Hike-Ho Hike-Ho

Once again the rain is coming down in Korea. Sadly, due to the cost of the warning messages I got all last year (see here for more), I did not have prior warning of this.  However, the weekend that was more than makes up for this positively Irish weather.

11214334_10205580114796503_3788995163751014237_nFriday saw us take a severely indulgent trip to the “Urban Camping Barbecue” in KyungSung (right next to Monk bar for those of you Busanites looking). This place serve everything the way you would if you were camping. That is if you were camping in a premium spot with easy access to water and refrigerated alcohol, of which we drank too much. Luckily we had Costco pizza and hotdogs to clear up any nasty hangover the following day.

The true highlight of the weekend though was certainly our 5 hour hike on Sunday. We met George and Ciera, an old friend we will miss as he’s headed home and a new friend we will miss just as much, at 10 and took the subway (line 1, orange) to Oncheongjang. From here we took the cable car up to the Geumjeong mountain (click here for Lonely Planet instructions).

If we swear not to be Japanese can we come in?

If we swear not to be Japanese can we come in?

This hike is one of my favorite so far in Busan. The mountain is encircled by a fortress, complete with gates at each of the compass points , built to keep the scourge that was the Japanese at bay during the Cheoson Period of Korean history. You can see one of the watchtowers in the cover image. Each gate is similar, yet slightly different, which is really refreshing to see in a restored building here, and you can spend hours walking between them without meeting many others. Anti-social as that may sound, after a week of teaching and hustle and bustle this is exactly what I needed to de-stress.

Honestly, I’ve always been a bit of a couch potato, so I’m a bit of a newcomer to the joy of outdoor pursuits. However, the views from the mountain and the sheer amazement of looking down on the city we are cooped up in for 5 days a week have convinced me of the errors of my sedentary ways. Not to mention that we went to Gwangan-Haesu-World (광안해수월드 if you want to visit), a sauna with a magnificent view of the Gwangan Bridge.

There's not even a filter on this one, Korea is just this amazing!

There’s not even a filter on this one, Korea is just this amazing!

With the weekend over and the rain coming down, today could seem miserable to some, but after such a wonderful weekend I’m not sure I could be happier.

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