Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mountains to Seaside: Sokcho

This past Monday was Buddha's birthday, so it was a national holiday in Korea and meant a day off from school. Woo! I visited the eastern shore of Korea with a few of my foreigner friends. We've got a little gang going on. We visited Sokcho and stayed right by the Seoraksan National Park. It was just beautiful, as you can imagine, and, well, see for yourself. Mountains still amaze me. Northern Illinois is not known for being very mountainous. When I got to Minnesota, where I attended college, I was in awe of their bluffs, which look like crumbs next to some of the mountains here. These aren't even the biggest! Korea is, like, 60% mountains, it's crazy.

Anyway, while it took us sometime to get there, it was well worth the waiting. Like I said we stayed in a hotel within walking distance of a nearby national park, Seoraksan, which boasted miles and miles (or rather, kilometers after kilometers) of paths for hiking and climbing. Yeah, the path we chose to take took us high up into on the the many mountains. I love climbing over rocks, don't get me wrong, but man, my legs were tired. I didn't even make it all the way up like some of the others I was with did. I saw some amazing scenery, regardless though, and it was a beautiful day for it (even if it rained briefly). 

It was such a nice day, that we decided to go the beach and soak up some rays alongside the Sea of Japan. I tried dipping my toes in, but DAMN that water was icy cold. I didn't get any pictures of us at the beach (there wasn't much to see other than our sexy bodies, a lot of koreans NOT in bathing suits, but in regular ass clothes, and little behbeh's runnin around nekkid), but a friend of mine, Kaitlin, managed to snap a picture of me learning to walk a slack line. It's fun! Bette, you should try it. Find some hippies in a park with one and join in. Luckily, Kyle (who arrived in Korea just days before agreeing to come on this trip. Brave!) brought along his, so we were able to put on a pretty good show.

The next morning, Kyle, Alyissa and I got up early to go back to the national park to take the cable car up to another mountain top. We didn't get to it the day before, and we really wanted to climb around and explore some more (and I didn't want to work as hard for it this time...). Unfortunately (or fortunately) though, that morning was really foggy, so there wasn't much to see. It was an interesting sensation ascending and descending into a cloud on our way up and down though. And it just gave the whole mountain top an eerie, peaceful feeling. And, since it was Buddha's Bday, we got to pay our respects at a mountainside temple.
this monk was cool. except he kept saying "chicago" and making gun gestures and noises. i assumed he was referring to the mobs in the 20's an 30's? hahaha, or not...

It was a great weekend, and though my legs may hurt some, it was great to move around and get some fresh air. And I went with a great bunch of people! Can't complain!

School's almost out, Bette! What a wonderful summer vacation you have coming up! I know you have some fuckin' sweet ass plans coming up this summer. Something about a cruise? And it being your first summer at the legal drinking age.  I wonder what I should do for vacation? Other than come home ;) I've still got until August to decide...


p.s. Thanks to Kyle and Kaitlin for the pictures I borrowed!

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