Food & Gyeongju Trip

Published on 7 April 2023 at 11:03

Rick Steves once said, "I’ve learned that eating in Europe is sightseeing for your taste buds." I feel the same way about eating in Korea. Today was a culinary delight! My day started with croffle (croissant waffle), fruit, and café latte. For lunch we took a short bus ride to get spicy chicken dakgalbi, followed by a strawberry bingsu, which was somewhere between sherbet and shaved ice. Simply delicious! 

In the afternoon we met Kayleigh and the three of us caught a train to Gyeongju. We arrived at our hanok (traditional Korean home) after dark and dropped our bags before heading out to see historic sites. The hanok we stayed in was wonderful! Hanoks were first designed in the 14th century, and of course ours had a few modern conveniences, my favorite being the heated bidet toilet seat.  It was cold most of the weekend and that hot seat was just the ticket! Our bedding on the floor was surprisingly comfortable as the mattress was just thick enough and the warmth from the ondol (heated floors) made it feel like the entire mattress was a big electric blanket.

We put on the warmest clothes we had and walked through the tourist area into the park where we found Cheomseongdae Observatory, the oldest surviving astronomical observatory in Asia. Built in the early to mid 600's, its name means "Platform of Gazing at the Stars." A Korean friend of Caroline's later said earthquakes had shifted the stones over the centuries, so preservation is a priority for the government. It was certainly interesting to see bathed in colored light. 

Restaurants were closed by time we left the park, so we ate ramen at a convenience store, which is fairly common here. It was warm and tasty, just what we needed for the cold walk back to the hanok.