There are not a lot of vacation days this year. Not a lot of three day weekends as the holidays keep falling on Saturdays or Sundays which makes it difficult to travel. So as soon as I finished flipping through my calendar and found a three day weekend I bothered a friend in Daegu who I haven’t seen in over a year to go visit. It was a short visit, I left work early on Friday rushed to catch all my trains and left early on the following Monday morning. Getting there was a bit of a hassle since my bus was late and I missed the ITX thus making it so I got to the KTX in Seoul Station just in time to run on the train before it left the station. It was about a 2 hour train ride from Seoul to Daegu and pleasant, though almost all the seats were facing backwards.
Daegu 대구 is the fourth largest city in Seoul (though they count Incheon which feels like part of Seoul as it’s own city, the other two being Seoul and Busan). It tends to be a hotter humid spot of South Korea since it’s land locked in a basin and surrounded by mountains and hills that trap hot or cold air. It has a relatively easy to use transportation system of only 3 lines. And if you have the subway app you can easily switch the app over to Daegu to get around. Line 3 which we used often, is a monorail while the other 2 lines are more traditional subway lines. Line 3 can get crowded with limited standing space and small platforms. Their bus system is pretty easy to use as well. With a screen and annoucements that state the current stop and next stop in both Korean and English, it’s just best if you sit somewhere where you can see the screen.
I had some difficulty getting my cash bee transportation card to work for the subway, it was a bit delayed at some of the stations causing me to walk into the gate. Single fare passes (to get you from where you enter the station to where you will exit even if you have transfers) are little coins. After walking into the gate too many times I ended up getting a few of these single trip coins. Upon entering you tap the coin where you would tap any other form of transportation card, but to get out you drop the disc into a coin slot. It took an embarrasing amount of time to figure that out.
The first thing I noticed after walking around Daegu was that almost everyone was armed with a drink. Something cold in their hand while shopping or walking around downtown. I pointed this out to my friend while we were trying to decide where to go for dinner and she said juice shops are very popular. By chance where we had stopped to try and make a decision was right across from a small Juicy stand. I double checked that they had 수박 (watermelon) which is one of my favorite juices and went up to order. It was so fresh that there were seeds at the bottom of my cup. It was very refreshing, especially after a long day of work and traveling. The stand I went to didn’t have English on the menu’s but it is a chain and the other ones might or even the ones in Seoul.