Saturday, October 16, 2010

Gyeongju Trip

Since Tuesday was yet another short day due to midterms, some of the teachers decided to plan a trip to Gyeongju  (about an hour drive East of Daegu). There were 3 other teachers, none of whom were English teachers... so I was a little worried about communication.
We headed out around 1pm and got lunch once we arrived. It was delicious and I have no idea what it was (as per usual). Ever since I first stepped foot in Korea, I figured I might as well try everything. Who knows what I will like?? The teachers always ask me if I know what I'm eating and the answer is usually "Nope!" By the time all of our dishes arrived, there had to have been at least 20 dishes on the table. Koreans love their side dishes, which of course includes kimchi.
After lunch, we drove to the main touristy area and rented bikes- 3 bikes for 9,000 won ($8)! Americans aren't used to trusting people with things like this. Collateral is usually left with the renter or the price of the bikes being rented is expensive. I'm not used to how trusting Koreans are with a lot of things. One of the teachers simply gave the man his phone number and off we went! I picked a little beach cruiser.... which ended up being the WRONG choice. More details later.
Such a local... throwing up the peace sign.
Beach cruiser=memories of Santa Barbara.
Too bad the last time I rode one was approx. 3 years ago.
We biked past a million kids: field trips galore! We saw...
Cheomseongdae Astronomical Observatory
Can't take credit for this picture...
Royal Tombs
(No credit for this either...
We ended up biking through the rice fields to get to Bomun Lake and got a little lost on the trails

Dead end... but we are problem solvers.
Crossed the train tracks 1 minute before the train flew by
We biked up this ENORMOUS hill which is why the beach cruiser was a bad idea. Granted, it had gears (weird.), but they didn't help much. The guys ended up waiting for us girls to get to the top of the hill. But when we got there, we got a beautiful view of the lake!

We then biked around to the other side and had coffee at some beautiful hotel. By the time we got back to the area where the bikes were, it was night time. We went into one of the parks and got some ice cream. Unfortunately I didn't have my nice camera because the trip was sprung on my last minute (like everything in Korea) sooo you all will have to make do with the lovely blurry pics

All in all, my first trip to Gyeongju was amazing. It was so generous for these teachers to invite me along! And for not knowing that much English, they were hilarious and I had a blast. On the way home we were testing out one of the teacher's Google voice command things on her cell phone. Basically, you say something into the phone and it will Google it for you. They started out with Korean words (by the way, I had no idea all of this was going on because they were in the back seat speak in all Korean) and then all of a sudden I hear, "Good morning." Then, laughing and a phone was shoved into my face. "Cait-lin? Can you say 'Good morning' into the phone?" Apparently my English doesn't produce accurate Google results on the Korean phone. Every time I said a word, it showed up on Google as something completely unrelated.... Then, another teacher would say something in English and it would recognize the word! Korean teachers:  "Look! I am native English speaker!!" "Cait-lin, maybe tomorrow you should take my Math classes and I will take your English classes." Haha

Ok, on my way to Daejeon for a Rock Festival/Oktoberfest (about 45 mins by bullet train-KTX). Updates on the rest of my week when I get back!

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