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).
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.