Monday, September 26, 2011

Seoraksan National Park

i have fallen in love with this national park. it is oh so so beautiful. i see the peaks from my house and have had a wanderlust for them since i arrived in goseong. I'm not going to lie, sometimes i wish my balcony faced the other direction, just so i could see them even more. :)

my first trip: equally horrible and beautiful. 
confusing right? well the 4 hour hike turned into a 7 hour hike which turned into a 12 hour hike. um, yeah. and the last two hours were a steep downhill in pitch-black nighttime. definitely not ideal. i must admit though, it was an incredibly rewarding hardest hike of my life. so stinkin beautiful.
this giant buddha sits right at the entrance of the park. so much bigger than i expected.

there was so much elevation gain and a crazy steep climb that they had to add a ton of stairs. sometimes they felt like they were never-ending.

i saw at least 20 different men at all stages of the hike doing this EXACT pose. had to do one myself. 
if the koreans weren't looking at the trail, they were looking at my feet. the ones that knew english would say, "sandals!! dangerous!!! crazy!!" this happened so often that i got bored of just smiling and started dancing on the trail to prove that my feet were in fact doing great, thank you very much. i probably stood out like a sore thumb because the koreans were so decked out. i would get kicked off the mountain at home if i dressed like some of the people here. (if not physically by someone else, then by myself outa embarrassment.)
this was an incredibly tame group of korean dressers, but please note the fantastic colors. i kept wishing all day long that i had shorts and shoes that matched my fleece.
this is me at the very, very, very top of the mountain! (tallest peak in inland south korea!) 1708 km. 
i definitely took more photos of random koreans than people in my group. they looked so good!
ima a creep, i know.
we ended up walking about half of the entire park. haha, slightly dramatic, but still somewhat true.
while i was in the park, it was amazing, because i totally forgot that i was in korea. i was outside in the mountains and trees and it felt like home.

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