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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hiking Gwanak Mountain

I was a busy girl this weekend between the Folk Village and... a leg-burning hike up a mountain! I am invigorated, rosy cheeked and ready for bed. Min, Young and I tied our hiking shoes and started the trek around noon today. Korea is mountainous so there's no lack for trails. As novice hikers, we started with Gwanak Mountain next to Seoul University.

The view was breathtaking and we met interesting people along the way, like a Polish woman and a man who offered oranges and invited me to his home. He has two boys; one's 24 and anticipating a trip to Canada, and the other is 11. He called his youngest on a cell, and the little boy was very quiuputa: Hangul for "cute." He's learning English and told me he's surprised and excited to meet me.

Min suggested they invite me to their home for Lunar New Years and the man seemed happy to oblige. I have yet to enter a Korean home, and it would be a real honour to observe their customs, since it's the biggest holiday here.

Min bought us all cups of hot, cinnamon-y apple cider from a street vendor.

The Koreans were decked out with some serious hiking gear, including walking sticks. I loved how many older couples I saw out walking.

It is a common practice in Asia to pray to phallic rock formations for a baby boy.

This must be what it's like to step into a postcard!

Splashes of red training clothes against the wilderness: stunning.

Young snapped this candid of a weathered Min and me half way up the Mountain. I took a couple of tumbles! Ever yanked yourself up icy rock by rope?

We were glad to have packed bottled water, sesame crackers and chamchi kimbap in our bag. It was a delicious reward:

Back in the insanity called Seoul...

6 comments:

Josh said...

WOW.

You said that it was gorgeous, but the pictures do your words justice, love. It is BEAUTIFUL. I was left wondering: "How did Eva get into a postcard?"

I really, really, really wanted to do something physical like that this weekend. Very jealous; I would have loved to have been grunting and pulling beside you.

Eva Karrin McKinnon said...

It was incredible. I'd like to go hiking every weekend, if someone would join me!

But I'm sure Tremblant was equally breathtaking. Quebec's GORGEOUS!

I've become patriotic since moving here. I brag about my country and quickly correct people when I'm mistaken for a Russian or American.

Josh said...

I'll join you

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