My great big weekend (Gyeongju bike trip)

This past weekend was a blast! My friend Jessa and I went to Gyeongju (think Southeast Korea)

and we had a blast! The trip was with a group called Adventure Korea.

Friday night– I attempted to move a couch by subway with my friend Jonathan, but it wasn’t mean to be. By that I mean we had hauled the couch over to the BIT subway stop from where the girl I bought it from was living, and then the guy manning the office said we couldn’t take it over. I was more disappointed than I would have ordinarily been, seeing as I know of a guy who moved a much longer and  heavier couch by subway just a few months ago! ergh. Because things didn’t end the way I thought they would, I was beginning to be in a crunch for time. So I called one, and then two, co-teachers. The second one helped me out by calling a moving van for me, and I barely got back in time to leave and meet my friend Jessa at the subway to head for Seoul.

11:30- departing for Gyeonju. The bus stopped a few times to pick up people and for rest stops. We arrived around 5 am…phew

Saturday We had to go down for breakfast at 9:00. After this we loaded the bus to rent bikes for a few hours. Jessa and I were ready to go!

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We started by playing a field of flowers.

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Look at all the Cherry Blossom trees!
more Cherry Blossom trees!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next we thought we would ride around the lake and see the things there. Unfortunately, the map was well illustrated but very poorly designed in terms of having street names and other pieces of information essential for a successful bike journey. Despite missing several tombs and other places, we made our way around the lake. It was quick going until we reached the final 3/4ths, during which we were greatly slowed down by several “no bicycle” sections of pedestrian areas. It was pretty crowded so it was probably better that we weren’t supposed to ride through them.

It was in this part that we (kind of!) rode in a hot air balloon!

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Up in the air!
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What it looks like from the ground.

It was this big balloon thing but it was tethered to the ground and only went up for a few minutes at a time. It was still a lot of fun, and I look forward to the real thing all the more! 🙂

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This guy took way too long to find!

We decided to look for a statue we saw on the map. Unfortunately for us, it was farther away than we anticipated and took a long time to get to. We didn’t even climb the steps to get to it, as by that time we were fairly wiped out.

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Cheomseongdae observatory!

Next we decided to try and find this observatory Jessa had read about. It was built a very long time ago and was among the first of its kind! We had no idea how far away this thing was according to the map.

We got to it around 5:30, and were supposed to be back to the bus by 6:00. So we should have had plenty of time, right? Well apparently these guys were the kings of being on time, because when we finally made it back by 6:15, they were long gone and only one guide from Adventure Korea was still there! We were kinda embarrassed by this., as only just that morning I asked Jessa how many people she thought would get there right at 6:00. (We probably jinxed ourselves by saying that!)  We got dinner and each got to take a bath! (We should have been in a room with 2 other people, but because we were the only ‘group’ of two after all other rooms were filled we got our own! sweet).

Sunday Having declined the option to go on the early hike, Jessa and I went to the Seokgulam Gratto with the other people of the group. It was pretty cool. Unfortunately, there were no pictures allowed of the Buddha statues and so I obeyed the rules for once and didn’t take any photos.

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I paid 1,000 won to ring the gong! It wasn't as noisy as I hoped 😉

Next we went to Bulguksa Temple and walked around for a bit. It had many buildings and also a few tranquil ponds. At one of them Jessa and I saw a lot of Koi and a little turtle!

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at the Bulguksa Temple tour
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terror...chaos..

We then ate lunch at a buffet style place which was pretty hectic. The food wasn’t too bad, and it did fit all of us in there, which is a feat in itself and huge difficulty for large trips in Korea (or anywhere). The trip home began after this. It went well mostly, but one of the rest stops was INSANE. I mean, Ajummas (middle aged Korean women) pushing and shoving all over the place in the bathroom. I took a picture, but not while I was inside of the bathroom, so it doesn’t do it justice at all.

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One thing about living in Incheon...I never see sunsets here, ever(or sunrises either!) So seeing this sunset was a beautiful thing.

By the time I got back home, it was 11:00 thanks to traffic and having to take the subway back.Even though I wasn’t in bed until Midnight, I am back at it today and am glad I got to go on such a fun trip!

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