While Seoul is by far the largest city in Korea, it’s not the only thing to see, and eventually we did have to leave. On Saturday, we left Seoul for Gyeongju, a historical city South of Seoul. The bus ride took about 4 hours (with stops for snacks). It was really nice to drive through the Korean countryside, especially since we’re spending most of our time in cities. I didn’t appreciate Korea’s natural beauty while I was in Seoul, but it was on full display during the bus ride.
Korea is extremely mountainous, and those mountains are incredibly beautiful to drive through. From the greenery on the trees nearest us to the far away blues of the distant mountains, the landscape was breathtaking. I spend nearly the entire bus ride just listening to music and looking out the window.
When we go to Gyeongju, we had nearly an entire day of free time, so we decided to walk to a local amusement park we spotted from the windows of our hotel rooms. The main draw to the park was the prospect of a riding on massive orange rollercoaster we had spotted. So, on entering, we made a beeline to the Draken. The line was long but worth the wait it was probably one of the best rollercoasters I’ve been on. After that we went on a spinning pendulum ride, which was also great. It was the kind that swang all the way around, and actually held us directly upside down for multiple seconds before continuing its swing. I found it strangely relaxing, and a few of my friends thought so too.
After that we took a detour to get extremely cute cotton candy, and made our way to my favorite ride of the day. It was like a Lazy Susan, but tilted off it’s axis pretty sharply. Around the edge were benches with cushioned backs, and a railing above the backs of the benches. The Lazy Susan span, adhering you to the back of the bench (but not strongly) and at intermittent intervals the whole ride popped up to jolt you out of your seat. It felt a lot like being in a popcorn machine, if that machine were also tilted at a 45 degree angle and spinning. The best part was that there was no bar and no seat belt, so most people ended up desperately holding on to the railing behind their seats so they wouldn’t fly off. When I first saw the ride, my thought process was “there’s no way this ride would actually hurt me if I didn’t hold on, right?” so when I rode it, I decided my hands were staying off the rails the whole ride. This was not a sentiment literally anyone else on the ride shared. I didn’t die though! The spinning of the ride meant that I wasn’t really in any danger, although I did slide around and crash into my friends on the bench a bit.
After The Lazy Susan, we rode the Ferris Wheel, the Teacups (I love the Teacups), the Lazy Susan ride again, and one final airplane ride, which was like a smaller version of the pendulum ride, except that there were something like 6 pendulums going at once in a circle.
It was really nice and relaxing to have a bit of a slow, purely fun day after running around Seoul for nearly a week.