Monday, May 17, 2010

Failing to Find Geumjeong Mountain Performing Arts Festival...

Usually I'm the over-prepared one of the group. Travel buddies groan at my detailed itineraries.  Classmates used to beg me for my color-coded notes.  Organization just helps me feel calm, especially since I get distracted so easily (remember when I sprained my ankle because I got distracted by something shiny?) There was a festival on Geumjeong Mountain yesterday that I thought would be oh so easy to find if I showed up in the general area.

Fail. FAIL. I never found it. I hadn't even written down the name of it (which obviously I couldn't remember) so I could properly ask someone where it was.  However, I did manage to have a wonderful time wandering around. Normally I don't mind being lost in Korea. But I was trying to show some newly arrived people a good time and felt like I utterly failed. I mean they had good picture opportunities but a festival would have been the perfect way to kick start a trip in Korea.

I started off back at Beomeo Temple...which was completely wrong though i wasn't the only person looking for the festival from there. 
All of those papers hanging down are wishes/prayers/hopes.  So beautiful...and yet buying one is not QUITE as spiffy as making your own lantern. Just saying.

I finally made it to the right part of Busan...but I was about 4 kilometers from where I need to be. Look at the people passing by....decked out in hiking gear. The trail was easy enough to comfortably manage in my Birkenstocks for several kilometers. Oh well, this gate thingy that I found was pretty cool.

After walking a few more kilometers in the wrong direction we decided to wander back to Busan Station where the lantern festival thingy was supposed to end at 8 with a concert. The concert was...interesting but I didn't see any festival related to it. Maybe the lantern lights were it? Not terribly exciting.

My favorite part of the day: randomly discovering a public hot springs foot spa outdoors on the way from Geumjeong mountain to Oncheondong Station.
 This is what normal people do at a hot springs bath after hiking around.
This is what I do. Got all of the Koreans laughing and smiling though. Oh the crazy foreigners. I did manage to sit still and enjoy the hot water though. Which was ridiculously hot. Look at how red my feet got after 5 minutes!
My skin is normally not the same color as my nail polish.
I love Korea. Where else in the world do you randomly find hot spring foot baths?


Nancy K said...

What a great idea, places for the weary tourist!

Alex said...

That's what I said! Nothing feels so good as a hot spring to relax your feet after hours of walking.

dtleung said...

Wow. I'm going to have to try that when I'm out in Busan. Any festivals coming up during the upcoming weekend? (May 28-30)

Alex said...

I'm not sure but to be honest, head to any Buddhist temple and it will be an incredible mass of lotus lanterns, monks, and kitted out Koreans. Beomosa is particularly beautiful (and easy to get to with the subway).

dtleung said...

Sounds good. I'll check it out. Thanks Alex.

Have you spent much time out in Seoul or have you been out in Busan for most of your stay in Korea?

Alex said...

Last year I was in Anyang, just south of Seoul on the subway line so I did a lot of tourism in Seoul. I've in Yangsan (just outside of Busan) for about 6 months now.