12 December 2010

Well I'm officially tired...

I did quite a bit of walking and hiking this weekend, but the pictures were definitely worth it.  I had a couple new experiences in that this was the first time I took the train to Daegu (only about 20 minutes), this was the first time I used a Korean subway system, and it was the first time I used the Korean bus system.  As for public transportation, I give the train and subway systems both A's, but the bus wasn't quite up to par.  Daegu was a pretty good city to start out in because it has an extremely simple subway system (even simpler than DC, which I didn't think was possible).  You really can't get much simpler than 2 lines that intersect at one station, but it gets the job done.

So Saturday I hopped on the train to Daegu in the late morning with absolutely no idea where I wanted to go our how to get anywhere.  It was kinda fun.  I got off at Daegu Station and literally just wandered for about an hour until I stumbled upon Seomun Market.  With over 4,000 shops it's pretty legit.

From Seomun Market I found a subway station and took it to Daegu Grand Park, which at the time I had no idea what that was but I thought it sounded like it could be pretty cool.  It actually turned out to be the location of Daegu's World Cup Stadium.

There was also a World Cup museum so it turned out to be a pretty cool trip.

On Sunday I headed back to Daegu to go to Palgongsan (Palgong Mountain) and see Gatbawi, which is a giant stone statue of Buddha.  I also found a pretty awesome temple on the way to the top of the mountain (Gatbawi is at the top).

                                  Staircase leading to one of the temples
                            Pretty awesome
                              Panorama view from the top of the mountain

Unfortunately, I accidently went down the opposite side of the mountain.  Now there very well may have been a bus to take you to the other side but I didn't see any and I obviously couldn't read any sign that said there was one.  So I decided to hike back up to the top and head down the other way.  Hence me being so tired while writing this.  And this was a pretty serious ascent.  The peak is about 1000 meters (or 2/3 of a mile) above the base of the mountain.

There were a couple funny things I noticed during the climb.  This one guy had a backpack with speakers and was blasting "My heart will go on" by Celine Deion.  I found it amusing.  I also heard "Like a G6" playing.  Again amusing.  Seriously, the amount of American influence here is pretty surprising.  I've seen a lot of New York shirts, a lot of American baseball hats, and our music seems to be pretty much everywhere.  Another weird thing I noticed was that street venders were selling roots on the mountain.  I couldn't really understand this.  I mean, who goes hiking and along the way says "I think I'd like to buy some roots on the way to the top".

But anway, I had a fun weekend.  I'm looking to head down to Busan (which is the second largest city in Korea) next weekend.  I also begin my third week of teaching tomorrow so it should be fun.

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