Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gyeongju 경주 Trip - Part 3

Day 3 - Mistake Day!
03.03.2012 - 경주 [Gyeongju]

( An old couple, nestled inside their store in 성동시 장 )

East Sea

The following morning, we woke up, checked out, and split up. Drew headed back to Suwon to meet Lina. JC & Katrina headed into Gyeongju to see some sites. Chelsea and myself went out to the sea to see the Tomb of King Munmu [문무대왕]. We never actually saw his tomb, but the fact that it is an underwater tomb, we kind of did. He really wanted his ashes to be spread in the East Sea, so he could become the Dragon of the East Sea and forever protect his beloved country from Japan. So, in a way, the entire East Sea is his tomb. First, we took pictures of fishing boats and starfish. Then, while planning to walk out to a lighthouse, we managed to fined a strange staircase made out of tires. This led us too a very nice view of the coast. 

We got pretty lost trying to figure out where Munmu's tomb was, but eventually got directions up the coast to our destination. We decided to stop off for a little coffee. It was another 다방, so we were the youngsters amongst a number of old folk. As soon as we ordered, I realized that neither of us had cash. A dabang is the kind of place where people only pay with cards, so the worry sunk in a bit. We finished our coffees and asked if they took cards, and it wasn't surprising to find out they didn't. I got directions to a local mart with an ATM. After a ton of effort, I broke the ATM. I left Chelsea sitting at the cafe with the oldies for at least an hour. When I returned, a really kind old woman offered Chelsea a ride to the next town over to a bank. She was super sweet, but while I was waiting, one of the owners of the cafe made the situation a little interesting. She looked at me as though I were a lost little boy. She came over to me to offer a free cup of coffee, then she stroked my beard and gave me this look as to say, "Oh, you poor thing. Let me take care of you." It was touching and strange at the same time... Chelsea showed up and we made our way towards Munmu's tomb. We never actually made it, but it was still a nice walk and an interesting story.

( Starfish )

( Boats )

( More Boats )

( Chelsea )

( Chelsea with a lighthouse )

( Fisherman )

( Another boat )

( Tire Stairs )

( Chelsea, again )

( Chelsea & The Sea )

( Myself & The Sea )

( Buildings )

( This turtle statue was next to a burial mound. )

( We walked down this nice tree-covered street for awhile. )

( Beach Bench )

( Chelsea standing in King Munmu )

( Seaside Street )

경주 성동시장 -Gyeongju Market AGAIN

Before leaving town, Chelsea and I really wanted to eat at the market. There was a great little eating area in the middle of this market; they served 쌈밥 (ssambab), a famous dish for the area. It's simply tons of appetizers (반찬) with rice and fish. We ate and were merry. After this, we met with JC and Katrina and made our way home.

( My Plate )

( Some options )

( An old lady that works at one of the eateries )

( A fisheye view of the spread )

Trip Home

This was a big mess. We were supposed to take a slow train west towards Dong-daegu, where we were supposed to catch a KTX back to Suwon. We were supposed to be home by 11pm. It was going to be smooth sailing, but it didn't work that way. We managed to get on a slow train going in the opposite direction in Gyeongju. After about a little over an hour, we stopped at a train stop and I look out the window noticing a map of 울산 (Ulsan). I asked, "Isn't Ulsan close to Busan?" At this point, we realized that we had gone the wrong way. We couldn't get to Dong-daegu in time to catch a KTX back to Suwon, so we took the slowest trains possible home. We arrived in Suwon around 4am. No matter how you look at it, we still made it home, and it was still a good trip.

( Chelsea reading )

( 울산 from the window )

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