Usually for Chuseok we get at least 2-3 days off. Last year I got two days off and spent my long weekend in Seoul going to amusement parks. This year I slowly made my way down to Gyeongju to spend our five-day weekend exploring the old Silla Dynasty capital. My friend booked us a hostel and we took the slow Mungunghwa train to the city. Our hostel was interesting, shocking to my friend and a bit less of what I had hoped when we arrived. It had a nice nature vibe, with a yellow gate and tall trees in the small yard to shade the house and the garden. A cute white dog greeted us rather excitedly, barking to get the hostel owner when we pushed open the gate. The house was two stories, dark wood and filled with statues, figures, masks and books from the owners travels. It reminded me a bit of one of my aunts homes, down to the seemingly out-of-place frilly pillows. It wasn’t the style my friend had hoped for and she had also thought we’d rented an entire room to ourselves and was rather put off to learn she’d instead booked us a room with four guys. Not ideal, but it wasn’t terrible, the snoring wasn’t great, but I had packed ear plugs since I knew we were staying at a hostel and assumed something like that would happen. What I wasn’t prepared for was that the toilets and shower rooms were outside. And that the showers were set to a timer to lessen pressure and heat after what felt like five minutes.
But after dropping our stuff off we made our way back towards a restaurant we’d seen on our way in, that had looked packed. Outside on the window of nordic it boasts brunch and tea and coffee, none of which is really on the tiny menu. It’s a small restaurant with limited seating but popular enough that it never seems to be empty. There were only four options on the menu for food, the Nordic salad, an open sandwich, grilled cheese sandwhich, or french fries. After seeing what other people had ordered we decided on the Nordic Salad which was a bit intense.
The Nordic salad included lettuce and dressing, tomatoes, apples, bananas, oranges, egg, avocado, cheese, cheese filled sausage, almonds, fig and probably something else I’ve forgotten. The top layer was delicious. The sausage was amazing, but underneath the cool toppings was bitter lettuce drowning in a dressing that was too strong. I tried to eat as much of it as I could before giving up and just sticking to what was on top. They also serve a variety of alcohol from beer to champagne and fresh juice.