Ji Surprised me with plans to go on a weekend trip. We packed our bags and Jumped on the train, exiting at Gapyeong Station. Gapyeong, which hosts an international jazz festival in the fall is also home to nearby, Nami Island, which is roughly 100 Acres and supposedly takes its name from General Nami, who died there after being falsely accused of treason.
Min Byungdo, the former head of the Bank of Korea, bought the nearly barren island in 1965 and began to reforest it. Later the island was developed into cultural hub for arts and music with a strong focus on environmentalism and grew to include a theme park of sorts. And in 2006 it was declared a micronation with its own currency and passport. The only way to enter the island is by purchacing the entry “visa”, for about 10 dollars which includes your round trip, 10 minute, boat trip.
According to the vision plan of the park guests should connect with nature and enjoy leisure activities; while I will say it was nice to have escaped Seoul, it left me wishing for more nature and less people and noise. There were spedboats zooming around and around the island all afternoon and droves of people aimlessly walking around and people on bikes, many of whom gave me the impression they might have been drunk. On this tiny island, strangely there was an andean pipeflute band, almost a universal sign that you have entered tourist town.
Once off of the ferry boat, we split to the perimeter of the island since it seemed less crowded than the attraction filled center. We strolled along the dirt paths shaded by trees and stopped to eat some of the snacks we had brought while watching the boats and teh people playing on teh rocky shore.
After circling the whole island we wandered to the center. There was quite a lot going on. There were shops and restaurants among sculptures made of recycled materials, a small train that went in a circle, a sky rail and teh part we found most interesting, a music museum, full of international instruments the owner had collected from people he had played with over the years.
Anxious to explore somewhere a little more quiet we headed back to Gapyeong and wandered around some of the smaller streets in the neighborhood where we were staying before winding up at a restaurant for the local dish, DakGalbi; a Chicken and cabbage dish with Spicy red pepper sauce and big chewy rice cakes and cheese.
After lugging around my three cameras, 35mm, Medium Format and DSLR around for the weekend having hardly taken any pictures, I came home unmotivated to even open the files and look at them. Then, while watching a video on a Youtube channel I follow, I heard that the NIK software, which used to cost a few hundred dollars, was bought by google and made free. I was curious what it could do so I downloaded it. I only played with one feature today, the Analog FX module. The Nami Island photos were fun to play around with and not worry too much if I “ruined” them. One of them I actually really like; can you guess which one?