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충주 Chungju

In the Rain

I had this crazy idea that I could visit all eight provinces of South Korea. To that aim, I have come to 충주 Chungju in the center of Korea. The bus terminal is located in 롯데마트 Lotte Mart on the edge of the city center. The city center is like those of all other Korean cities.
A short walk to the west from Lotte Mart is 대문산 Daemunsan, a hill with 탄금대공원 Tangeum Daegongwon (Big Park). Today was a quiet day with dark clouds in the sky and so the park was empty. As I entered the park past the parking lot, the woman working in the entry booth waved me over. She nicely offered me a tourist map of Chungju.
The park includes a war memorial for the Korean War and a Buddist temple near the river. At the peak of the hill is a covered raised platform providing a nice view over the river. I was caught in the rain and heavy wind, but was able to take cover in the archery range. The old men of the archery club nicely invited me in and offered me some of their food and drink. I did not wish to impose upon them and had only a cup of pineapple juice (delicious, btw). Before too long the rain passed and wind died down and so I returned to my journey.
Before night fell, I hopped on an intercity bus to 단양 Danyang, a nearby town on Danyang Lake. There is supposed to be a ferry between the cities on the lake, but it can be difficult to get to without a car and without the ability to quickly ask which city bus to take.
I arrived in 단양 Danyang at night. The bus terminal (Konglish, sorry) is located along/over the river. The 고수대교 Gosudaegyo (Gosu Big Bridge) provided a nice view at night. I found a cheap love motel, though not one located directly by the bus terminal. I made sure to get a good night's sleep as I planned to visit Danyang's famous caves the next day.
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20 Mar 2010