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Published: April 15th 2015
We got up in the morning and packed all our things, as our time in Busan was over. After saying goodbye to Dong Keun's family we left and met up with Minjeong again at the metro station. Minjeong was angry with us, because we were late, although we were the ones who insisted on meeting so early and I could totally understand her. If I was in her place, I would have gone berserk, she stayed quite calm. Our first stop was the bus terminal in the northern part of the city where Astrid and I wanted to leave our backpacks in a locker, so we wouldn't have to carry them to the temple we wanted to visit in Busan before leaving for Gyeongju.
We found lockers that only took change and had the fun activity of putting 30 coins each in a slot... It only took us what felt like forever, but eventually our stuff was locked up and we were ready to go. Outside we got in a cab, because we didn't want to lose more time on buses and such and after a short ride that only cost us about 4€ we arrived at the Beomeosa Temple.
Once we got there, we visited every part there was to see, even the one that was closed off for public at the moment, as monks were praying there. We hadn't seen the sign and walked in there anyways, so a nice young monk asked us to leave and not to disturb them further. Before leaving the temple again, Minjeong and Dong Keun had some holy water and we took a break in the sun, enjoying the nice weather. For the way back we took a taxi again and it turned out there was a bus leaving to Gyeongju very soon when we arrived at the bus terminal again. While our Korean friends got tickets for the bus, Astrid and I went back to the lockers which were a little father away to get our backpacks. We still hadn't had breakfast, so Minjeong bought us some gimbab and a soda which we could eat on the bus. The bus ride took around 50 minutes which Minjeong and I used for a nap and at noon we had made it to Gyeongju.
Our first destination there was the tourist information where our Korean tourguides got all the important information
about Gyeongju. We then started to make our way to the first attraction, the Tumuli Park. There you can find a bunch of hills. Nothing special, you might think, but in reality those hills are family graves of very influential Silla monarchs. Silla was one of the three kingdoms of Korea and lasted from around 57 BC-935 AD. The bigger the hill, the better the family. It was kind of a crazy sight, because the modern city had just been built around these graves and so you could now see a hilly field surrounded by modern buildings. We also walked into a part of the park where there was suddenly a small cotton plantation. A bunch of people were picking cotton and it was really random, because there were those graves around and some historical sites and this cotton plantation for some reason. Signs around the plantation said to please stay away from it and not to disturb the people. Why was there a cotton plantation in the first place in the middle of a historical park?! I'll never know. After a little walk we arrived in a little Hanok village and a young couple was taking wedding pictures. Dong
Keun whispered to me I should say "Gyeolhonchughahabnida" which meant something like "Congratulations on your wedding". I said it to them and they both started laughing and thanked me. After visiting Cheonmachong (Heavenly Horse Tomb) which is open to visitors and where you can see a cross-section display which shows the construction of the hilly graves, we slowly started walking back to the bus terminal.
At 5pm our ways parted. Dong Keun took a bus back to Busan, Minjeong went to a town nearby to see her grandparents and Astrid and I left on a bus to Seoul.
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