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Journals from South Korea, Yonsei University

2009-03-14 Inwangsan Temple Walk

Hello hello hello! This week was yet another fun one :) Yes, I still absolutely love Korea and no, I am not sick of Korean food. I don't think that will ever happen because it is so flavorful and spicy: the two things that I love the most in my food. Anyway, my favorite event this week was a walk/hike/rock climbing expedition that I took on Saturday with Birgitte, a friend of mine from Denmark. There was a beach trip this weekend, but since both of us opted out of going, we decided to explore more of Seoul than just Sinchon: it was the perfect decision. The walk we took was by the Inwangsan Temple, and apparently it's a pretty popular place to go up and hike. What I noticed was that Koreans definitely take their hiking seriously: everyone (with the exception of me and Birgitte) was in full hiking gear, complete with special hiking sticks and full backpacks. Birgitte and I felt pretty unprepared compared to them, because all we had on were jeans and flats - we didn't expect our walk to turn into an actual hike! While I consider myself to be fairly in shape, this walk was a pretty good workout - like almost everything else in Korea, it was just stairs and uphill climbs. I think my legs are getting really in shape because of it, though! It was beautiful at the top: I've been under the impression that Seoul is a city filled with just greys, metal, and concrete, but I was completely wrong. From the top, you can see that Seoul is huge and full of buildings, but there are still lots of green hills and areas--more than I would have ever expected, to be honest. The weather was also perfect, as it wasn't too cold, but not too hot. What I enjoyed most (even more than the amazing view of Seoul!) was the fact that for most of the hike, I couldn't hear all the sounds of the city. There were lots of bird calls, the sound of the water, and the Buddhists hitting a drum and chanting, but no sirens or calls of people outside of their stores. I'm so happy to have found this area: it reminds me of Oregon and gives my brain a place to rest. Extra bonus: it only cost 900 won (about 50-75 cents) and 20 minutes to get there. I'm definitely making this a regular stop. Until next time! Jenny

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