Alas, my plans were not meant to happen. Saturday morning, as I was ready to go, Jeju was hit (and is still being hit as I write this) with the worst snow storm that it's seen in more than (some say) 38 years. I was told that Jeju never gets much snow and that the snow is mostly on the top of Halla. Well, not this year.
|As we waited at the bus stop at 10 Saturday morning, we were already in a winter wonderland.|
Maybe I should have missed my flight.
I raced through the airport. It was 11:45 and my plane, scheduled for 11:30, had been pushed back to 12:10. The lady at the desk looked at my information and quickly handed me my boarding pass saying, "학생 (haksaeg; student) run!" I made it to my gate just as they were boarding. I really hoped that the bus ride was the worst of it.
When it became clear that the flight was being delayed longer, I settled into wait. The snow kept blowing out across the tarmac, stopping for brief periods of 20-30 mins before swooping in like a fire blanket: thick and smothering.
|I'm glad I didn't work for the airport today...|
|It was kinda of weird seeing palm trees with snow.|
In the end, I boarded a plane for a 5.5h flight from Jeju to Jeju. Around 17h00 they told us that our flight was cancelled and we started rolling back to the airport to deplane. My first deplaning. ㅎㅎㅎ. Well, since my flight was cancelled, I needed to cancel my return flight scheduled for Monday and so I then headed to the Air Busan service desk. As all flights were cancelled at this point, Audrey and Jenny were in their own lines and we agreed to meet up afterward.
By 19h15 we were finally all done. And now came the hardest question: what next? With the weather so bad, no taxis were heading back our way and we weren't really sure about the bus either. That meant staying in Jeju for the night. But how did we leave the airport and where did we go? While we were all starving (we hadn't eaten since breakfast), all we wanted was a roof over our heads.
|The line in 7/11 was so long I could only |
find these at a vending machine.
Luckily, Jenny's mom has connections and after a few calls we found a place to crash. But still: How did we get there?
22h00 we were at last made it out of the airport and to a safe haven at 코스트웨이 (Coast Way), a pension run by Jenny's mom's friend. She was super nice and even made us dinner for which we were so grateful!
|Blurry but happy faces at surviving our day at the airport.|
|Heading to the bus stop. Jenny didn't realize I was taking a picture. Oops. Haha.|
|Simply stunning view of the sea this morning from the bus stop. We could see the waves crashing into the shore with a chilling violence. Still, the majesty is breathtaking.|
Sunday morning, we managed to catch a bus to the terminal and then the bus back home. While the roads were still bad and it took longer than we hoped to get back home, we made it. By 15h30. Just like that, our weekend was pretty much gone.
This quote was on the wall at the pension and I felt like it spoke a lot into our situation:
"Lost wealth can be regained, but lost time never."
We were able to get a refund for our flights, but our time was lost. However, I think that despite our circumstances, we were still able to laugh a lot and have fun. It certainly was an interesting adventure.