Sunday, December 20, 2015

Korea in Winter Day 11: Snowfall and Snow-Play

It's winter in Korea, but we did not see any snow in Seoul. Mummy had the priviledge of experiencing snowfall during her solo stint weeks earler, but by the time we joined her, all the snow had cleared up. When we got to Alpensia, we finally touched snow for the first time! But even then, it wasn't the 'white-out' we see in postcards or photos.

Imagine how our eyes widened when we looked out the window this morning and saw snow covering everything, from the grass, to the treetops to the streets. There was still the tail-end of a snowfall, but it had fizzled to a light sprinkle of tiny speckles.

The roads were white!

The sunrise pierces the fog and soon the tiny flakes will melt away. In the centre is ski jumping tower and the silhouetted building on the right is the Intercontinental Hotel.

Savouring the sight of a frozen lake up close for the first time in my life!

Even the flowers and grass were painted white.

Time to write the names of our loved ones on the snow covered bench!

Grass is white!

The lake's surface was a layer of ice and snow, but we could still see the lily pads frozen in place. A backdrop of shrubs and a small island completes this picturesque lakescape.

The snow covered pagoda on the island was illumated by a patch of sunlight.

A bird-house on the mini-island by the river.

Outside our apartment, the flowers and plants were painted with a layer of white powder.

The snow on the ground was fluffier and finer that the previous days, and the kids figured out right away that playing in the snow today would be a little more fun. We were also looking forward to how the finer snow would feel on our sleds and skis. But first, we got some microwavable sets from the GS25 convenience store to fuel our fun. The meals were quick and cheap, and had a variety of dishes to satisfy our various preferences. The 24-hour store is like a 7-Eleven complete with tables and chairs, and even had a corner with microwaves and hot water for instant noodles.

Microwavable bento sets cost between 2,000 and 3,500 won and the instant noodles were freebies that came along with our purchases.

Now that we had our brunch we were ready to head out into the sun. Our cousins opted for afternoon and night passes with rides on the ski-lift, and we had afternoon passes for sledding. The younger ones were happy just playing around in the snow!

The weekend crowd comprised tourists from around Korea and neighbouring countries. The increase in numbers was evident from the ticketing booth.

You know the weekend has arrived when special mascots suddenly appear to entertain the crowds.

The queues for the sledding travellator were very long in the morning. The travellator also broke down a number of times, perhaps due to the strain of carrying a larger than usual number of visitors.

On the our way on the travellator to the sledding start-line.

Even at the sledding staging area, there were many people waiting for their turn.

The crowds did dissipate once lunch time came around. Perhaps there was a morning tour group today.

And in between our sled runs we had fun playing around in the snow.

Crowded ski-slopes. Check out the queue for the ski-lifts!

One time we don't mind being dragged around.

Going tandem on the sled.

That was fun. Let's go again! We lost count the number of runs we had.

Another attempt at a snow-angel.


Loading up the sled, one block at a time.

At 4.30pm, the afternoon sledding and skiing sessions come to an end and we decided to eat dinner out today. We had to keep our ski gear with us as we booked night passes as well, and while the skis and ski-poles could be locked in special lockers outdoors but we had to bring our ski boots and helmets with us to dinner.

We decided on a nice Japanese restaurant called Teriyaki. The restaurant is only opened for dinner and we were given a nice Japanese style room for our group. The food was delicious, and came in sets that were reasonably priced between 10,000 and 17,000 won each.

Clockwise from top-left: Mini Udon and Cutlet Set; Dragon Roll Set; Pork Cutlet Set Chicken Teriyaki Set; Salmon Sushi Set; Udon Set.

After the hearty meal, it was more skiing for some and the rest of us headed back to the apartment to warm up. Tonight is our final night at Alpensia, and we will miss the cold, snowy winter till the next time we have the chance to visit again. Next up is a couple of days in shopping paradise - Myeongdong, here we come!

1 comment:

  1. Came across your blog as I am planning for a s.korea ski trip this dec.
    Great insight! Thanks!