Posted by: bodking | August 3, 2010

Long Weekend Wrap Up

My journey can be seen here.
The first phase was Gyeongju.  My day involved getting up very early and very hung over to catch a bus from Gunsan to Gyeongju.   Five hours later I arrived at my hostel and took a short nap before heading to Bulguksa.  It is a beautiful temple site but was very over-run by tourists.  Took away from some of the serenity.  I then climbed the mountain at whose base the temple is situated.  In the heat it was a difficult climb – although there were no steep inclines.  On the way was the Buddha statue in the grotto.  The statue and the grotto were both underwhelming.  Unfortunately – but then again maybe it was because of the crowds.  But what WAS beautiful was the view from not too far above the grotto, where on one side I could see a beautiful valley of farms and the city of Gyeongju and on the other I caught my first glimpse of the Sea of Japan.
After descending – I went to my hostel and had a nice evening chatting with the other guests who were surprisingly all European tourists.  Until then, I hadn’t met anyone  in Korea as travellers or on vacation from anywhere besides Asia or the U.S.
Next leg was Busan.  I took the train from Gyeongju – I had to wait longer for the train and I it was slower but I’m happy I took it.  It had wonderful views, it dropped me off exactly where I was going in Busan and I was happy to not be on a bus for once.
Busan is a fantastic city – it has the beach, it has mountains, it has great food, great people, a big city vibe and a real cosmopolitan atmosphere.   After getting terribly day drunk and loosing a decent amount of money playing black-jack, I tried some of the sashimi at the fish-market ( I ate I fish I saw swimming minutes before) and hit some of the bars near the university.
I beat the night and crawled my way to the bus terminal for my trip home.   It was a solid long weekend, god bless.

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