Monday, May 14, 2012

Historic Gyeongju

Back on Saturday, April 28th I took a bus up to Daegu early in the morning.  MY then picked me up in his car and we took a little road trip out to the historic town of Gyeongju.

Gyeongju was the capital of the Kingdom of Silla during the 7th, 8th, and 9th centuries.  The Kingdom of Silla ruled about 2/3 of the Korean Peninsula.  Gyeongju has many historical sights and some more modern places also.  

I fell asleep on the car ride out there (about a 1-1.5h trip) and woke up as we were getting close.  Gyeongju is an odd mix of rural and urban that houses about 300,000 people.  So, it's only about a third the size of Changwon, but still 25x larger than Niceville in terms of population.  It was very different from the other places I've been here in Korealand.

Our first order of business when we got there was to go to a traditional tofu restaurant and proceed to stuff ourselves on delicious things:

We ate almost all of it.  The metal bowl is rice.
There was spicy kimchi and tofu stew.  A kind of tofu porridge.  Poached eggs?  Maybe, I don't know what to call them.  Tofu steak with yummy sauce, and an endless selection of side dishes.  

After filling our stomachs we went to the Buddhist Temple, Bulguksa.  I took a video when I was there, but it didn't turn out too here's a few pictures instead:

The Bell
So pretty....but so hot...
Green Lake
These pictures just don't do the place justice....
Hot, tired, but happy
A very familiar flower for us Floridians...
After we left the temple we were going to go see a giant statue of Buddha, but MY's gps kept directing us to this gas station in the middle of a few houses surrounded by fields.  No Buddha statue in site.  So I took a few pictures while he fiddled with the gps.

Middle of Nowhere
More familiar flowers
The road to nowhere...except that no roads really go nowhere.
Eventually MY gave up on getting his gps to stop being stupid, so we went to a museum instead.

This museum is called The Love Castle and is eerily familiar to a museum I went to in Amsterdam.  The main differences being that this one was much bigger and MUCH naughtier.

So, hear that Amsterdam?  You and your liberal people just got trumped by the traditionally conservative Koreans.  As they say, watch out for the quiet ones...

Okay, I'm inserting a page break here.  I'm not going to put up any truly naughty pictures, those will be available for viewing on my computer when I come back to visit in October, but here's a few not quite safe for work pictures:
Bunch of Ahjessi and Ahjummas that were arguing over price.
The rather extensive museum.
This statue reminded me of the one in Grandpa's front yard. 
There is a story behind this.
And here it is.

Ultra Chicken!
MY wanted to pose with the statue.

So I posed with my own statue....

Yes, I'm 'showing' my wares....

And here's MY doing the same....
The car these two were in was constantly shaking...

After leaving The Love Castle we drove around some more before heading back to Changwon.  Where we spent the evening playing Starcraft....

All in all, it was an amazing weekend.

The next weekend the most exciting thing we did was see The Avengers (which was AWESOME).  

Next entry should be about the adventure I had this past weekend.