Wednesday 3 june 2015.
This morning we were all pack and set to go. Yesterdaynight we wrote our postcards that we finally found and I went bying stampes and sending in the postoffice across the hotel. We had a private bus to take us outside the city where we would start a hike in the mountains to the Beomeosa temple where we would join the monks in a templestay.
DJ acting funny
at the temple the guardians crush the demons and evil spirits. I thought demons and evil spirits looked a bit different :-)
cellphone panarama and someone walking in my view!
DJ making a face to me
I was not really in shape this day so hiking didn't went that well like in the last days. Anyway the hike really worth it.
First you need to surive a busride. More than an hour and you're still in the city!!! Busan is like Seoul: infinite!
The hike in the forests and mountains has some great viewpoints. The only thing you see is the city, the city and nothing but the city and it's skyscrapers. Impressive.
So after a very slow hike we arrived at the temple. We were nicely welcomed by a lady and show to our quarters. we would sleep in a room on the ground, all men together and the girls apart.
We wore our special very comfortable pijama's that we got from the temple.
Then we attended our first session. The Monk, director of PR explained the rules and the do's and don'ts, we went attending a prayer.
gathering with the mnk - noone of the groud could sit still in that position for that long haha!
Idid the 108 bows, I survived and thank god I'm quite in shape :-) I wearing my beads-necklace with pride
We went to dinner. Which is a complete ritual. you need to do some handlings in a certain defined way and use yuor bowl in a defined way. Anyway the veagn food I loved.
We got to rest a bit and we then summoned to do the 108 bows while making a bead mandala necklace. 108 bows! Thank god I do some sports!!! getting up and down wiht your forehead to the ground 108 times non-stop: some really had it in their pants hahaha!
anyway i succedded without being quite exhausted.
We had to go sleep very early as we had to wake up at 5u30.
most beautiful groupshot ever I think
Very early morning walk to the meditation hermitage...the walking purple dead
We slept kinda well.
So we were there for mediation and afterwards we could have breakfast.
We also made a short hike to some viewpoint hermitage in the forest behind the Beomeosa temple and meditated for half an hour.
Then we had some free time and again we were summoned to have a chat with tea with the monk.
And then it was done and we left with the bus to our last stop: the amazing cultural historic city of Gyeongju!
Morning tea with the monk and having a chat - again sitting too long in the same position hahaha, but we had serious talks.
Monday 1 june 2015
We enjoyed the hotel pretty much: the Aventree Hotel Busan. Nice breakfast clean, wifi, laundry possibility,...
So we took the bus the the UNECSO UN - war memorial and cemetery: UNMCK.
Impressive. You see all the nations that fought over there or gave logitisc and medical support. We saw the names of the Belgians that died there and watched a short documentary.
After that we went to Haeundae beach. We had free time all over. And there we went. Exploring the markets, the streets, the beach ;-) and searched some good lunch.
We met again with the group to make a stroll around the coastal line. Great view on the ocean.
Then in the afternoon we took the bus to the sea-temple: Haedong Yonggungsa temple. One of the most famous temples of Busan and a spot for masstourism. I was not quite impressed lol.
I did put my feet in the water, and thought is was pretty cold haha!
schoolkids having fun on the beach
In the evening me and my mate went eating but I forgot where and what.
We joined some others afterwards to get soe drinnk in a pub where we got served little snacks too :-)
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 :-)