Well maybe not the scariest, but it’s definitely on the top ten list, more on that later though! This weekend started out like any other, we planned our days after sleeping in a bit on Saturday, we planned to go to Gimhae! This was an area of Busan I hadn’t really been to, and it’s kind of like it’s own city. We took a different kind of subway there, it was the light rail transit. It was similar to an airport shuttle, everything was above ground and it allowed for some amazing views. I enjoyed it a lot! We missed our stop, but it was alright! We quickly made our way to the international district of Gimhae. It was great because Grace always knows the most interesting places to go. We went to a Burmese restaurant first. It was delicious curry, we had beef and prawn. The restaurant itself was a bit of a dive. It felt like we were in someone’s livingroom. The curry was delicious though, but we didn’t want to stay longer than we had too.
The portions were small, they were good but at 6000w a plate, we didn’t really find it to be the best bang for our buck. So, we decided that since we were still hungry, we headed to another restaurant. This was probably one of my favourite dishes I’ve had since arriving to Korea, and it was Moroccan food. I’ve never had it before in my life, nor did I have any idea of what it was, but we had the most delicious lamb dish. We split it three ways, and it was so good! We were served a bunch of banchan (side dishes) that were delicious, some baba ganoush, carrots in lemon juice, other kids of carrots, pasta salad, they were great! As well, there was this AMAZING tea. It tasted like caramel and sweet syrup, it was so good. We had two full pots, and I still wanted more. We also got some fried bread to start off and it was very good too. The staff there was so appreciative of our patronage, and we were so glad we went there.
After lunch, we wandered around Gimhae a bit, it was a bit chilly so we stopped for a hot drink (mmm lemon tea!) and then wandered around a shopping area. We also had ice cream covered in popcorn? It was weird but so good! After Gimhae, we headed to a part of town I was excited for! Sasang is an area with a lot of international markets, and the closest place with an e-Mart and HomePlus. These are just other grocery stores in the area but they’re supposed to be cheaper than Lotte Mart. We explored both stores and the international marts thoroughly, and I’ll be going back soon! It was a great day.
Afterward, we headed home for a bit and then went out again! Concluding our international food day, we had Japanese ramen for dinner. It was delicious miso soup and I really enjoyed mine. Then we went to see Hector and the Search for Happiness, it was a good movie! I really enjoy the Deokchon area of town.
On Sunday, there were plans of going up the mountain on a cable car. And maybe a bit of hiking. I really thought there would only be a bit. Well, I was greatly misinformed. We took a cable car up the mountain, and then started our hike. I was excited because it was mostly downhill, and then we got to the edge of the Seokbulsa temple. This temple was BEAUTIFUL but this is where the “scariest” thing happened. To get to the temple you basically had to walk on an extreme incline, that was paved but it was VERY steep. I was dragging behind my friends, slowly making my way up. I heard my friend yell “Hey guys, wait up we can’t see Brittany!” and I remember saying “I’m right here, I’m not going anywhere.” Then I made it to the top of that part of the incline. In total there were about 5 inclines you had to scale to get to the temple. This was incline 3.. When I made it to the top of that one, I instantly felt winded beyond belief.
I have NEVER, EVER felt like that in my life. I have been exhausted, I’ve been tired, but this was the most extreme and indescribable experience. I tried to breathe but I couldn’t, I couldn’t get breath into my lungs to matter what I tried. I could hear my throat whistling and gasping, making sounds I have never, ever, heard come from me before. I remember after I said I sounded like a broken flute. It was a high-pitched whistling, that just choked me. I couldn’t breathe, and in my fear I started sobbing. I leaned on a rock, hoping for it to pass. Luckily my friends came rushing over, and they tried to calm me down. I’m not the most rational person when I’m completely okay, so when they told me I should sit down I just couldn’t. I was too focused on the fact that I couldn’t breathe. My throat is still raw today from that, but I survived. My friend let me use her inhaler, which I know isn’t the safest thing, but it really helped open up my airways. I don’t know if it was a panic attack or what, but I’ve never felt like that before in my life. I felt like I was going to die.
After resting for a bit, downing some water, I conquered the rest of the incline and saw the beautiful Seokbulsa temple.
This temple is built into the mountains and it was beautiful. Simple, but beautiful. I wanted to enjoy the rest of the hike, but I had fallen on my way to Seokbulsa, and had some pseudo panic attack so I really just wanted to be home. Well, I didn’t get home until HOURS later, we hiked for nearly 6 hours, from Onchenjong to Hwamyeong. I looked at a map and it is incredibly long. It did have beautiful views but my body is so sore today.
I’m really thankful for the people I went with, Lynette, Tom and Milli especially because they walked at a slower pace with me at times, and always made sure I was okay. I enjoyed hiking for the most part but I’m just not at the right level for it. Haha. Korea does have some beautiful mountains but I really need to be in better shape to really enjoy them thoroughly. I want to get there though, but for the rest of 2014 I think I am going to hang up my hiking shoes.
I need my knee/body to heal from that experience, haha. For this week, I have a weird schedule at work (when do I not? haha). I’m just going to take it easy this weekend! Like all experiences I don’t regret this one at all! I saw Busan in a way I wouldn’t have from anywhere else, and I can say I scaled a mountain’s ridge proudly. I will wear these sore muscles proudly for the next few days.
Hopefully more exciting things to come, I’m sure Busan has plenty more surprises for me!
Until next time!