And finally the first week end is there. Time to rest, but more importantly time for further immersing in the daily life of the Busan population.
As we spent all the week so far indoors for the official opening and for the different interviews with Busan municipality leaders, all the team was happy to spend a full Saturday outdoors. Most of the day was devoted for a urban walk along the coastal part of the “Galmaetgil Trail” (Seagull Trail). The Galmaetgil is a series of 21 trails that wind along the city’s coastline and through its avenues. The courses have been developed over the past several years and have proven popular for both locals and visitors alike. Walking the Galmaetgil puts hikers in touch with Busan’s natural beauty, along with giving them an appreciation for the city’s fascinating urban history and modern design.
The team decided to split into two groups, as understanding that we were not all trained at the same level for this type of “hiking”. The “bedridden male” team with Tony, Sebastian, Yongwhan and Frédéric left the hotel at 10AM while the “athletic female” team with Madhuri, KeeSeon and Joanne left the hotel at 11:30AM. The first team started his walk in a lovely harbor with local fishermen selling their fishes and shells.
We went then along the coast to reach the magnificent Haedong Yongung temple where the two teams gathered.
After a Korean seafood lunch, we continued our journey up to reach our final destination, the Haeundae Beach, after 25+ kilometer and near 400 m cumulated elevation. Nice experience for each of us, with different pains in the legs.
The day was clearly not over as we enjoyed the Busan Fireworks festival on the Gwangalli beach. One of the best fireworks I have ever seen, rich of a vivid combination of sounds and lights.
For the morning we have scheduled our “Community services Event”, as our Corporate Social Responsibility activity, which was held at the Centum Venture Town. This was an amazing opportunity for all of us to mentor middle and high school students, from 10 to 16, all as student announcers and volunteers in Busan English Radio. I was simply really surprised by the enthusiasm of all these young girls and boys, and more important by the relevance of the questions we were asked to answer. Some of them were really tricky to address, showing how the Korean youth seems to be more mature than their counterparts in Western Europe or North America. According to the Korean hospitality and culture, we received several nice gifts from them, and were invited at the end of the session by all the present moms to take photos with their own children.
After a team lunch in Busan down town, the afternoon was partly spent for souvenir shopping in the typical local Gukje market, and commuting back to the hotel for some remaining work on our SCC project.