Travel day! First, off to the train station to catch a train to Gyeong-ju. We easily found our bus to the city center, where we changed to yet another bus, which dumped us off on the side of the road on the middle of nowhere! After a nice walk, we arrived at our templestay — Golgulsa Temple, a Buddhist temple that is headquarters for Sunmudo, a meditative martial art. After a delicious vegetarian dinner, we participated in the bowing and listened to the evening chanting of the Buddhist teachings. Then it was time for our 90-minute Sunmudo training! Wow, what a workout! Fun, but extremely challenging!
Day one was hot…highs approaching 100, and humid as a Florida afternoon! Day two brought some typhoon rain…but we still had a good time.
The day began with a quest for coffee. We discovered that while there are many coffee houses here, they don’t open until 10 or 11 am. We had delicious Korean-style breakfast at our guesthouse (which included amazing coffee, whew!), followed by a long walk to Dongdaemun market…a massive shopping area, where Janet did some fabric shopping. Nuri took off for some adventures on his own (lunch in a massive food market!). We explored the neighborhood around our guest house a bit and found some dinner, then crashed…between the heat and the time change, we were exhausted!
This day pretty much consisted of walking in the rain! We we explored the Bukchon neighborhood, which has many hanok, the traditional-style buildings. We had lovely pizza for lunch (served with pickles!) and then headed to Changdeokgung Palace to visit the Secret Garden. It was very beautiful, even in the rain. We were invited to join a dinner party from our guesthouse, so we ended the day with dinner with several new friends!