Monday, August 08, 2011

Hiking in 'Uptown' Seoul . . .

Although we returned to Seoul on Friday afternoon, we continued our short 'vacation' through the weekend and yesterday chose to hike Buramsan (불암산), which could be called Mt. Buram in English. But it's also more correctly transliterated as "Bulamsan", i.e., "Bul-am-san," meaning "Buddha-Rock Mountain," not "Fire-Rock-Mountain," as I'd wondered . . . though I saw that it didn't look volcanic.

The mountain doesn't tower over Seoul, for it rises to merely 507 meters (1,663 feet), but its final hundred meters or so rise rather steeply, and the peak offers a stunning panorama. Here's a side shot from the distance:

We paused at several lookout points during our ascent. Here's one with part of Seoul in the background and a grouchy-looking fellow in the foreground. That's what I look like when I'm smiling. Actually, I'm having to squint like Clint because the day was brighter than it appears in this photo:

Sun-Ae caught me looking back, but the photo is actually intended to be of the rock that I'm standing in front of, a landmark called "Turtle Rock." Shortly thereafter, the ascent grew difficult for daytrippers like us:

For that reason, namely the steepness, the next photos were taken at the peak, as you can see in this upcoming photograph where I'm again spoiling the scenery:

Here I am once more, but this time actually enhancing the overall aesthetic effect of the not-unspoiled nature:

At last, we see my lovely wife, Sun-Ae, who has turned her face from the camera and hidden her identity despite being the best thing in that picture:

We finally finished our 'easy' hike some four or five hours after setting out not far from Hwarangdae Subway Station (Line 6), emerging near Danggogae Subway Station (Line 4), where we located a restaurant and enjoyed a bowl of ice-cold soybean noodle soup (kongguksu, 콩국수) and a plate of typically odiferous, hot-and-spicey pig intestines (gopchang, 곱창), the latter shown below:

I also drank some hard-earned and thoroughly deserved beer . . .

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At 12:45 PM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

Looks like a very good hike. The rock formation is beautiful, and the view is indeed stunning.

At 1:25 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

If you ever make a trip to Seoul, we'll take you up the mountain.

Jeffery Hodges

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