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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bullfighting and wine tunnel!

Yesterday, I jumped on the train with Aaron to see a bullfight in Cheongdo!

This was my 7th train ride in Korea!

... and Aaron's 9th!

We had a 50 minute "layover" in Miryang, so we decided to check out the town! I loved this wall that was painted with traditional Korean people! I like to think even the olden day Koreans liked to give high fives!

We found this park near the river with a basketball court! Aaron showed me how he could touch the rim!

I didn't want to be athletically inadequate to Aaron, so I showed off my gymnastics abilities! Check out that perfect 90 degree angle!

After taking a 2nd train ride and then jumping on a local bus... we made it to the Cheongdo Bullfight! Here's a little Korean bullfighting history for you! *** Bullfighting in Korea is a 1000-year-old tradition, with its roots in the territorial fights that establish grazing rights between the bulls. The farmers were quick to see the benefits for themselves, should their bull emerge victorious, so they began training them to win! It is not all about strength and aggression though. These carefully trained bulls are awarded points, in much the same way as martial arts, for such recognized moves as pushing, head attack, neck attack and more. Nowadays bullfighting is a really popular sport in Korea. It has moved from rural farms to massive arenas with hundreds of thousands turning up to watch!!

Koreans LOVE mascots! These were police mascots! We couldn't pass up a picture opp!

Outside the arena, they had a stage with rotating acts... musicians, traditional dancers, singers, etc...

Like I said... Koreans LOVE their mascots!

The arena! And yes, it filled up with excited fans!!

Me and Aaron

I love how healthy Koreans are! This man was selling corn during the fight!

During the break times, performers would come out on the stage set up in the arena! This group of girls were so funny! The last time I saw anyone playing a keytar was in Robert Palmers "Adicted to Love" music video in the 80s!

Nothing like a traditional dance with baskets!

The bullfighting begins! (My super duper zoom lens was working double duty today!) These pictures were taken from our seats at the top of the arena!

The bulls obviously get really tired, as each fight lasts approximately 20-30 minutes! I think this little guy wanted some water!

I tried... but he won!

After the bullfighting, we stopped into a little restaurant for some dinner and then took a taxi to the famous Cheongdo wine tunnel... An old railway tunnel turned wine ripening and tasting place! The tunnel dates back to 1905!

The inside was nothing short of magical and romantic! We did some wine tasting, cookie eating, walking, picture taking, relaxing, and simply taking in the beauty set before us!

At the end of the tunnel, the entire opening was draped with these beautiful blue lights...

It was time to catch the train back to Busan, so I said my final goodbye to Cheongdo and headed back on the train after spending another fantastic Saturday exploring and experiencing Korea! :)

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