Saturday, January 10, 2009

Seoul Trip II

Last week we had Thursday and Friday off, so after a day of recovery from teaching English Camp, we went to Seoul on Friday for 3 days of recovery from living in small town Korea for months on end.


One of the coolest things we did was visiting Inwangsan - a shamanistic temple right in the middle of the city. The indigenous religion here, as I understand it, weaves together Buddhism, Shammanism, and ancestor-worship. I love the religion-customized for a people and place, and it creates unique sights like this temple where there are Buddhas carved into rock faces, families making offerings to ancestors and hundreds of scattered shrines around the grounds.


The pidgins at this temple were well fed with white rice, and their population reflected it!


Here are a few of them taking flight above the temple and above the city. Magical place for a temple, above and amidst the third largest city in the world.


These naturally formed shapes in this rock are supposed to resemble human figures. It was at least a bit spooky, and a major worship site immediately in front of the rocks.


In some cultures, you might think, "Weird, that a fifty-year-old woman is hula hooping in a shamanistic temple." But in Korea those are just as natural together as kimchi and chocolate.


The two of us, happy to be out hiking on a trip to a city.


A Buddha carving in a rock wall.



Of course, any trip to a major city is as much about food for me as anything else, and this trip was no exception. We stumbled upon this burrito shop totally by chance - the only authentic burrito I've had in Korea, and for like 8,000 won (US$6) with guacamole! To get there exit subway line 1 at Jonggak, exit 6 and go strait until you find Tomatillo, next to an Au Bon Pain.


Later we climbed Mt. Namsan, which is also right in the middle of Seoul and also provided some great views.


Kids chasing birds - cute in any culture.


I got some cotton candy for all the hiking...


...but decided to skip the spawn potage dinner on offer in Insadong.

1 comment:

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