last weekend was a three-day weekend, and we decided it'd be a good opportunity to head to gyeongju. salsa was unsure whether or not she could come, so al, kimchi, and i took the 7 am bus on friday morning. upon arrival (around 10:30), we decided to head out to the coast thinking that would be a fun place to stay for the night. during our trek, salsa called us and said she had gotten a bus ticket for later that afternoon, so she could meet up with us. we hit the jackpot with the coast- there was a whole line of motels along the water, so we got a motel room with a sea-side view. it was awesome to go to bed/wake up the next morning to the sound of waves. oh summer, i've missed you so.
anyway, while we waited for salsa, al and i decided to go to girim-sa, a mountain/temple. we found the bus we needed to take, but that only dropped us off at the bottom of the mountain at a rather empty intersection. we weren't sure how far away the temple was, so we decided to walk, but then nixed that idea because of the traffic and lack of sidewalks. we headed back down again and tried to hail a taxi, but taxis were few and far between. so, we asked the lady working at a convenience store if she'd call a taxi for us, and soon we were on our merry way up the mountain. it was quite happening, seeing how it was buddha's birthday AND children's day- music, people, and decorations galore.
after walking back down the mountain, we headed back to the motel just in time to go meet salsa. i'd been feeling like crap all day and we were all tired, so we called it a night.
saturday was pretty foul, weather-wise, but that didn't stop us from doing some sight-seeing. first, we went to see the underwater tomb of king munmu. it was definitely underwhelming, considering the rain and the fact that we were dropped off on the beach and there was no tourist information there. hard to believe it's an important historical site. yep, just a big pile of rocks in the sea. we came, we saw, we conquered, and ran back to the bus stop.
after that, we went to bulgok-sa, checked into a motel, and headed across the street to the mountain. despite the crummy weather, it was definitely an awesome place. lots of temples and gorgeous scenery. there are some great views there, including a spot where you can see the tops of the temple roofs- total crouching tiger, hidden dragon gone korean.
after that, we headed back to motel. not able to handle the rain any longer, we decided to go into the city to find a movie theater and see mission: impossible 3. it was decent entertainment for a rainy saturday night, just what we needed.
we were up bright and early sunday morning to take the 10:40 bus back. and so ended our trip to gyeongju. all in all, it's a great place to visit, and you could do it a couple of times without seeing the same thing twice because there's so much to see. the city is pretty widespread, and getting a taxi for the day or befriending someone with a car would be beneficial, but it's not completely necessary. the bus system is pretty good and quite reliable and got us where we wanted, and we spent way less than we would have if we used a taxi all weekend.
it was good to get back on sunday because all of us were beat and i was sick all weekend. not quite sure what happened to us, but all three of us ended up getting sick- al and salsa were both pretty much projectile vomiting sunday night and through monday. i wasn't throwing up, but my stomach most certainly wasn't my best friend. let's just say my toilet and i got a little bit closer. salsa's convinced it was food poisoning, and maybe it was, but that doesn't explain why i had a temperature of 101 on monday and felt like absolute crap.
on a more interesting note, i was tested for mono last time i went to the doctor, and i got the results back when i went in on tuesday. turns out mono is the reason i've been getting sick, and it's leaving my body now. just good to know why i've been feeling like crap off and on since february. anyway, i'm still not quite over whatever it was that i got over the weekend so this week has again consisted of coming home and going right to bed. i think now more than ever i'm looking forward to going home just so i can be HEALTHY again. salsa said the second she was home for that week over easter, her swollen glands started to go down (i'm convinced she also had mono because she also has been sick non-stop). also, one of my coworkers said his wife never got sick back home, but was sick for pretty much her entire time here, and was completely fine once she got home again. so that's one more thing to look forward to!