One weekend we took another last-minute, hastily “planned” road trip to the historic city of Gyeongju. Our sole guide and source of information was wikitravel, which seemed to contain just enough information for the amount of time we had. Our goal for the weekend was to take in some of the historic sites, see a temple or two, set up camp, maybe go on a hike and of course eat some good food. In particular a restaurant described by wikitravel as being “foolish to miss.”
The drive to Gyeongju was short — only about an hour from Deagu — and beautiful. We passed fields of gleaming gold grain and pastoral villages nestled in between mountains. Once we hit the countryside we opened our windows and let in the intoxicating fresh country air.
In no time at all we had arrived. We drove by a park and the last remaining stragglers at the end of a marathon until we found ourselves in the part of town with narrow one-way streets and traditional Korean homes intermingled with seemingly empty mom and pop shops. Round and round we drove, circumnavigating the same two square blocks, searching in vain for this restaurant. More than once we pulled off to the side of the road or pulled into an empty parking (?) spot to consult various gps maps, scour the internet for more details, and/or ask directions from a similarly clueless passing stranger. It seemed as if nobody in town had heard of the place and apparently it did not exist on either Korean or GPS maps of which we tried at least three, punching in the name in both Hangul and Romanized Korean.
There’s a moment in getting lost when you have to decide whether to cut your losses or continue the maddening search out of principle. We are definitely the type of people that fall into the latter category. At this point we had so much time invested, were too annoyed, and had driven around the block one too many times, to give up now.