On Monday we took the train from Seoul to Gwangju. It was a good day to travel as it was raining cats and dogs.
But who can fret about the weather when there are snails wishing you a good day at the bus stop?
Gwangju is as easy to get around in as Seoul. I used google maps to help me know which bus to take and on the bus, the stops are actually also announced in English!
I made the best of the rainy day and decided to go to a huge supermarket, one of my favorite things to do in other countries (I never claimed I was normal). On the knowledgable input from my siter, I chose Home plus, which is huge, really really huge. As I already felt weired enough walking through the supermarket as if it was a museum, I was a little too shy to take photos, but at least sneaked two with my phone: one of the aisle of soy and chili sauces and one of the live pets on sale...
The sushi at Home Plus is better than any sushi you can get in Berlin!!! If I lived in Gwangju, I would eat sushi every day! And the best part is: what you see in the photo is only about a third of what my box contained at the beginning. You get to fill that box with whatever you want and in the end, it will cost 4900 Won, which is less than 4,90 Euros!!
When I was done being the weirdo walking around Home Plus like a homeless person, it had stopped to rain and I headed over to art street, a street famous for hand made paper, brushes and ceramics as Gwangju is known as a center of the arts in Korea.
The area behind art street is a typical Korean mix of backstreets with the occassional über-stylich café, and after the Home Plus Sushi, I was ready for some cake.
I chose this mille feuille with strawberries at gateau et café, a place, dear sister, you should definitely check out at one point! It is really weird to have excellent French patisserie in the middle of Gwangju which is in the middle of Korea (sort of). But I can't say anything but that it was as delicious as a piece from Ladurée in Paris.
I walked the cake off with a little stroll throug the neighborhood where I amongst other things discovered these little turtle shaped holes in a garage which would have certainly pleased my grandmother!
Kimchi pots on a veranda - what would Korea be without them?
Now, I don't know if you knew, but there is this unwritten rule that says "when in Asia, try weird candy". So this box of "Sushi" had to follow home with me from the supermarket.
Inside the box were about 5 little sachets with different powders that you had to mix with water, then use the plastic to mold it in shape, or, as with the "roe", prepare like molecular cuisine. I'd say for a first try, my result looks pretty good! (Though admittedly, I watched a youtube video to help get the measurements of the water right, since all the instructions were in Japanese and Korean only). And if you are wondering about the taste, well let's put it this way: until a certain meal on Jeju a couple of days later, I thought that this was the culinary low point of my trip...
copyright of all photos j.