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stardust expect me when you see me


On the Road to Edo

The Shrimpman of Happiness

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stardust expect me when you see me


Some pics here.

So on Friday, I took the day off and decided to go to Gonju. It was just an hour and a half from Seoul by bus so it seemed like a good day trip if I didn't push it. My only problem is that I've developed a bit of plantar fasciitis from all the walking I do and because I have low arches so I've been trying to rest, but I also have tons of places I need to go. I won't be able to rest until I get back to the US basically. Anyway, getting to the express bus terminal was a pain in the arse, but catching the bus was easy enough. I got to Gongju around noon and had some shrimp fried rice (bokkumbap) for lunch. Then I bought some chesnut pastries. I was looking for ice cream but they didn't have me but the shop owner heard me muttering about it and gave me a different kind of chilled chesnut pastry. I then tried to find the bus that went to the archaeological sites but I couldn't figure out where it was so I gave up and took a taxi.

I went to the Songsan-ri tombs and the site of King Muryeong's tomb (who is probably the most famous of the Paekche kings). The weather outside was gorgeous if rather hot so it was nice to be inside the museum on site and explore their fake tomb sites. I then headed up to the tombs. The path was being reworked so I'm not sure if we were supposed to walk on it but a group of Japanese tourists were so I blended in with them. I climbed all the way up the hill, had an amazing view (see pics), and then saw a sign to the Gonju National Museum which was the other place I wanted to visit. Rather than going back down the hill and walking around it, I just followed the path down the other side of the big hill. Thus accidentally going up and over a small mountain. Oops. On the way down, I saw a unified Silla tomb and a deer that was so overheated it just sat there while I walked by. The path was steep going up and going down but it really did bring me out right next to the museum. I headed inside, refilled my water bottle and headed to the second floor because a huge, noisy school group was there and I wanted to look at King Muryeong's tomb artifacts in peace. I passed them going by while making my way to the first floor and going backwards through the exhibit. This worked rather well since it's not like I don't know a lot about the artifacts anyway.

From there, I headed out towards the parking lot, hoping to find some taxis loitering. None were to be seen, so I accidentally wandered into a replica of the Chosun administrative areas and then into the Gonju Hanok village full of old traditional houses. Everyone was lingering inside to avoid the heat so I almost gave up and tried walking back towards the station but my feet were killing me and after wandering for a bit I spotted a convenience store. I bought an ice cream, a sports drink to replenish my electrolytes and asked for the local number for a taxi. I then sat in the shade, enjoying the village and my ice cream before calling a taxi. One came quite quickly and picked me up and brought me back to the bus terminal. 20 minutes later and I was back on a bus towards Seoul. I was exhausted by the time we hit the express bus terminal so I stopped to have some Myeongdong kalkuksu, which is meat and noodles soup, presumably in the myeong dong style (or from the famous store there). That replenished my electrolytes some more before I made the long journey home, pretty much limping from all the subway line changes. But I made it home by 7pm. Not bad for a day trip.

My feet hurt, but it really was a lovely trip and such a beautiful day.