In February 2012 I made a crazy, but what turned out to be, awesome decions: quit my job and move to Korea. After two years I wrapped up my life there and moved on to travel the world. That was another two year stint before guess what, returning to Korea! So here I am, back in Kimchiland with lots to say...
After our relaxing morning at around Geumosan we decided it was finally time to catch a bus and make our way to Gyeongju. The bus ride was quite enjoyable considering we were two of maybe 8 passengers, it's nice being able to travel in the middle of the week. Normally on my trips to Gyeongju I fear having to stand or, like last time, have an ajumma half sitting on top of me. My mom didn't enjoy how the bus drivers "play games" with the aircon but none-the-less the ride was smooth and we were soon in Gyeongju, but unfortunately so was the rain. We found our self a nice cheap motel, obviously a major step down from the previous nights accommodation, and made our way out to explore the city.
Seeing as we had a delicious breakfast at the hotel lunch plans were pretty much nonexistent although upon seeing the Mc Donalds my mom decided why not give it a try - I think she was secretly sick of the Korean food. I had a well balanced meal of Gyeongju bread and Mc Donalds ice cream (just about the only thing i'd even consider from their menu). After it was on to the royal tomb park and cheomseongdae observatory before calling it a day and returning to the motel for some rest, have to give my mom credit for all the walking we did that day.
convinced a few boys i'm from Korea^^
After a nice little nap in our hotel I made plans to meet for dinner and drinks with some of my friends that live in Gyeongju. I kept forgetting it was mid week and that, unlike me, my friends still had to go to work for the day, not to mention Charles has Thursday evening class. We finally met up in 성겅동 with a plan to hit up one of the boys favorite maekkoli bars. Unfortunately the place was packed so we decided to kill some time at WA Bar before heading back, at which time we were lucky enough to get a table and enjoy plenty of makeolli and paejeon while sharing stories with my mom
The next day we were up early so I gave my mom some options of what we could do for the day. There was the obvious choice of trekking out to Bulguksa temple, or we could pick the more unique option of giving the Love Castle a visit. Wanting my mom to get the full Korean cultural experience we opted for destination #2, after all we already saw an impressive temple the day before. There really isn't much to be said about the place, here pictures really will do all the talking. We had a definite advantage to waking up early - even after taking a 40 minute bus ride we arrived to a nearly deserted park, great for lots of picture taking opportunities.
Sit on the chair and he gets excited
Seriously Korea, sometimes you are too much
The park really was something else and I'm sure provided my mom with some great, if not unique memories to take home. As an added bonus when we were near the end, what i'm assuming to be one of the owners, decided to help us out. He insisted we sit on the little chair that makes the giant explode, and took many additional pictures for us, making sure we saw all the details that he was clearly very proud of, including the "boob tree" he painted himself. After the park we made our way back to town via bus, which actually provided a great makeshift tour of Gyoengju for my mom, and then it was time for some shopping. We had a quick tour through the traditional market downtown before my mom did some damage in the cute Korean shops. Whoever's reading this and friends with my mom I hope you enjoyed your presents! Another successful kimbap shop lunch and some more wandering before we were soon on our bus back to Gumi, where we would end the fun of my mom's too short visit.