Friday, March 28, 2008
The first flowers below are cherry blossoms - which I was expecting to see. The others are more of a surprise though. The second flowers I posted below are azaleas. Their blooms are turning entire mountainsides purple. Jason picked a handful of them and they're decorating our apartment right now.
The last photos are of magnolia trees. When I was young there was a magnolia tree that was in the front yard of a house we rented in California. I loved that one beautiful tree. Here they are planted all around the apartment buildings that I walk by on my way to work. The flowers only last a few weeks but they're my favorite tree flowers by far.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Last Saturday, Jared picked us up in his cute little compact car, and off we went. Our seaside visit was relatively similar to what it's like visiting the ocean in the northern states of the U.S. People were feeding the seagulls, children were snacking on food from vendors, and locals hawked their wares. Of course the seagulls were fed puffed rice treats, the children snacked on dried squid, and the locals sold seaweed. But you know...potato - patato.
Here's an interesting piece of Korean history. One of the Silla rulers was supposedly entombed off the coast in a rocky outcropping.
The tomb is said to be in the center of those rocks in a small pond.
The round flat stuff in the picture below are slices of dried parrot fish. Vendors heat it up on a bed of hot rocks which soften it some and then cut it into pieces. It's a bit chewy but not bad.
The local fisherman picking fish out of their nets.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
After this weekend there is one rule that I'll try not to forget for the rest of my sojourn here in Korea; that is the absence of switchbacks in this country. Nope - not a single one in the whole 4 km hike. The trail sloped up gently for a kilometer as it entered the canyon and then all at once it tilted up 60 - 80 degrees (Jason disputes my geometry) and stayed that way for the rest of the hike. The trail ran through deep mud, rock fields, and snow without any thought for the hikers on its back.
The humbling part of the experience for all of us Westerners was that there were groups of 70 year old Koreans happily climbing up and down the trail. And not just one or two groups - but many, many groups of people over 50 years old. Yep! I'm out of shape.
When we got down from the mountain everyone's legs were quivering from exhaustion. My feet were sweaty and uncomfortable in my boots so I had the brilliant idea to wash them in the sink. The first foot was a success - it was the second one that finished me off. My damp foot on the tile floor wasn't able to hold me up while my legs were still weak. I went down hard. On the way down I hit my head on a water spicket attached to the wall. In less than a minute a goose egg had formed on the back of my head. So then I was limping from the pain in my knees, the quivering in my legs, the deep bruise sure to bloom on my left butt cheek, and the incessent throbbing in my head.
When I left the Park I didn't feel like a 30 year old should after an exhilarating hike - I felt like a 30 year old that was beaten with a baseball bat and barely let go with her life intact.
I'm going to start a new workout regimen this week - I promise.
All in all though it was a wonderful weekend. The scenery was beautiful, the weather was great, and for the most part the company was enjoyable.
It looked easy on the map...
but I should have listened to the bears.
Josh and I laughing and talking without any indication of what lie ahead.
it's starting to get a bit harder....
The top! I see it!
Nope - it wasn't the top. Just a nice resting spot (or stopping point for me).