This weekend started on Friday night with the English department's first meal of the year, which I'll tell you more about later. I left around 10:30 to pack ready for my weekend in Daegu.
Daegu is about an hour away on the KTX from Busan. This is where my closest roller derby team is. After I strap on my skates, it's always well worth the journey, the team are all so nice and the hours whizz past so fast. The other half of the league who are based up in Seoul came down to join us, and one of the girls brought her sister along, Kim Jen Illin, who plays for Durango Roller Girls.
After practice Nick and I headed out for some dinner, but retreated back to the motel earlyish as we were both so exhausted due to roller derby and football. We'd decided to stay close to Dongdaegu train station as there are lots of motels there, and it also meant we could leave our stuff in a locker there to pick up later.
The next day we started out bright and early to discover Daegu. I'd only ever seen the inside of the train station and the streets of Daegu rushing past me as I sat in a taxi on the way to the skate rink, so I thought it was about time I spent some time getting to know Korea's 'fashion capital'.
We started with breakfast at Starbucks where I tried their Berry and Hibiscus drink, which I thought was amazing. We followed this with a stroll through Dalseong park via Gukchae-Bosang Memorial park.
It was really nice to be somewhere that actually feels like a park. More often than not in Busan the parks are hilly and foresty, rather than having lots of green grass you can laze around in. What's more, the park had a zoo!!!
We started by seeing the llamas, deers and a very sorry looking Zebra. We then followed the crowds passed the bird enclosures, with things such as peacocks and hens. Then we came to the eagles and vultures that had tiny cages which made me a bit upset. But it wasn't anything compared to what we were about to see. There was a huge baboon in a small cage, next door to a bear. This was followed by a bengal tiger and then two enclosures that had two wolves in each. The enclosures were so tiny and you could see that it was driving the animals mad as they walked back and forth. I'd heard that zoos in Korea weren't too animal friendly, but I didn't expect to feel quite so shocked and sad.
Further around the path there was a larger open air enclosure with walls covered in bright paintings of Winnie the Pooh, then the two saddest bears sat next to a dried out pool, one of which was gnawing on a piece of litter that had blown into the enclosure.
That was enough for us, so we left the zoo part although I did notice two other larger enclosures with lions and tigers in it, but it still wasn't great.
To cheer me up, as we left, Nick bought me a bubble gun(which I'd noticed a kid had been blowing one right into the vultures' cage). And we lightened the mood by blasting the old ajummas along the street with colorful bubbles. Needless to say, they weren't impressed.
We walked through the markets where people were busy buying, selling, chopping and frying, with the smell of food drifting out from small pathways in the street. By the time we got to Duryu park we were incredibly hungry. We stopped off at a small Korean restaurant to grab some bibimbap, and toyed with the idea of going into E World, advertised as Daegu's biggest theme park, I didn't realise that Daegu was an emporium of so many theme parks! As it was pretty late in the afternoon, we gave it a miss and walked through the second grassy park of the day, this one had a 'Kolon concert hall'. We eventually found a golf range where Nick decided to have a go.
After an impromptu exit after he thought he had broken the ball machine, we made our way back to Dongdaegu station with about 2 minutes to spare before our train left. I'm yet to see why Daegu's called the fashion capital, but it was another tiring, yet good weekend!