Last week I was looking for somewhere new to go, so I decided to take a random bus to see where I ended up. Starting from the 'Yeouido Transportation Centre', which is a very grand name for the largest bus stop on Yeouido, I chose a bus I'd not been on before, that was heading south.
The number 261 took me south past Yeoungdeungpo, Mullae, Sindorim and Guro stations. Near Guil we crossed the Anyangcheon (The Anyang river that flows into the Han river) which looked interesting. I walked along the river bank and could hear the sound of drums and cymbals. The noise gradually got louder and louder as I approached a bridge over the river. Expecting to see a large troupe of drummers practising I was surprised to find just a family group of four with three drums and one of the children with the cymbal. They were sitting on a mat under the bridge happily making as much noise as they wanted!
Walking further I heard the sounds of a saxophone. I could not locate the source of the music, but it was another pleasant aural accompaniment. I crossed back across the river to Guil subway station and decided to head further out of town.
At Onsu station [photo] this church caught my eye and I decided to alight and investigate further.
It's certainly eye catching, but there was no information about it in English, so I cannot even tell you it's name.
Walking up the hill behind it I came to the Seoul city boundary [photo,photo]. Crossing the border, I entered Gyeonggi province which surrounds Seoul.
I walked passed the impressive Yuhan college buildings and through a residential area past many churches [church1, church2, church3, church4] . There was a mixture of low rise and high rise buildings and some small industrial units. I crossed the railway on a new bridge and observed the demolition of the old bridge underway [photo].
Walking up the hill the cityscape became much more industrial and the air was filled with the smell of hot plastics and the noise of metal being hammered from the many medium sized factories. I passed a learner driver centre [photo] and again the landscape changed very quickly to residential and again to horticultural [photo]. I followed a narrow lane, surrounded on either side with dense forest, and was surprised to come out into a green valley with just a few sheds and fields of vegetables.
The peace and quiet was unusual and it felt like a walk in the countryside. When a cockerel started crowing it really did complete the picture and I was beginning to wonder how I would get home again.
Of course it was not long before civilisation returned in the form of out of town restaurants of a variety of sizes and shapes [photo]. Two spirit posts, which traditionally mark the entrance to a town and ward off evil spirits, [photo] confirmed that I was coming back in town.
Coming around a corner I was greeted by sight of a large tower block complex[photo]. This pattern of development: rows and rows of tower blocks cut from the same cookie cutter mould is repeated all over the country. Is there not a single architect at the Korean National Housing Corporation with an ounce of originality? The good news for the future residents of this development is that subway construction is well underway here with an extension of subway line 7 from Onsu to join the Incheon subway at Bupyeong-gu office [map]. I explored the area a little more, taking in another church [photo] and admiring the Sang Rok school [photo] before jumping on a bus that looked like it was heading in the right direction.
The 23-5 bus took me past an interesting looking amusement park in front of the stadium.
It continued through Bucheon City, past City Hall, supermarkets, malls, department stores, shops, restaurants, tower blocks and churches before arriving at SongNae subway station on line 1. After photographing the urban landscape and adding another photo of the Statue of liberty on top a building to my collection, I took the subway back to Singil and a bus home.
You can view all the photos, along with a few others I took, as a slideshow here.
I thought this idea might make an interesting meme, I'm calling it 'Going for a walk, somewhere new'. So, where ever you are, if you'd like to pick up your camera, go somewhere you've not been to before and write a blog post on it then let me know by email or a comment. In two weeks time I'll gather all the links together in one posting to share with everyone.