As I said we arrived back from Ireland about two days before. What I didn’t say was that it was at five o’clock in the morning Korean time and that we’d probably not really slept ‘properly’ and I’d worked for ten hours straight the day before. Well to cut a long story (or journey) short, a fair whack of it was spent asleep or trying to not fall asleep while driving or giving directions. Regardless of the head-banging we made it to Andong fairly safely.
One thing that we do, that is myself and my wife, when we get or go to a place is we try to eat as much of whatever they have that looks good! Andong like every other region in Korea is famous for some sort of dish, and here they have delicious Djimdalk (more on this later), and funeral food, which is how it was described to me. Funeral food is what is says it is, the food that people eat at funerals, or more precisely the people of Andong found it appropriate to eat the traditional funeral fare all the time.
After devouring this after our four hour three hour drive through the mountains we decided to walk around in the blinding sunshine at around two in the afternoon. If you’ve ever been to Spain, for example, and wonder why nowhere is open during the middle of the day, well here is as good an example as any. Sure enough buildings have air conditioning, but outside doesn’t and here where humidity drains you as much on a cloudy day as on a sunny day, it’s high time a summer long all-day national siesta law was introduced. Maybe if we didn’t spend an hour and a half walking up down hillsides and through a folk village I wouldn’t have to demand this, but we did, and demand it we will!
Inallandanyways, we left there and went slowly to Hahoe Village (which incidentaly is pronounced nothing like it is spelt in English). If there is a more picturesque village in this country, then I would like you to show it to me. Yes, it is a bit of a tourist trap, but where isn’t these days? Before we went here we went into another side attraction and climbed up a little enscarpment for a view of the village, and despite the heat it was very manageable. The pictures below are testament to how worthwhile this little sidestep was!
Below are some further photos of the village and our accomodation. It was a really nice place, very cool, very very chilled, but unfortunately it was also very very closed. Went out at half eight at night and nothing was open, in fact there was nothing there to be open. Next day was much better but they did have somewhere open where I could buy an ould cloth to dry the sweat off my face – lovely!
After this adventure we went back into Andong City for one reason and and one reason only!
I suppose Djimmdalk is a chicken stew, with spuds, carrots and glass noodles made from sweet potato, lots of garlic, sugar, soy sauce and a few other bits and peices all added with skill and timing to result in a truly wonderful dish. The problem with this dish is that when you go for it in Seoul there are only a few places that do it, and they are usually chain restaurants that get in large quantities in bulk and then they heat it up on demand. You would be complaining if you waited longer than ten minutes for your serving (one is usually enough for three or for people), but how can you honestly cook potatoes and chicken all the way through freshly in ten minutes? Well here there no such messing around. We politely anticipated its arrival for over twenty minutes, and we were very, very, very satisfied!