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Dan’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 30 Mar 2006

Location: Seoul, Korea (South)

MapI'm back where i began my S-Korea journey.. Seoul

But let me begin where i left off last time. After leaving Brydie on Monday around noonish, i took the bus to Busan. It was a four and a bit hour bus ride through some great areas of Korea. Although i had the blinds shut, the sun still made me sleepy and i snoozed off for most of the trip. But what i did see, was pretty good. I arrived in Busan around 5ish, then had to take the subway and taxi to my Guesthouse. I spent the rest of the day walking around Busan before going for dinner. Bibimbap my new favourite Korean dish. Got back to the guesthouse around 9 and called it a night. Monday was sort of a write off, i didn't manage to see much of the city, so i decided to start Tue off early. I left my hostel at 7 and made my way to the bus stop.
The next city on my agenda was Gyeongju located only about 40 minutes north of Busan. On Tuesday, i checked out Tumuli Park, the Observatory, Anapji park and the museum. Then ended up walking back to the downtown area and did some major people watching. So much fun. I had an even better time though, thinking of what they were thinking of when they saw me looking at them. On the way back to my hostel i picked up some groceries for that nights dinner.

On Wednesday, i only had two things that i wanted to see. Bulguksa temple and Seokguram Grotto. I was so looking forward to the second. After viewing the temple with about 1000 high school kids (where a good 500 of them said "HELLO" "NICE TO MEET YOU" "HOW ARE YOU") i decided to walk up to the grotto instead of taking the shuttle bus. So i started walking...and walking..and walking..and ....WALKING!!!! it was 8.5 klicks zig zagging up a mountain. What was i thinking. Jay probably knows best about my "If we can walk it, we are gonna walk it" philosophy..Jay..does Paris ring a bell????

So an hour and a half later i made it to the top, exhausted and just as i stepped into the parking lot, a caravan of buses rolled on in carrying those 1000 school kids. At that point i had to pull out the "OHH NOO!!!! face". I ran to the ticket office, got my ticket and then ran the last .5km to the grotto trying to leave all those kids far behind me. I walked into the grotto and was it as good as i had thought it was going to be??? NOPE!!! They had put up a plexi glass wall in front of it, and with the glaring lights, one could hardly see the Buddah. I've seen so many cool pictures of that grotto and i wasn't even allowed to take pictures of the reflections in the glass..DENIED. I walked out of there with my head hanging low as i passed all those kids saying "HELLO" "NICE TO MEET YOU" "HOW ARE YOU" again.

As i was leaving the parking lot i saw a sign that pointed downward and said. Temple 3.5 km. So there was a shortcut to the grotto and i missed it. Well why take the easy way out if one can do it the hard way..IDIOT!!!
I spent the rest of the day walking around downtown again, making dinner, re-re-repacking and then going to bed at a decent hour.

Today i took the 9 AM bus to Seoul, checked into my guest house and then booked it to downtown Seoul. Did a little sight seeing and then headed to Yongsan Electronics Market. My heart was beating so fast when i walked in there. It was amazing. Stephen, you would have been drooooling. Every layer in this store has a different theme, for instance the 1F is only mp3 players and cameras, 4+5F only computers, 6F only computer games, etc

And i almost had the urge to get something (it's still not too late :D) it is a 6in one card reader and memory back up in one. A 40Gig one costs 140 bucks...What's the verdict...

If yes, donations can be dropped of at 3914 Braefoot Rd

Tomorrow I'm going on the DMZ tour that goes to the border between North and South Korea. I got an email from the tour group and it sounds rather strict. No jeans, no tight clothing, well groomed...
The day i got that email, i pulled out my Swiss army knife and started trimming my beard. I don't know if it looks better than before, but i did my best. We'll see if they let me on the tour...
I'll let you guys know tomorrow..

Hope everyone is doing well.. I'm off to bed in a bit.