Strawberry Pickin’ Success!
There were doubts as the time neared to head to Nonsan for this year’s Strawberry Festival. They mostly came from the lack of Korean friends, who had even heard of the thing, but I was gung-ho to hit the road with some friends and see what Nonsan and this strawberry festival was all about.
The trains had booked up fast so we ended up on a bus that somehow was to take pretty much the same time as the train would have taken. The estimated time didn’t take into account a major accident occurrence that left us on the bus 2 hours longer than we should have been. Yes, a trip that should have taken 2 hours and 10 minutes or so ended up being 4 hours. Luckily, the group of us had high spirits and for the first two hours jovially, but quietly, so as not to interrupt the Koreans on the bus conversed and played any and all ‘on the road’ games we could think of. At the two hour mark when we realized we hadn’t even made it half way and it was still bumper to bumper, with no known reason at that point, pretty much everyone zonked out for an hour nap. Upon waking I saw a two bus pile up that had caused the bumper to bumper scene and our bus driver was pulling into a rest stop because we’d passed 3 hours with no bathroom breaks yet.
Four hours later we made it to a small, yet welcome little city, with white tents galore set up for the strawberry festival. We followed the strawberry flags from the bus station to the fair grounds and had a gander at all that was offered. From face painting, to wooden bug building, jam buying and plenty of strawberries to go around there was lots to see and plenty of people partaking in the festivities. There was an odd museum showing pictures of strawberries, strawberry shortcake, strawberry shaped clocks and anything else that looked like a strawberry and plenty of food tents with strawberries and without.
The highlight of the festival was definitely the actual strawberry picking. The strawberry fields are set apart from the fair grounds. We paid W10,000 which provided us with a 10 minute shuttle bus to the strawberry fields, and the privilege to pick and eat as many strawberries as we could in our allotted time, and then a ride back on the bus. At first there was some gripes about not being able to bring any of the strawberries back with us, but upon entering the strawberry tents and devouring as many as we could see we didn’t really need any to take home. There were plenty to go around and that was even late in the day since we didn’t get out there until about 4PM. One leader on the bus explained how to pick the strawberries appropriately and which ones to avoid. Very Informative.
It was a fine outing and I’d go again just for those delicious strawberries! The trip back took only two hours and it ended up being a great outing for a day. If there were anything else to see in Nonsan I’d probably go back just because it is a good day trip from Seoul and sometimes you just need to get out of Seoul for a day. Loved it.