Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lunar New Year ( 설날 ) [Busan]

( 해운대 )

1st day in Busan

The second day of our journey contained considerably less driving. It was only about an hour and a half. We parked the car in the outskirts of Busan at the Express Bus Terminal and took a subway out to Boemoesa, a famed Buddhist temple in the mountains. We didn't anticipate the hour long walk up the mountain to get to this temple, but it was actually pretty cool at night. It was my first evening temple visit in Korea. I don't know if it was because of the hour of our visit, but all of the monks were out and about. There was one in each of the shrine rooms chanting. It was a really nice welcome to Busan, and also, a wonderfully calming moment in the trip.

( Boemoesa entrance )

( one of the shrine rooms )

( the gang )

After the temple visit, we hopped back on the subway to meet up with Stephen, Justin's friend who lives in Busan. We met him in Haeudae (해운대), which is a really popular beach in the summer time. It was pretty vacant at the beginning of February. We at burritos at this great place called FN Tacos. We were all a little bit beat, so we took a couple Jager Bombs and made our way towards the beach. Haeundae beach was quite a sight. It was a nice long beach the was backed with the lights of Busan. After strolling on the beach and snapping a few photos, we went to a foreigner bar that was on the fifteenth floor of a building on the beach. It had a great view. We played pool and flippy cup with a bunch of other foreigners. The next thing I knew, I woke up in a motel in the Russian district on the other side of town. We must have had quite the night, but no photos were taken after flippy cup. I suppose it's one of those mysteries in life. We decided to stay another night in Busan.

( Justin & burrito )

( FN Tacos )


( friendly silhouettes at Haeundae )

( Erik )

( the other direction )

( flippy cup )

( my team )

( Calvin with a man that had a hat that said 샌티 [santa])

2nd Day in Busan

Seeing as though Erik & I woke up in a different part of town than Calvin & Justin, we started the day by finding eachother. We met up in a shopping area near Busan Tower. Stephen took us to this really great brunch place where we had massive breakfasts complete with eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, potatoes & a waffle. It was great. We explored a bit and went up to Busan Tower. I regret to say, but it is a step down from Seoul Tower. I still suggest going, but it just didn't measure up. They even tried to mimic the love locks that are all over the fences at Namsan, but it was sad attempt. On the bright side, you do get a pretty nice view of Busan.

( breakfast )

( lanterns on the way to Busan Tower )

( ART! )

( bell )

( Busan's Admiral Yi Sun Shin [이선신] statue )

( Busan Tower )

( love locks )

After the tower, we moved on to check out the worlds largest department store. It was across town, so we hopped on a subway and began a long long underground trek. At some point the night before, Jungle Love by the Steve Miller Band had become the theme song for the trip. Every ten minutes, somebody would belt out "JUNGLE LOVE," and it was always followed by a trio of "drivin' me made, makin' me crazy." It got pretty bad right around the time we got on this subway. While Calvin was trying to read his new book, we all kept singing to distract him. The joke had calmed down a bit after about twenty minutes, and I just couldn't have that. I pulled out my phone and found the song on youtube and discretely pressed play. We are all just trying to keep our composure as my phone played the dreaded song at a surprisingly high volume. It was too much fun.

When we finally arrived at the department store, we found that everything was closed except for the Kyobo bookstore, CGV movie theater & the arcade. We explored Kyobo, then played a bunch of arcade games. I sure do love Korean arcades. They are the best! I schooled everybody in HyperBishiBashaChamp. I spent 500 won, while everybody else had to have pumped in 2000 each. Good times.

( worlds largest department store )

( again )


( concentration )

( just look at the hands )

( this is the small half of the department store )

( pretty )

( urban landscape )

After that, the night actually went a little downhill. We had some food at an all-you-can-eat galbi restaurant. After stuffing ourselves silly, we looked for some excitement out on the town. We searched and searched and searched, and after a number of hours, we found another Thursday Party, like the one in Daegu. It was fun, but by this time, we were pretty much beat. We just headed back over to Stephen's to get a little sleep before continuing the road trip the next day.

( Yep, Lady Liberty holding chopsticks )

( Erik is happy about all-you-can-eat )

( two guys we met; i think one was Bob )

( Erik & Justin in the city )

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