Field Trip to Gyeongju!
On Tuesday morning, I came to work and immediately loaded a comfy greyhound style bus with a bunch of 6th graders...
... headed to Gyeongju, which was once the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla (Korea's old name before it was divided into North and South Korea) from 57 BC - 935 AD. It's a city often referred to as "the museum without walls", so it's no surprise that we headed there for a school field trip! In America, kids go to places like the Recycling Center, the Planetarium, the local Zoo or a fire station for field trips. In Korea, we go to Ancient places that date back over 1500 years!
I think Korea wins!
It's also no surprise that we watched the PSY concert on the bus's giant TV the whole way there? If you know the "Gangnam Style" song with the silly dance, you know PSY! And if you know Korean girls, you know how much screaming went on during the 1 1/2 hour bus ride!
First stop on the trip was Seokguram grotto, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In order to get up to the famous Buddha carving and beautiful temple structures, you've got to do a little hiking. Lucky for us, it was a GORGEOUS day! :)
Yep, the hike is worth the view up atop this gorgeous mountain overlooking the mountains and ocean!
No field trip is complete without a class picture for the yearbook!
You can buy a roof tile if you want and write your own little message. I love this idea!
No tourist area is without a gift shop... Even a Buddhist temple!
Next stop was Bulguksa Temple, originally built in 751, and also a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has since been burned, rebuilt, destroyed and rebuilt again. I guess a lot can happen in 1500 years!
The beautiful pond on the temple premises was covered with lily pads...
I always get so excited when I see monks at temples, as if they're celebrities or something!
The kids were really excited to be here...
...and even more excited when we told them they had an hour to go off and explore by themselves!
Can you believe they put us 5 goofballs in charge of 62 sixth graders?! YIKES!
I spotted a lonesome wishing rock pile on the wall...
Everyone does their part to up-keep the temple grounds!
This is the result of one of my 6th grade students (also a budding photographer)
asking to use my camera to take my photo! :)
Where the monks call home... Not too shaby, eh?!
The temple was a huge success and super relaxing! ...I almost forgot I was in charge of all those pre-teens! I spent most of the hour perusing the grounds with Hana and Okk (The two female teachers) and a bit of time just snapping photos for the yearbook page!
Next stop was lunch on the fields surrounding Bulguksa Temple.One of the 6th grade student's mom's made all of this food for us (the teachers!) I've never had to bring my own lunch to a school field trip because the parents always provide it! Awesome perk, eh?!
This is our sweet "special" boy and his mom! I love, love, love this kid!
The kids were all buying these $2.50 snake stuffed animals and whipping each other with them! lol
Heck, even Hana bought one of the stuffed animal snakes... Although, she had a good reason for buying it - She has a 4th grade daughter who'll love it!
My co-teacher, Okk Jung, and I soaking up the last moments in the grass!
Last stop was the Anapji Pond, originally constructed back in 674 CE for the big wigs in the Silla dynasty to have parties and relax! Yes please!
Beautiful Anapji Pond!
After walking around the pond, we all bought some Korean style ice cream from a vendor at the gate and jumped back on the bus for our 2 hour ride back into Busan! It was the perfect ending to a fabulous day full of sightseeing, photography, picnicking, exploring, and enjoying yet another day of my blessed life here in Korea! :)