Chuseok - Thanksgiving!!!

Trip Start Aug 24, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Monday, October 9, 2006

Chuseok is Korean thanksgiving. And because it is, we all get 6 days holiday. Excellent!!
So, Jen arrived on monday night and we managed to pick her out from all the other koreans at the airport!!! Got home, ate and packed for our wee trip to Busan, which is on the south eastern-ish coast of korea.

We left for Busan at 9.30am and made our way to the subway then train station. Nothing too exciting happened: which is unusual for me and Korea. We got on our wee bullet train (which is a bullet train, however not on bullet train tracks, but they still call it the bullet train) and tottled down to Busan. We arrived and were promptly directed around the city centre by Ed for an hour and a half as he walked this way and that searching for the hotel (after confiscating all of the maps from the females). Men. They are so ridiculous! And do you know what he said when Emma finally convinced him that we needed to ask for help - he said "I knew it! I brought you guys this way before!!!" We had walked in EVERY direction - so regardless of which way the guide had pointed us - he could've said "I brought you guys this way before!". Uech! Ridiculous!!

So, we fought our way into the hotel and decided to go get something to eat. Here we rarely eat as it takes so long to find a restaurant that guarantees to sell something other than cold noodles. Which I'm not too fond of yet. The feel like worms. All slithery and stuff. Euch!

So, we found a chinese restaurant - with the token locals eating there and the man in the corner who wants to talk continuously to us in broken english. Anyways, as per usual we ordered way too much food. Koreans normally order one dish and one rice or noodle dish and share. But we keep forgetting this and ordering a dish each. So we ended up having to eat as fast as we could - just to clear a space on the table for the next dish. It was insane!! But tasted amazing!!!

After the chinese we decided to go on a boat cruise thing to a random island. So we toddled down to the pier and everytime we tried to take a picture - random men ran into the background and stood smiling at the camera. It's ridiculous. Anyhoo - we boarded the cruise and set off on the sea. It was a pretty uneventful ride - out and around a rock in the middle of the sea, but lovely all the same. Until the sun had gone down and I was freezing my butt off on the way home as they sprayed us with waves. Not that I'm bitter.

Next day (Wednesday) we rised and shined (or rose and shone - i'm not quite sure) and hopped on the subway to go to a wee temple. Ofcourse, we 'alote' (definition: to alight, past tense) at the wrong stop and simply had to follow our instincts to the cable car. We walked for about 20 or 30 minutes and arrived at the base of the car. Fabby. We decided that we could walk to the temple from the cable car - according to the book it should take 3 or 4 hours. Excellent, we thought. A nice little dander over the mountains to a temple.

Six and a half hours later the sun was going down and we stumbled upon the temple. Not so fun afterall. (As most of you know, I am not the fastest of walkers and enjoy strolling around. So I was not too amused by this point). After about 2 hours we had only reached the first target point. We could see a beautiful mountain peak away in the distance and Ed commented on how one day he'd love to climb it. I told him to stop dreaming and being so silly - what a mad idea. Low and behold, 3 hours later we were standing on top of that peak - having only walked half way. Never again am I trusting maps or men. Not that I didn't enjoy it - I just wish we'd gone a little better prepared. We hadn't eaten since lunch time - midday - the day before. We had 3 small bottles of water between us. So when we found a woman selling water and ice lollies at the top of the mountain we almost collapsed in tears of joy!!!

Anyways, enough moaning, I did plenty of that at the time. The temple was absolutely spectacular(Beomeosa Temple). We arrived just as the sun was going down and the monks (is that what they are called if they are buddhists? I get confused) started drumming to call all the monks to prayer time. A lot of people were arriving too to go into another temple and pray. Pretty groovy having your place of worship way up in the secluded mountains. So the monks were drumming and then there was chiming and then they all start humming and singing and and bowing and rocking. It was just so amazing standing there watching this take place. They bow to something in particular, but I couldn't work out what. Either the mountain or the temple ahead of them or a shrine or something - but there were ushers just walking about directing us and making sure no-one walked in between the monks and this thing. I will put some photos on really soon!

Afterwards, we collapsed onto a bus - our legs shaking from the walk, and made our way downtown to find some food. In Busan there is a huge Russian area and oh boy were the russians scary. They all just glared at us and I felt really scared. It was horrid. Like big groups of men wandering around slowly then not taking their eyes off of you when they spot you. Not inquisitive eyes - threatening eyes. I hated it.

The following day we lay on the beach for a few hours whilst Ed surfed. The hot sun was excellent! We then got the subway then train back to lovely wee Daegu.

I will talk about those events in a new entry. xxx
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