judy, having only a few days left in korea before she returns to the cold crisp air of northern wisconsin, insisted that the UWS crew go on a journey with her over the weekend. being the adventure mongers that we are (a trademark of anyone participating in this program, let it be known…) we all agreed on friday to jump in a bus the next morning and travel to the east coast for a little dose of ocean air, cost unbeknownst to us. and an adventure it was! we had a few rest breaks along the coast but our first formal landmark was that of Hwanseondonggul mountain where we hiked a very steep slope to investigate a cave of enormous porportions. here are the mountains that sheltered the impressive earth-womb –
JK, just being her evil old self. i’m glad that she is the director of our program. she treats americans just the way she should…
the entrance to the cave; marked in Chinese, it was apparantly named before the Korean language was invented several hundred years ago. many national landmarks still hold their traditional Chinese names.
here are some interior photos –
an amazing little boy i met in the depths of the caverns. kids are cool everywhere, especially if they have no idea what you are saying and just laugh hysterically at how idiotic you seem (his brother is peaking out from the back)
this model was really hilarious
but it didnt even compare to the plaque that accompanied it….
morale of the story being “never steal dragonhead stalagmite formations from national parks”?
this skeleton hanging on the rope bridge kind of freaked me out too –
i think the cave was as humorous as it was mesmerizing – not exactly something that can be said of every american monument….
our next stop was the coast of the east sea to prance around, some of us in speedos, and enjoy the sand and sun for an hour or so until the sun went down
Mr. Quon, the bus driver, and the boys
we stayed at a fantasticly fancy condo in the mountains that night and the next morning judy and i went to the hot springs (which were, incidentally, built right into the hotel) while the boys went hiking. we went out for lunch at a sweet family restaraunt where we had bibimbop, my favorite korean dish. they had an entire display case of very valuable ginseng (insam) that had been collected from the moutains nearby.
this one cost over $1,000
the view from our condo
mountains where the boys went hiking
spring is on its way!
later that day we all went to a nearby temple to explore. this particular temple had burnt to the ground a few years ago and was undergoing renovation which gave it its own peculiar vibes as pilgrims came to pay their homage to the remains both spiritually and financially; we happened to be visiting on a sunday and there was a considerate amount of traffic
(except for the part where i eat a sweet pancake (hotta) and get food poisoning when i get back to the dormitory and throw up until my roommates think i am dying and finally send me to the hospital where the bed still has blood on it from the person before me and they stick an IV in me and X-ray me then i throw up some more until i fall asleep holding blocks of ice to cool down and finally come back to the dormitory at 6 am, fairly healthy, and sleep the monday away…. )