Thursday, 23 June 2011

Busan and Beomeosa temple (28th September)

Today's destination was the Beomeosa temple and the surrounding mountains. On the way to the bus stop from Beomeosa metro station we purchased some food in a small shop where the owner also gave us some biscuits as a gift.

First we set off on a short circular walk near the temple, where we spotted a snake swimming up the stream and then a black squirrel with a white front. We sat down for a little rest to allow the troop of people behind us to overtake, but the group of ladies sat down on the bench and the rocks next to us. They then offered us ‘Korean Candy’ forcing Jenny to take the largest bit. It was rock hard, looking a bit like nougat with a coating of a floury substance which may have been derived from beans.

We had hardly had the chance to start hacking our teeth into it before another one of the ladies forced us to accept her chocolate digestive biscuits. This was very generous, but we thought we’d best get going before they came and offered us something else. The temple was made up of a lot of small very nicely decorated buildings, some a bit worse for wear, and we felt a bit bad not bowing at all of them like the locals did.

Any worries we might have had regarding freighter travel and the possibility of developing malaria whilst on the high seas should have been eradicated after a Korean lady came running up to me with a four leaf clover. Handing it over she told me it would bring me luck and then gave me a hug. Down the hill a man selling sweets got us feeding peanuts to a tame bird. After our temple visit we wanted to walk around the coast of one of the islands. Not having realised beforehand that it would have been about a 15km walk to where I wanted to start the walk we gave up pretty quickly. Inside the Lotte department store (no sweet Estonian animated character here, just a red lettered brand name) there was a huge fountain where every hour an ‘aquashow’ to music is held. The water came down and spurted up to classical music and the Koreans looked on in awe.

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