The first weekend of November, I left straight from work on Friday and went into Seoul to stay with my friend, Hannah. I got to meet her new kitten she rescued, named Kimchi - how adorable! We were leaving bright and early in the morning with her friends to make a 7 AM bus to an apple festival a few hours south. In the morning, we made coffee and breakfast sandwiches and the five of us booked it to the subway. We made the bus just in time!
Our first stop was the Sudeoksa Temple at 10:30 AM. We walked from the parking lot through a few streets of restaurants, shops, and vendors, making our way to the temple. Also on the way, there was beautiful greenery along a large pathway that made for excellent pictures. There was a building halfway up and although I’m not sure what it was, they were serving coffee outside and after waking up at 5 AM, a good drip coffee was extremely appreciated!
The temple wasn’t too far of a walk and was really pretty - as most temples are. But this one had a much larger area in front of and around it for people to walk, sit and eat, take pictures or relax. Since it was on top of a hill, of course there was a beautiful view. We took some pictures, and it was already time to head back down to the bus.
Our next stop was the Apple Festival in Yesan. Festivals in Korea are all sorts and sizes, but usually they are a big long street or huge parking lot (think tailgating size) that are lined with tents for different things to learn about, activities or food to try, and more. This festival felt more like a family reunions backyard barbecue, which was kind of awesome! We arrived at about 1:30 in the afternoon and the weather was perfect and sunny! Almost as soon as we arrived, half of the festival attendees went in a big room to “learn how to make apple pie”. I use quotation marks because a 5 year old could have done it. They had two balls of dough pre-made and rolled for us in a tin, a container of baked apples, and egg yolk with a brush laid out at every spot. We flattened the dough, plopped it in a pan, added some apples and the other layer of dough and voila! We handed it to them with our name on a piece of paper and about 15 minutes later we each had our own little “homemade” apple pie to eat there or take home!
Next, our huge group took a winery tour. It was a pretty short and sweet tour that was nothing to write home about. Nonetheless…here I am writing about it. After the organized events, we tasted some of their various Apple Wines or Apple Brandy and not surprisingly, they were all amazing! We soon discovered our “taste” cups were about the size of an actual glass of wine, and these were available all day. Soooo wine “tasting” we did for the next couple of hours! In the midst of all the wine tasting, some of us went to make apple jam! Again, they had everything setup so really all we did was write our name on a jar and stir the apples in a pot haha, but we got a full jar to take home with us!
As the festival was coming to a close, tons of people made their way to the front of the stage and danced while the final band played their songs. This festival was so much fun and really helped me feel like I got to enjoy another piece of the Fall season. We made our long trek back to Seoul, and then I back to Incheon. I got home around 10 PM and ended my night by splitting my apple pie with Luke. Yumm!