Weihai/Seoul: Voyage to Korea! (Part One)

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» Weihai/Seoul: Voyage to Korea! (Part One)
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Posted on: July 23rd, 2010

This is a big blog entry, so it’s split into two parts . Here’s part one.

Wow, I can’t believe I’m actually in Korea! The China trip has been and gone so fast! I have to say I’m relieved to be in the hotel room now, the journey here was certainly no easy ride!

So yesterday was my final day in China, we had our leaving ceremony in the late morning. It was similar to the leaving ceremony for the other students, except it was a little more informal since there was just a few of us left. We had a few farewell speeches and we were each given a commemorative hard-bound photo of the whole group (including all the other countries) from our first day in Weihai. Then, like the first leaving ceremony, we had a final meal together. This took us through to about 12, which gave me just enough time to get everything packed (yeah always leaving things till the last minute!) ready to go with Issac to the port!

By 3, I’d just finished packing and it was time to say goodbye. I was wondering if I’d get the chance to see everyone off as I’d been rushed out of my room to the taxi and most people were still in their rooms. Luckily all of the group one by one noticed I was leaving from their windows and came down to wish their final goodbyes, Yvonne and Lulu were also there to say farewell.

The downside of the new suitcase I bought on Tuesday was that I now had a 27kg behemoth of a suitcase, an almost exploding rucksack on my back and an almost empty second suitcase which all had to be lugged around with me. This didn’t bode well at the port.

The port could be described in two words, absolute chaos. It was almost impossible for Issac and I to get inside as loads of port workers charged past with huge boxes, and these guys were brutal. They’d stop for nothing; I even saw one of them slam into an old guy and knock him to the ground, then charge on past. Then when we got inside we realised I was missing a luggage ticket and so we had to go back outside and into the ticket office. Then back in the port only to find I then needed to buy a ticket to cover the toll of using the entrance gate (seriously, I mean it was only 30p, but what’s the point?!) and so back into the ticket office I went. All the while dragging two suitcases and a rucksack through complete mayhem!

Eventually I was able to pass through the gate and said my final farewell to Issac. From that point on I was on my own. I lumbered across to customs with all my luggage, and stopped in front of the officer. He looked through my documents and said something in Chinese with a concerned face (I think he was telling me there was an issue with my documents and I couldn’t pass through). Fortunately I played the clueless foreigner and he seemed to give up on whatever he was saying and just let me through anyway. Phew!

So I’d made it through customs, but now I had to get my luggage to my room, easier said than done! First I needed to drag all my luggage onto the bus taking us to the ferry, which was packed to capacity with Korean and Chinese travellers. As we headed towards the ferry I managed to get a few hurried pictures. Then after dragging my luggage off the bus I had to get it up a flight of stairs into the ferry. A load of travellers stood impatiently behind as I lifted each case one step at a time 😛 Once inside the ferry I had to go up two floors to the main lobby, man was I relieved that they had escalators!

Finally at the lobby, all that was left to do was check-in, then I had to climb one final set of stairs and collapse in my new royal class room! 😀 To be honest, the room wasn’t very royal, but it was much more preferable to have my own room than to be in economy class which was a large room with about 50 tatami mats all laid on the ground next to each other! Plus I don’t think I’d have felt very good about having all my luggage stored in the ground floor hold with about 200 other people’s luggage!

Needless to say I was completely drenched in sweat by this point, so first thing I did was get that air-con on! It was such a relief to be able to drop all that luggage off in the room. Finally I was free to roam around the boat without all that literal excess baggage! 🙂 I headed out to the deck to get the last pictures and video of daytime Weihai from the ferry.

Couldn't we have had some sunny weather for the last day? Oh well!

Find out what I got up to for the rest of the journey in part two.

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I'm a 21-year-old university student currently living in Oxford, UK. I love travelling and hope someday to move abroad permanently. The best part about travelling for me is having new experiences, soaking up all the culture and making new friends from around the world. As well as travel, I love music (live or otherwise), gaming and cinema.
Marc
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