I had an amazing night of sleep, which isn't hard to imagine after yesterday. I checked out at the 11 AM deadline and headed to a nearby café for breakfast and to wait till about 13:00 for the train to my next destination, Daegu.
Daegu is the 4th largest city in South Korea, and it's famous for its mountains and apples. I arrived a couple of hours later, as I booked tickets on the cheapest, but also the slowest train. It was time for dinner and a wander around my Airbnb apartment.
The next day it was time to explore the surrounding mountains. I picked the mountain range in the south first, which is most famous for Apsan mountain.
There are many entrances to the park, and I picked a more obscure one, starting from Wolchon subway station, where a little trail start that is less traveled but also more obscure.
The route isn't really marked, and many branches were created by people looking for a good view.
I managed to get lost and accidentally got back on a different trail that happened to go in the right direction. #winning.
Once at the top, the views are excellent, as is common in South Korea.
The way down was less interesting, as from half-way down the mountain, you follow a wide road that's quite annoying to walk on and it started to irritate my knees.
On the way down, the exit was near a temple (as is common). An interesting detail is that they have these air hoses at almost every park exit/entrance. You can use these to dust off your clothes/shows; they are quite handy!
There were still a few hours of daylight left, and with "just" 25.000 steps, I thought it'd be nice to explore Daegu proper some more. Starting by getting an iced americano and some relaxation at Gyeongsang-gamyeong Park.
My end goal of the day was to visit a nearby market that transforms into a night market, where I could get dinner. That transformation happens around 19:00 in the evening, so I still had an hour to fill.
I wandered around the neighborhood and found this alley of shoe stores. Each store had a watercolor drawing of its storefront in its window, which was quite fun. Even the scooter is there!
I'd make the same face if I had to lug around a heavy stone on my back.
Market time! I haven't had Tteokbokki since arriving; time to rectify that. Tteokbokki is a spicy Korean snack made from Rice. So good! I also got some rice-filled dumplings... I guess I'll have to get more vegetables tomorrow to compensate.
The next day I explored the mountain range to the city's north. It takes about an hour by bus (401) to Palgongsan park. And from there, it's straight up the mountain to a temple at the top.
This isn't the temple at the top, but at the bottom :)
First, it's time for breakfast/lunch. Convenience store Bentos are a godsend for hikes. So much delicious food in a neat package for a great price.
This is the temple at the top :)
This is just the first (and hardest) part of the hike. From here on, I could walk along the ridgeline across other mountaintops.
I talked with a fellow hiker in Korean and English for half an hour, discussing the route, as my end goal, the highest peak, was 7 Kilometers away and would take more time to hike than daylight left.
Remember I said the hardest part was over? That doesn't mean there's no climbing, though; it still goes up and down quite steeply.
I decided to take an earlier path down the ridgeline in order to get back out before it got dark.
The path down was great; no wide concrete path to ruin your knees, but a lightly traveled tiny little path that meanders around a little stream that you cross about ten times during the descent.
The last hour was super relaxing, and I hadn't seen a single soul on the trail. I can happily recommend descending at trail marker 38, a recommendation which I found here.
All that was left was a quick walk to the bus stop and a bus ride back into the city. Some dinner (multiple hamburgers from No-Brand Burger) and a nice hot shower.