Last weekend I had the privilege of going to the 7th Busan Fireworks Festival hosted by Gwangalli Beach and the Gwangan Bridge. I had the desire to go but I did not have the desire to stay the night in Busan. The fireworks show was scheduled from 8:00-9:00. The buses stop running at 9:00(as I found out on the way back from China Read about it here) This meant that if I wanted to see the fireworks I would just miss the last bus and need to find something to do with the 9 hours till the 6:00 am bus. No longer my idea of a good time.
But then something happened. I was sitting at home and my phone rang, I hesitated to answer it having received a number of calls in Korean lately but got up to see if I recognized the number. Turns out I had won a round trip ticket to the Busan Fireworks Festival in a private car all I had to do was say yes.(Oh the life of having friends with cars, it's something else, let me tell you) The invite(I mean victory) was pretty short notice only allowing me enough time to put on some clothes and grab a few slices of sustenance before needing to run out the door.
We got to Busan and were greeted with the typical backlog of traffic. We inched our way closer to where "the action" was going to take place, we began to catch sight of droves of people making their way on foot. It appeared that we should have already parked. All too soon the traffic parted and there we were, about to cross the bridge. Thanks to some quick thinking we managed to avoid the bridge. Thanks to our foreignerness we managed to get past the police line and parked just a few short blocks from the beach.
Due to the length of notice I received, I did not have time to look out my window to see what the weather was doing before I left. As a result I was not prepared for the rain that had decided to join us on our evening out. All I could do was pull my non waterproof sweater hood over my head and hope I would find a cute Korean girl with her own umbrella that would be kind enough to share with me...
One thing you may not know about Korea is the amount of Koreans there are here, this country is full of them, they are literally every where you look. The country of Korea has been rumoured to have the highest number of Koreans(per capita and outright) of any country in the world. Let me tell you, it seemed like they all had decided that they wanted to see things explode(as if they didn't see enough of that in the 50's).
There were so many of them our view looked like this(thankfully we were tall and Koreans are generally sma...rt):
The fireworks themselves were like nothing I had ever seen before. That is not entirely true, they were fairly similar to every other fireworks show that I have ever, seen put together and multiplied by a couple or two. The volume of fireworks going off at any given time was pretty out of hand. They would have a sequence, like the one above and below, that would last 20-30 seconds, volleys after volley.
They lit off the fireworks both from the bridge and from barges in the middle of the bay. It was great! I can only imagine the safety procedures needed to shoot fireworks off a bridge.(I literally can only imagine, no one actually told me)
As you can see from the pictures it was still raining and I did not wipe my lens very often, as a result, a whole album of gems has turn in to an album of goat feed. It's more about the experience though, and this was up there.
Bonus story: After a while of taking pictures from behind a lamp post I decided to find a better angle. I managed to find a nice little space a few rows from the water and as the fireworks alternated from bay to bridge the people shifted enough to allow me to get right to the front. What did I find when I got there? A cute Korean girl who offered to share her umbrella with me. What are the odds?