The start of summer in Korea

This past weekend definitely felt like the official start of summer. It was the first time we wore shorts (since about October last year) and the weather was so lovely and warm. The flowers out at the moment are amazing, there are bright colors everywhere. The azaleas are in full bloom, the cherry blossoms are long gone and the trees are beautiful and green. Everything is looking alive and happy compared to the long, dry, brown winter. The cat is of course content with life as she gets to watch all the noisy birds and lie in the sun.

I'm sure these mildly warm temperatures will be short lived as I can imagine we will be boiling soon enough. But in the mean time we are making the most of this weather. We are enjoying lots of morning walking, running and hiking. Last weekend we went to the Bukchon Hanok village in Seoul and it was good to wonder around in the sun and eat. icecreams

Our time in Korea will be coming to an end soon. We have just one month left here, I can't believe it! Time seems to have flown in the last few months. We are looking forward to making the most of our time left here and enjoying the start of summer.

Beautiful Gyeongju

While cherry blossom season was in its prime, we visited the old city of Gyeongju. Visiting Gyeongju has long been on my bucket list because it is the ancient city of Korea. It was once the capital during the Silla dynasty (57BC-935AD) and is filled with ancient sites. It is also a really popular tourist destination as it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gyeongju is really far from Jeonju so our time there was limited. We caught a bus via Daegu which made the trip about 4 hours. 

We went to Gyeongju during the first week of April and the amount of cherry blossom trees constantly blew my mind. My mum was visiting us in Korea for the second time and she timed her trip well to see the beautiful spring flowers. They were in full bloom everywhere but unfortunately the weather was rather miserable. The actual city of Gyeongju is a bit of a dump with the attractions scattered around the outside. It's really easy to find your way around because there aren't any skyscrapers blocking your views and things are well signposted. After we arrived in the afternoon we wondered to the area of the Daereungwon Royal Tombs. On the way we passed beautiful streets lines with blossoming trees.

The entrance to the tombs is 2000won. Under these mounds there are kings and queens buried. The park was peaceful with not too many people around.

At the back end of the park you can walk out to the Wolseong Forest and the Cheomseongdae Observatory. This area was really beautiful and the blossom trees were huge. You can rent bikes to ride around but we opted to walk. Just as we were at the other end of the forest, it started to absolutely pour with rain and there was thunder and lightening too! With no umbrellas, we had to sprint (along with many others), to find shelter. The rain didn't stop for ages and we were completely drenched. We had wanted to visited some other sites around like Anapji pond in the evening, but we were soaked and cold so we went back to our hostel for an early night instead. Although I was disappointed not to be able to see everything I had wanted, I still enjoyed the seeing the tombs and all the blossoms.

A must thing to do while in Gyeongju is visit Bulguksa Temple, which we did the next day (post coming soon).