I do not consider myself a skilled bike rider. I got my first cycle only last spring as a mere means of transportation after I returned to Korea (I did not want to get myself into a tragedy of driving on Korean roads). However, as I grew more comfortable on two wheels I became more ambitious and began dreaming about traveling around Korea on my new favourite toy. At least that was the plan before I got hit by a car while I was crossing a street on my bike in one August afternoon.
My body recovered quick but my mind could not escape free from the traumatic moment when I was forcefully separated from my bike in a split second that seems much longer in my memory. I was afraid to grab onto my bike handles for almost 6 months and it came to a point where I’ve had enough. I needed to face my fear and defeat it. Approximately 140km in below zero degree weather was my challenge. A perfect way to get back on the road.
It seems that every spring Korea is buzzing with cherry blossom fever at around this time of the year. No wonder people are excited to go see the flower trees at the “hottest viewing spots” such as Jinhae or Yeouido as you cannot deny that these trees are more beautiful when many of them are together and are in full bloom. Near the city of Daejeon, the cherry blossom festival held at Donghaksa temple in Gyeryongsan Mountain is famous among those seeking a perfect photo zone.
So another friend of mine is visiting from Vancouver and this one also wants to travel to Busan while she is here. For some reason, my Korean friends from Canada are fascinated by the country’s largest port city and I do not blame them for it. Most of these Koreans were born in Seoul and moved to Canada when they were little so they never had chance to visit so many places in Korea (just like myself). However, they have seen and heard stories about how Busan is a big tourist spot and it makes sense that they attempt to squeeze in a short trip to Busan within few weeks of their stay in Korea.
For me, the best part about living in Daejeon is that I get to taste freshly baked bread from Sung Sim Dang (성심당) whenever I want. The historic bakery is now more than just a bread shop. It is an iconic landmark of the city and one of the hottest tourist attractions.
Nowadays, the bakery offers countless creations but there are two original signature breads that have given Sung Sim Dang its fame: Twigim Soboro (튀김소보로: fried soboro) and Pantarong Buchu-bbang (판타롱 부추빵: pantarong chives bread).