I want to Ride My Bicycle. – Freddie Mercury
Gyeongju Anapji Pond by Bicycle!
Feeling like a couple of teenagers, we keep riding our rented bikes past Gyeongju tourist sites and along trails cut by Kings from way back when. The tourists have awoken and start clogging the city giving all the attention to the Silla-era tombs. We move along a nice path headed towards temples and museums, away from the thick of Gyeongju’s attractions. Following whatever road signs come our way, this is a great day for a bicycle ride. I don’t care about seeing things at the moment, as toying with gears and getting used to the intricacies of this machine are more fun.
I shift up and down even when the time doesn’t call for it. I’m riding a bicycle for the first time in years and loving it! We reach what seems to be the main drag’s end before turning around. Signs point back to town or towards Bulguksa and we knew that was too far away for a quick ride. The sun has already peaked but the heat and exercise are making me sweat on this beautiful September day. Heading back towards town, we stumble upon a place that everyone knows – Anapji Pond. Possibly one of the most famous spots to photograph in Korea, I expect yet another gem in Gyeongju’s crown.
The original site at Anapji Pond dates back to the 7th century and the recreation certainly delivers on its promise to leave us with a fabulous end to an day spent in Silla’s former capital. The palace overlooking it holds treasures found during excavations in the 1970s. Nobody comes for that, as the view of the building with the pond brings people here. The most popular shots are taken at night and unfortunately, we’ll be elsewhere then. This is our last stop before having to return our bicycles, but not before another zip around streets and sites that hold so many memories from a distant yet beautiful Kingdom. Onward!