[personal profile] niori_1709
Here we come to the last day of the Buddha's birthday long weekend trip to Namhae. Day three, as it turned out, managed to be the best and the worst day of them all. Day three, once again, started off behind schedule, which led to some of the worst frustrations of the day.. We left the hotel a good half an hour than we were supposed to, which is never a good way to start the day. Despite all that, we finally got on our way.

The first place we went to was the last of the beaches that were promised to us. This beach was an interesting mix of the first two we went to. It was the smallest one, and had a mix of sand and rocks, depending on what part of the beach you were standing on. It did, however, have the cliffs right to the water's edge, and the surf was rough that say, so it was awesome to watch the white caps hit the rocks, and the spray to go up so high in the air.

We weren't actually there for the beach. We were there for the zip lining. It ran the length of the beach (granted, that wasn't all that large) and over the waves. I'm scared of heights, so of course that meant I just had to do the zip line. I got to the edge of the platform, and they strapped me in. It actually wasn't all that high, especially for a girl that few up climbing around sea caves. Looking down, it was even like that, what with the churning waves, damp air and grey sky. They pushed me, and there I went, angling down towards the other side of the beach. I spun around a couple times, and my laughter might have gone a little bit hysterical (not from fear, but it tends to do it when adrenaline is involved). It was only (maybe) ten seconds until I reached the platform on the other side, and I kept laughing after I landed. It might not be the most exciting thing I've ever done, but it was still one of the most fun moments the trip.

From there, we had some free time on the beach. I had the best Korean barbeque I have had to date for lunch, and then the moment I had truly been waiting for came. When first looking into trips to take for the long weekend, Namhae had only vaguely interested me at first. All the things I've written about so far sounded great, but it hadn't stood out to me as a 'must do this!'. Then, I got to the last of the activities- a dinosaur museum. There would be a visit to a dinosaur museum, and from that moment, I was sold. As I've said before, I really love dinosaurs.

This is where the best/worst part of the trip comes in. A number of people wanted to stay at the beach. Of course, it took a good ten minutes for them to decide to do it, and another ten to figure out who was going there. Because of all that time wasted, we only had an hour to get there, see the museum and get back (why we had to get back to them at the leaving time, instead of them having to wait until we were done at the museum at the allotted time, I don't understand- especially since they're the ones that screwed up the plan. Yes, I'm bitter). By the time we arrived at the museum, we only had about forty minutes to see it. That is why it was the worst part of the trip. It was the best part of the trip because the Goseong Dinosaur Museum was completely awesome.

The Goseong Dinosaur Museum was the first dinosaur museum in Korea. It's located in the middle of Hallyeosudo National Park and close to Sangjogam County Park (famous for the rocks on the beach, called 'ssangjog' or 'sgangbal' -which means 'two-legged rock' because they look like dinner table leg-shaped stone caves). The museum is divided into two parts: The Dinosaur Museum, which is inside a giant, interestingly designed dome shaped building, and The Dinosaur Park, which is the outdoor museum.

Since there was a ridiculous amount of time restraint, the majority of my time was spent in the indoor section of the museum. The inside section of the museum is divided into seven sections. The first exhibition hall is Capital of the Dinosaurs. This is just like rooms you find in dinosaur museums around the world. It's full of dinosaur bones of all types, big and small. There's full skeletons, which are always fun to see. There's information signs in both Korean and English, so that's always helpful. In this section there is also a video room, but this is solely in Korean, so it was of no use to me.

Exhibit hall two is dedicated to dinosaur footprints (the inclusion of this room will make sense later). Like the skeletons, there were a number of different types. Pictures are above each fossil, showing where the fossils were found. That was a nice touch, and places the fossils in a context of the world, not just as cool looking stones.

One of the coolest rooms in the museum was the Cretaceous Dinosaur Room. First off, in order to enter the room, you need to pass through a door that is a giant T-Rex with a wide open mouth. That's right- you have to act like you're being eaten by a T-Rex to get into the next room. That was the coolest thing I did all weekend. Inside the room is just as cool. It was designed like a jungle in the cretaceous period, complete with animatronics dinosaurs. I love moving dinosaurs, and was as excited as a five year old as I followed the brilliantly designed path.
Next up was the most interactive room in the whole museum. There are a bunch of things you can touch, including some fossils. You can stand next to a huge bone from a sauropod dinosaur leg and see how your height compares (spoiler alert: a person is very, very small next to one). Another fun part was there was an area where you could run as fast as you can to see if you could outrun specific species of dinosaurs (another spoiler alert: you really can't, so prepare to be lunch).

Exhibition hall five was a bit of a rehash of the first, though it was organized differently. This time it was in chronological order: Precambrian Era, Palaeozoic Era and Cainozoic Era. For those of you not well versed in palaeontology, those eras are, in order, from the formation of the Earth to about 4600 million years ago, 541 to 252.5 million years ago (and the era where most of the dinosaurs we know lived) and 66 million years ago until the present day. Basically, all of Earth's history is covered from the very beginning.

There's also a special exhibition room, which rotates art not related to dinosaurs. I didn't get a chance to see the room, but it's filled with art from various in Goseong itself. The main hall is also great, because it features the most impressive fossils in the museum. There is a standing on two legs, neck held all the way up, pterosaurs. Pterosaurs is a huge long neck, and it's glorious to behold the skeleton. There are also skeletons of carnivores and herbivores that lived in Asia during the Mesozoic Era (252 to 66 million years ago). There's flying dinosaurs hanging from the ceiling, predators looking like they're roaring, herbivores looking like they're graving, and so much more.

That was it for inside dinosaur museum. While I didn't get a chance to see much of it, there was still Dinosaur Park to explore. Most of what I saw was the sculptures that were all over the place. The first sculpture is actually at the entrance to the museum. There's a rather gruesome statue of an unfortunate herbivore being taken down by a pack of raptors, in all its bloody glory. There are more sculptures, and most of them were extremely life like. On top of the statues, there are some massive dinosaur art outside, including a massive metal statue that forms a huge long necked dinosaur and an interesting grip triceratops.

The Dinosaur Park also has a dinosaur playground (which is really cool, since the rides were basically designed as dinosaurs), Japanese cypress forest, Rabbit and White Deer Hill, topiary garden (the bushes, of course, shaped like cutesy dinosaurs) and Flower Hill. With time restraints in mind, I had to skip on seeing most of these.

There is a crowning jewel of the dinosaur museum, one that I didn't get a chance to see (making it the most disappointing part of the trip). It was the dinosaur and bird fossil site. Down on the beach, there are fossilized dinosaur (amongst other creatures) footprints from the Cretaceous period. They go on for miles, and a visitor can literally walk in the footprints of dinosaurs, on the path they walked millions of years ago. It still disappoints me that I didn't get to experience that. It would have been amazing, knowing you were walking in the same place as a dinosaur, with actual evidence right at your feet. Especially in a place that's one of the top three dinosaur footprint fossil sites in the world.

There is only one thing left to talk about at the Goseong Dinosaur Museum, and it has nothing to do with dinosaurs. It actually has to do with the path down to the parking lot. It seems an odd thing to mention, but trust me, it was epic. You don't walk down to the parking lot. Oh no, you slide down. Yes, you read that right- you sit down on a slide of those little rolls you see on shelves to move boxes, and then slide right down through the tube to where your car awaits. It was the most random, ridiculous thing I have ever seen...and it was one of the silliest, most fun thing I did in Korea. I'd recommend the museum just to do that!

After rushing back to the beach to pick up the rest of the group, there was nothing more for us to do than start the long ride home. With that, my Buddha's birthday long weekend to Namhae came to a close.

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