Buoyed by the success of our previous day’s mission where we managed to tick off not one but TWO sites of the 12 Scenic Sites of Ulsan, we continued the momentum on Sunday. In our sights this time round, Gangdong Jujeon Black Pebbles Paved Seashore. Pretty self explanatory but its always fun to check in with the Ulsan Tourism website and get their sales pitch:
“These small, ball-shaped pebbles, like eggs of a bird, offer a very different feel of the beach, compared to other beaches paved by sand. Regular-sized pebbles pave the beach evenly. Visitors often take off their shoes, and enjoy walking on the beach bare foot, since the pebbles work as finger-pressure therapy to their feet.
With the clean East Sea, black pebbles paving the beach and matching the white waves, many lovers and families enjoy the unforgettable scenery.”
Wow, we might feel inclined to take our shoes off. Cool.
We set off from Deoksin village all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with the intention to have brunch at a cute little place we’d stumbled upon the previous day in the University area, which also happened to be where we’d need to catch our connecting bus out to the beach. The day was shaping up nicely.
Except when we arrived at the cafe, it was closed. Stink. Oh well, we thought, we’ll grab something when we get to the beach.
So we hopped on the 411 bus and off we went. We drove. And drove. And drove eventually hitting some really windy coastline. The sky was turning a pretty foreboding shade of grey. Clouds were gathering. But all in all it just added to the sense of adventure!
We passed a number of beaches along the stretch of coast, including one where we saw in the distance one of the ’12 Scenic Sites of Ulsan’ sign. In true w&c style, we figured there would be many more of these signs and wherever we got off now would be close enough to this to walk back and get a photo if it was, in fact, the only sign. The decision was made therefore to stay on the bus until the end of the route.
Of course, having passed the beach with the sign and a few more stretches that we populated with people and businesses, the place where we eventually disembarked was fairly desolate. A few hardy folk had set up their ‘sun’ shades for the day anyway. If this is what the place is like on a cold, increasingly windy and potentially thunderstormy day, we hate to think what its like on a beautiful summer day!
Shivering and still kinda hungry, we set off for a walk along the beach to see what we could see and make it back eventually to the sign proving we had reached a Scenic Site.
A map helpfully pointed out that where we had got of the bus was considerably further than we had realised and we had quite a ways to go to get back to the ‘famous bit’. Oh well, its a nice day for a walk, right?! We laughed and carried on along the coast.
There was a glut of vendors selling delightfully fresh and chubby looking fish and seafoods along the way. Alas, these types of establishments were way out of our budget for the day. But cheap food is never that far away in Korea. So on we trudged.
The entire coast is dotted with boats and people out fishing (obviously, given all the restaurants!). There are also beautiful piers to walk along.
With not so beautiful whale sculptures poking freakishly out of the horizon.
A fresh catch had locals milling around excitedly bartering and jostling each other.
Upon discovering this sign directing people to the markets and the street filled with fish delicacies, we wondered if this counted as the famous bit. It has a sign, just not the official one we were looking for. “Nope”, we declared. “We’ll get to the official sign soon enough.”
Determined, we continued our meander around the coast.
Seemingly out of nowhere cropped up a little village all covered in murals. We deviated from the water line and went over for a closer look.
And then it was back to the coast line to continue our search for food and a sign to PROVE that we’d been here, dammit!
By this time, it was getting pretty close to the sun setting for the day. We still hadn’t got back to the sign, nor had we had breakfast or lunch. Admitting defeat on the task of finding the official 12 Scenic Sites of Ulsan sign, we deemed that we HAD been to the seashore, we HAD walked on black pebbles, and we had certainly seen a lot of the area on our entire afternoon of walking.
We granted ourselves a tick, flagged down a passing bus and returned to civilisation for some well earned dinner. And it never actually rained!