Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blog 7 - March 15

This week saw the last snow (hopefully) before spring and cherry blossom. Snow is still a novelty however, we have been lucky in that we arrived early February towards the end of winter. Traditionally there are 24 mini seasons here. According to the Korean Lunar calender, each of the four seasons comprises six further subdivisions which are the climatic 'turning points'. For example,Usu is Feb 19 when the first spring rains come and the first buds appear, March 6 is Gyeonchip when frogs stir from their hibernation and April 20 is Gogu when spring rains fall.

The view above is outside our apartment.

My friend Seung Hee showed me a beautiful mountain walk a few minutes from home on Thursday. There was nobody around - bliss!

Getting away from it! These images were of Sunday climbing Gwanak Mountain with hordes of others escaping the city. This is the mountain we see from our apartment - the sun rises over it. We walked from home - it took about 4 hours to climb and descend. It was steep, very slippery and icy with snow melting and refrozen. I had heard of the crowds on the weekend but could not imagine it until I saw so many people. Next time will go during the week or begin at 6.00am!

The scenery was very beautiful and I can understand why so many people walk here. Off the beaten track, and if you got a chance to look up, instead of where to put your feet so you didn't tumble down the hill, the views were stunning. This reminded me of the stones on my website. Perhaps I could add this image when I update it.

Cups supplied for drinking from the mountain spring.

A dream come true! At the summit, 629 metres, we were amazed to see a coffee machine and an enterprising salesman selling hot noodles, beer and soju, which is the Korean equivalent to sake.

One of the main attractions is the holy temple that is towards the top of the mountain. Someone told us on the way down that the Buddhist monks provide free lunch, however we were too late .

Not free lunch - people having snacks at the temple. Damien on his way to find us a place.

The eternal search for coffee continues. Found an Illy cafe near COEX complex while waiting to meet Liz and Matt, colleagues from Adelaide, for dinner. We were so impressed we returned with them after our meal of garlic mushrooms, tofu soup, sushimi, shaved beef in pepper sauce and bean shoots. Sorry, we were having too much fun and forgot to take photos.


bonnlee said...

That's your new career, Susan. Open a tea room with black tea and good coffee! We'll be there like a flash. Love the snow capped trees and rocks. Beautiful. Temples are fabulous too.

Anonymous said...

I like the sound of the walk up the mountain Susan, so maybe you could put that on the 'list of things to do with JM and AM'. It will be spring then and the snow will be gone?????????!!!!!!!!

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