One week, two days of traveling 16+ hours and I'm back home. Started last Wednesday flying to Pusan, ROK to meet the ship. After changing planes and a long taxi ride around the whole dang city, we got to the hotel to try to sleep. First - let me say that the taxi drivers in Pusan are all nuts. Red lights are optional. It was a neat way to come into the city, though as all the lights were on, bridges were illuminated, etc. Just a 45 minute cab ride hoping that we aren't being screwed is a little nerve wracking.
Friday we went to one of the regional parks and took a cable car up this mountain. The whole subway experience was intersting. At the major transfer points, little birdies would chirp over the speaker. Interesting. So - the park / fortress was cool. The cable car was neat - but it was so stinking smoggy that we couldn't see a whole lot. Found a neat structure to take some pics at, though. After that, we split up a little and one group went shopping (to look for Folexs) and the other (mine) wanted food (ok, so that was mostly me) and to wander. Thanks to my trusty lonely planet and a very nice shopkeeper to point us in the right direction, we had a good late lunch. Thank goodness that the book had the restaurant name in Korean as it enabled us to ask the shopkeeper who spoke little english where the place was and we were able to compare the symbols with the restaurant name. So - we get in this place (and it's completely non-touristy! yay!) and we're given picture menus with 6 choices of soups on them. Three of them must have sold out or be dinner only because I tried to get one and got a resounding "no". Ok - so we ordered and got our soup and a very nice elderley gentleman decided to show us how to season the soup. It was very neat - we'd put a little pepper and he'd gesture for us to put more. As we pointed at the salt, he shook his head no. Fun.
So - we rode the boat for a few days. My team worked really hard as the ship wanted to get us off a day early to free up room on the COD flight. As we're sitting on the catapult, the engines rev off and then they pull us off the catapult in order to fix a gage. We're informed that though the fix will be quick, they'll have to delay us because they have to take a pic of all the ships that were in the exercise, so we're not getting off until 3 hours later. Sigh. Plus, it was a 3+ hour COD and there was no heat. My feet were so so cold - they took about 2 hours to defrost. Brr...
Good trip, though. I definitely want to take a chance to go to Tokyo one of these days. I had my heart set on it, but the plan for getting off the ship changed a couple of weeks ago and it didn't seem worth it (plus this way I get to see Joe). Oh well - another time.
Anyway - here's some pics.