My alarm rings at 4:12 am. It feels like someone has glued my eyelids together. I picture a warm hot morning coffee in my hand and push myself gently out of bed with the image of a new exiting city and the beach and the ocean that are waiting for us down South. I am supposed to meet with Wouter and take the first metro to the train station and travel to Busan together with him and Tony. The fresh autumn air feels good on my face on the dark and calm early morning streets. On the train I finally get to enjoy my morning coffee. Traveling has always inspired me to write and I can't go anywhere without a notebook. To me, this is a perfect kind of morning.
I have been curious this city ever since I knew I was going to South Korea. People refer to it as the "Barcelona of South Korea" and make comparisons with places like Rio de Janeiro. I have always loved the combination of a lively city life and the beach, an open access to the sea. Busan is not an exception.
Ina and Diane arrive a little bit later in the afternoon and we meet up with them to check in to Terra Guesthouse in Jagalchi (자갈치). We are overjoyed to see the open view over the harbor from the guesthouse rooftop terrace. It feels like we could not have chosen a more perfect place to stay at.
Colorful houses and seafood
Waking up the next morning is a little easier. Honestly who could complain when a day starts with a morning coffee on a rooftop by the sea. Life is good, right here, right now.
Right downstairs from our accommodation we find Jagalchi Market (부산 자갈치시장). I cannot properly name half of the seafood sold there but it is definitely an interesting experience for a city child to see what it actually is that ends up on our plates at a restaurant.
Another famous place, Busan Gamcheon Cultural Village (부산 감천문화마을) is walking distance away from us. Anyhow, we end up taking a bus up the curvy road on the hill that leads us to this colorful site.
We are definitely not the only ones to explore the place. This is probably one of the most touristic attractions I have visited so far during my stay in South Korea. I can totally understand why. The area is very charming and unique in it's colorful composition.
A huge part of any trip is of course who you share it with. These girls, Ina, Diane and Isabel (who unfortunately could not join us for Busan) have been a big part of my experience not only in Busan but also during my whole stay in South Korea. I cannot count the times I have laughed so hard that my abs are getting sore and I am almost out of breath. They are the perfect combination of crazy and smart. Three loving, passionate and determined young ladies that I admire and am lucky to call my friends.
During our stay in Busan we sat in silence at a coffee shop, each of us working on our own stuff. The next moment we were sharing some of our deepest thoughts, hopes and fears at the dinner table, finishing it all in laughter that fills bot the room and the heart. Never ever underestimate the importance of wholehearted people in your life. I am so grateful to have all of them here and many of you back home and all over the world.
Our last day we were just waisting time at the beach before getting back to the train station. I started to read some of the most beautiful sentences in literature, gathered and listed by Buzzfeed.
I am just gonna leave some of them here, together with some more photos from the beach.
Keep exploring, stay honest and wild at heart.
"It frightened him to think what must have gone to the making of her eyes."
- Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence
"There is a sense in which we are all each other consequences."
- Wallace Stegner, All The Little Live Things
"Sometimes I can feel my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living."
- Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
"At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great."
- Willa Cather, My Antonia
"And rest is rust and stardust."
- Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita