Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Trip To Inwangsan (인왕산)

Today we had a day off school for Korean Liberation Day.  Held every August 15th, it commemorates Korea's liberation from Japanese rule.  From 1910-1945 Korea was a Japanese colony and Koreans were forced to speak Japanese, eat Japanese food, and take on Japanese last names.  And all kinds of horrible things happened.  So Koreans have much to celebrate.

And WE always get a day off school the first week.  It's awesome!  Today the weather cooperated and we had a beautiful blue-sky cloudy day to go on a hike I've been wanting to do for a while!

Seoul is surrounded by mountains.  We typically go to Bukan Mountain, but I recently read about Inwangsan from this 40 Things To Do in Korea article.  I had been trying to find this place forever!  I saw an article about it years ago in a magazine and lost it...and could never figure out what it was, so I was thankful to come across the article a few days ago!  It is known for having beautiful views of the city, and sure enough it was amazing!  You can get a 360 degree of Seoul, and the mountain is smack dab in the middle of the city.  We live so close.  We took the subway today, but could easily ride the motorcycle there.  We can't wait to go back at night time and get some night shots!

My man got an iPhone!  He really likes it so far.  (Everyone we know has one...he finally cracked.) He loved taking photos with it and we love the panorama option!!  We can't wait to use it on all of our travels.  All the other photos were taken with my camera.  It is limited, however, in what it can do.  I'm glad we have his phone for wide angles and quick shots!

The "hike" was totally doable.  It's only 338 meters high.  There are a few ways we could go up.  We went up through a wooded/rocky area and passed by some temples/shrines and a very interesting Buddhist ceremony that was kinda sad.  You'll also notice the empty soju bottles below which were the remains of offereings left for...?   Also a man praying to...? at the top of a rock in the first black and white photo.   We walked back down along Seoul Fortress Wall which will be an easy way to come back up at night time.

We had a great day and were thankful we got out instead of being lazy at home.  We are once again inspired to see more of this beautiful city and country.

Note the largest grasshopper I've ever seen hanging out outside our house.

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