Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Jinhae Cherry Blossom festival

Something that makes me fall in love with Korea all over again after a terrible winter is the spring festivals, and Korea has no shortage of them! The first festival that we went to this year was the beautiful Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival back in March. Every March for a couple of weeks the cherry blossoms bloom into magnificent pink snow all over Korea. During that time the weather is starting to heat up and you can feel the excitement as winter is finally over. Korea is one of the best places to be to see the blossoms, they are absolutely EVERYWHERE! My morning commute to work was so mesmerizing, I'd just stare out the window in awe at these beautiful flowers.

When they are at their height there are many festivals around Korea that showcase them but the biggest and most famous of them all is the Jinhae Cherry Blossom festival. Luckily for us Jinhae is right next to us so we decided to go to the festival after work one day. We decided to go on a weekday evening because these festivals can get crazy busy on weekends, since people come from all over Korea to visit them. We both hate the huge crowds so a Wednesday evening suited us perfectly.

Since we had gotten a car a couple of weeks earlier we could just drive there and not have to worry about bus schedules. Once we were nearing Jinhae we could see Cherry Blossom trees everywhere! After parking the car we set off. The main thing that I had wanted to see was the train station as, from the photos that I've seen, it looks so beautiful with cherry blossoms completely smothering it. This was actually our first time in Jinhae and we both liked the feel of the city. It's a small city, in Korean standards but it still seemed quite big, probably as big as Gimhae.
A cherry blossom on the way in to Jinhae

Most festivals in Korea are similar in that they have tents that gather all along the roads that sell food, drinks, plants, medicinal supplies and a ton of other things. There were also some festival game tents. But first things first and that was to get a Turkish kebab and some Turkish ice-cream to go with it. It was delicious!
The main festival area and the steps that we should have climbed!

After that we set off to find the train station before it got too dark. There was a big hill with a huge love heart on it halfway up. There were so many people going up and I presumed that that wouldn't be where it was so we went in the opposite direction (big mistake, I think it was up there after all) So we ended up walking around the city for about an hour and ended up having to give up finding the train station. I couldn't believe that we never found it but we still had fun walking around and the city had Cherry Blossoms everywhere so there were plenty of photo opportunities.

Sunset in Jinhae
Cherry blossoms everywhere!

Eating my kebab while posing :)

Horse drawn carriages…Korean style!

After the disappointment of getting lost we went back to the festival area where all of the tents were. Jason won some prizes for shooting at a target and throwing a baseball (such an American!) We then settled in to a food tent and ordered some pig on a was sooooo good!
Jason attracting quite the crowd

The delicious pig on the spit

So much pork!

It was so good!

I got a giant candy floss as well as we were leaving…it was bigger than my head!

By that point it had gotten dark and our pup had been at home alone for quite some time so it was time to go back. I was a bit sad as that was going to be my last chance to see the Cherry Blossom festival but we have since decided to extend our contracts until next August so I'll always have a chance to find that train station next year! 

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