in Korea. Both the service and quality of food were excellent. We will definitely be returning!