Last weekend I was lucky enough to get time to spend with some of my family. My aunt and uncle had planned a whirlwind tour of Korea and China to show their kids (my cousins) where they were from. I was able to meet them for the weekend in Busan, one of many stops on their jam packed vacation. They weren't scheduled to get into Busan until Saturday evening but I wanted to make the most of the weekend so I got up early and caught a train to Busan. I looked into a few different ideas for the day and since the weather was pretty nice when I got there I decided to start with Yongdusan park (Dragon's head mountain) and Busan tower. It seemed pretty close to the train station so I decided to walk.
I had one goal for the day - find some Paejeon [바전] which is kind of like a pancake made from eggs, flour, green onion and various other ingredients. I found mine in the Mokja Golmok "let's eat alley" of Seomyeon [서면]. Basically a big area with a bunch of vendors like the lovely lady above who made my lunch - Pajeon with squid. Nom nom, and all for the bargain of 1,500 won ($1.50).
My next destination was Haedong Yonggunsa temple, I read a few different blog posts about this place and got some vague directions - subway line 2, exit 7 and bus 181. I accomplished the above but soon realized I didn't really know where to get off the bus. Here's where my smart phone, Hangul reading abilities and keen observation skills kicked into high gear (along with a little luck). Google maps gave me a good idea of where to get off the bus and I tried the best I could to read the bus route and listen to the announcements (but to be honest they all sounded the same) then I spotted a girl with a nice Nikon SLR camera - she had to be going to the temple. New plan: follow that girl.
I get off the bus and look around, there was the girl with the camera and her (what I assumed to be) boyfriend, along with four other Korean girls who looked about my age. To be honest we all looked lost at this point, I turned to the girls and asked if they were going to the temple - (luck on my side) they all spoke some English and told me to follow them. After a few U-turns and asking for directions we figured it out, and I was no longer traveling alone :)
By the time we finished touring the temple I had to catch a bus back and to the hotel to meet the family, I got there in (what I thought) was perfect timing and was glad to see a couch in the lobby where I could wait - my legs were ready for a rest. While waiting I discovered an email from my cousins Alivia sent around 4 o'clock - I must not have had reception at the temple. She was letting me know they had missed their train and would be late. No problem for me I was fine resting on the couch people watching - I felt bad for them, second day in Korea and already travel problems.
Where to start. After living in this country for three years I have memories, experiences and stories galore. I'll now always be a bit partial to the Land of the Morning Calm. Filled with delicious foods, beautiful nature and friendly people, I'm always happy to return.