March 11, 2019, Jeonju, South Korea-
As promised, I continue here with the second half of our little family’s tour of this blend of history and modern entrepreneurship. It most closely reminds me of the Belgian city of Bruges, in that regard.
We felt the need for lunch, so we stopped at Kyodong Dok Kalbi, which offers a limited number of pibimbap dishes, along with a chopped, pressed and pre-cooked version of Kalbi (beef or pork ribs). Their herbarium provides many of the key ingredients.
Here, my Korean relatives observe the round of side dishes, which are essential in any true Korean meal. There are usually a few varieties of kimchi, steamed spinach, some small sardines, buckwheat noodles, and some cold pressed vegetable gelatin. Miso (fermented soup) and a bowl of white rice accompany the meat. We ate using chopsticks and a large spoon.
Having eaten our fill of satisfying dok kalbi and “fixings”, we felt content as cherubim.
So, we walked along the road that leads to a straw-roofed complex. We came upon this irrigation stream, with various animals of the Oriental zodiac as conduits for the water.
The fortunate woman has a husband who is willing to be her servant, at least on occasion.
Jeonju is largely devoid of street murals, so this vertical rainbow was a sublime surprise.
Many Korean families have at least a small garden plot. This one is at a traditional Tea House, where we stopped for cups of medicinal herbal tea.
It is the Tea House which sports the traditional “Jeobuk” straw roof. The proprietress was surprised at the approach of a mixed group of Koreans and Americans, but was very gracious.
To the east of Hanok, there lies a shanty area, climbing the hillside. I took this photo from the Tea House grounds. Later, we would get closer to the settlement, which lies across a divided highway.
Here are the flowers of the cauliflower plant.
Here is a view of the Tea House’s main garden.
For those wishing to sip their tea in an indoor setting, there is a silk-covered mat, on which one sits cross-legged. The pearl-inlay chest is a common decor in many Korean homes.
These yellow buttercups match their vase.
This small shrine blesses the garden plants.
Outside this small shrine is a depiction of one of the scenes from the Ten Ox-Herding Series, an allegory of one man’s quest for spiritual enlightenment.
Here is a small Buddhist shrine.
As we arrived at the edge of the highway, I looked across to the shanty, and spotted Edward Scissorhands.
We left the heights and went back down to the main street of Hanok, passing this traditional pavilion, a gathering place in Jeoson days.
Next, along the way, was the place where King Taejo was crowned first monarch of the Jeoson Dynasty.
The coronation courtyard is graced by this stone wheel, dating from 1392.
These stone lions guard the entrance to a nearby guest house.
Thus ended our four-hour visit to Jeonju Hanok Village. There is much more to this bustling district. Perhaps a future visit will mean an overnight stay.
Feeling the need for some rejuvenation, we went to Damyang Spa Resort, about forty minutes north of the farmstead. There, we experienced sauna, hot and cold waters, and I underwent a thorough treatment from an exfoliation specialist, a sort of masseur, who scrubbed me, head to toe, with a rough cloth, then rubbed cleansing oil.