Sunday, April 11, 2010

A river walk and small discoveries

Last Sunday marked the first day I made a formal decision to brave the weather without a coat.  Since we had been out late the night before, (simply playing Wii I assure you) we got a bit of a late start, but by mid-afternoon we ventured out into the sunshine.  Strolling a mere two blocks put us right along the river, so we decided to go for a walk.

The first step onto the path brought us this gorgeous view of the nearby hill.

 To cross the river, stone steps formed a bridge, and amazing blossoms bordered the path on both sides of the water.

And there were a few cute ponds parallel to the river.

Spring has definitely “sprung” here in Busan.  The flowers are virtually everywhere.  Along the path we saw daffodils, roses, and the country's signature cherry blossom.

Outdoor exercise equipment is prevalent here, with people of all ages engaging in various work outs at different points along the river.  There are weights, bars, arm and chest machines, even something resembling an elliptical.  

Here, the simplest of them all, traditional hula hoops.

Eventually we wove our way out of the riverside park, and found the closest subway stop.  I was determined to find “Loving Hut”, a vegan Korean restaurant we had visited once before.  Going in, we were fairly certain we knew where it was, but it turns out the 8-way intersection above the subway was not as easy to navigate by pure memory as we had thought.

We took a wrong turn and ended up in a tangle of tented meat, seafood, produce and even candy vendors.  It reminded us of an underground market.  We almost felt like we were intruding, being foreigners.  The vendors and customers all seemed so at home (which I guess they were), and here we were just gazing, wide eyed, at all the visual stimuli there was to take in.   

I found myself face to face with a stuffed pig’s head at the exact moment Ryan warned me not to look.  Oh well.  At least the fruit and veggies were pleasing to view.

Once we found our way out of the market's maze, we had basically given up on locating the restaurant, our original destination.   We went to Lotte, a nearby luxury hotel and asked for directions.  Finally we found it.  More details on Loving Hut later.  It deserves its own post : )

After eating some vegan noodles and purchasing some soy dogs, we were on our way.

A shared Coldstone brownie ice cream was perfect for dessert.  Before heading home we stopped into a bookstore, where we found one lone section housing books in English.  

 It was promising to know we could find them somewhere if we’d like.  Exhausted, we hit the subway and went home.  

 It's funny where a river walk can take you. 

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