Thursday 5 june 2015.
We arrived somewhere at noon in Gyeongju with our bus. Our guesthouse was just at the tumulus park. The sun was shining. Beautiful wheather. The guesthouse was built as a traditioonal low Korean house around some garden. Rustic. Quite. Relaxing. We felt good there. We all had nice rooms and had to sleep on the ground again. There was a kitchen where our guide provided us with stuff to make our own breakfast.
We went discovering the city immediately. And found some really nice cheap lunch baked rice with seafood for 5000 won. The lady prepared the meal at our table.
After dinner we had seen enough of the city and decided to go up north. We crossed the river and finally found the park where we saw the stone buddha that I wanted to see (as marked on the map). The park was again just mountains and the stone buddha was disappointing, apart from the fact is was very ancient. We went hiking. Again...
Yes call us fools... in the heat. Again. We came across a temple and followed signs that we didn't understand. We finally reached the top only to see there was another top to be climbed. After the third top we decided to go down very steep along a sandy hill... which was veryslippery as my sandals didn't have any grip. So finally we were down and walked a hundred miles (sing it!). And then took a cab back to the guesthouse for only 3000 won. God This was again a long hiking day hahahaha!
In the evening we went eating with the group but it wasn't that good. Places full of youth serve meals without taste and just plain cooking without soul.
After dinner we walked to the Anapji Pond and the palace. Crowed as hell but worth visiting in the dark!!
Cheomseongdae is an astronomical observatory in Gyeongju, South Korea. Cheomseongdae means star-gazing tower in Korean. Cheomseongdae is the oldest surviving observatory in East Asia. It dates to the 7th century to the time of kingdom of Silla, which had its capital in Gyeongju (wikipedia)
Tuesday 26 may 2015.
Well as I'm writing this, I probably found an explanation of the calmness in the public streets (outside shoppingsstreets) and in the subway: MERS. Reports say that people are avoiding public places. So I really would like to have experienced rush hour and normal citylife. Anyway, this second day of Seoul me and my mate decided to go into the heat again and travel to Gangnam. Metro for more than half an hour. Upperground. Endless skyline and crossing the big river. Enjoy the ride!!!
Impressionante! Gangnam is the business district and it's really worth it, to take a big stroll. We passed the Hyundai building COEX-shopping mall,
the Buddha Bongeunsa temple:
Some little streets with food and the park: admission fee only 1000 won!!!! where you can find the UNECSO-protected graves of some longforgotten kings: Seonjeongneung (Royal Tombs of Joseon Dynasty). My mate took this pretty picture:
Picture by Bart M.
We had our daily smoothie afterwards at Angel-In-Us Coffee and took the metro further to the Noryangjin Fishmarket. This is the biggest fish market i've ever seen. You can spot all kinds of shellfish, werid fish, crabs, fish, seafood,...
We wanted to taste it and went upstairs to find a restaurant. The lady made wild gestures en talked to us, but we didn't quite understand what she wanted of us, then it popped in our mind: we had to buy fish and then they would prepare it! Ok, she went down with us, we bought some "sashimi"-fish: they caught it in a net, threw it on the ground on his back: so we saw the belly was fine and the fish healthy: then they slammed the head with a hook (I don't think the fish was dead...)
and then we had to go back to the restaurant after we bought 4 red schrimps too. The fish went 35.000 won and the schrimps 10.000.
(Afterwards we asked prices at the market and it turned out to be 20.000 - 25.000 depending on the size of the fish.) We ordered soup too... didn't realize it was a fishsoup as a separate dish for anouther 20.000 and she asked if she had to BBQ the schrimp, yes we said.
Ok we sat down at the traditional table, with shoes off in a plastic bag and looked around the other clientele how they were eating. Quite amusing , people ordering spidercrabs and posing with it.
Only five minutes later our fish cam in freshly cut sashimi: what a big portion!!! then the soup came!!! another enormous bowl. And our exteremely good cuisined schrimp... We didn't care about the ripp off...but as told we checked prices afterwards.
What is really worth doing is when you go with the metro from Gangnam to the Noryangjin fishmarket, pop-out at the Seoul National Cemetery. It's great, there's a war memorial too and the fields with graves stretch out as far as you can see.
In the evening we went eating barbecue again! in the Hongdae district: the univcersity hood were lots of young people go out and eat and yes the strets voer there were quite crowded. We entered some karaokebar afterwards, guess you must have don this once :-)