Last Saturday was another “ME” time. My boys (husband and son) allowed me to spend the day with friends at Nami Island.
Cathy had invited me the week before for this Foreigner’s Free Festival at the island. The festival is from February 28 – March 8, 2009. I am just so glad I accepted as this was my first time to be in Nami Island. Cathy has free tickets for us which would have entitled us to a round-trip shuttle bus ride, free entrance and ferry ride, snack and water. We only availed of the free entrance and the free ferry ride as we didn’t want the uncertainty of travelling time if we took the bus. We took the train ride where we anxiously prayed that the ticket holders for the seats we took would not arrive to claim the seats from us:-) Of course, they did. But we were able to comfortably sit down for an hour before they rightfully got the seats from us. The taxi driver who took us from Gapyeong Station to the Gapyeong Wharf was a good tourist guide as he took the longer route to point to us some of the “scenic” spots along the way. When we arrive at the Gapyeong Wharf, I immediately noticed the words “Naminara Republc”. I did ask about it but for some reason, we never got to discuss it. We were just too busy taking pictures:-) Afterall, pictures do tell good stories.
Anyway, the little booklet I got from wharf says that:
In 2006, the island declared its cultural independence to become a fairytale country of imagination. And it was reborn as Naminara Republic.
Interesting piece of history:-) For a place which became known after the popularity of “Winter Sonata” surged through Asia, being a “fairytale country of imagination” is as romantic as it gets. For followers of this television drama, a visit to this place might be really a paradise on earth. Imagine, even the place of the couple’s first kiss was marked for posterity. There is also a life-size statue of the couple in the middle of the island. Lucky celebrities. Immortalized by the island.
A new ferry called “Nami-maid” was inaugurated last Saturday. When we sailed for our 5-minute ferry ride to the island, preparations were still on-going for the ceremony. On our way back to the wharf, the new ferry was going around already. It could have been still carrying the VIPs after the ceremony was finished. Anyway, I would want to go back there again… and maybe I could board the “Nami-Maid” next time:-)