Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cherry Blossoms in the Heart of Seoul

Watching spring bloom is a magical experience that can leave you feeling relaxed. Seeing the gray skies clear away to blue, the birds chirping in the trees and leaves covering what were once baron branches is certainly refreshing.

One cannot help but feel peace inside and humility towards life. Therefore it is important to get out there and experience the blossoming of spring in all it's glory.

Throughout South Korea you have several options to see the flower blossoms (especially cherry blossoms) and festivals that go along with them.
The most popular being that of the Yeouido festival near the Hangang river. Where other bloggers have already ventured to. Certainly Roboseyo would tell you that the best pictures can be taken at Kyunghee Uni.

BK and I both wanted to get out there and see one of these places in bloom before the petals blew off in the wind. On Sunday BK first had the idea to go to Yeouido but that quickly changed as he realized the place would be packed with Seoulites and others. So it was that we went elsewhere, somewhere I didn't think of.

Namsan Mountain Trail: Follow the breezeOut trek started by leaving the Donguk University subway station and heading out of exit 6. Above ground you come upon Jangchung park.Source

Wow! We just walked through this place but apparently there is more here than what meets the eye. But going through the park was pleasant of course, families were out on picnics, kids were playing sports and the paths were nicely trimmed.


Leaving the park area you cross a street and start your ascent up the mountain. To your left you can see a little league baseball playing field.


Up, Up we Go!
The trek starts off going uphill, and of course as you go along you get to see trees in blossom.



Do you see that dirt path to the left of the stairs? I decided to take this instead of put more pressure on my knees. If you don't know already Korea likes stairs. Just getting out of a subway station may mean you climb about 4-5 flights of stairs.

Here I go into the woods....


Hello!

Ah great back angle...


Exercise!


Almost there!


At the top you can see a lovely view of blossoms.

Turn around and you can find where to go.

We took the Namsan Tower path...but...2.8 km...is kinda....
Paved Path Leading to Namsan Tower:
Once at the top of the stairs you can choose which direction to head towards. We headed towards Namsan Tower, not with the real intention of actually going all the way. However, along the way we were graciously rescued from the day's heat with a lovely blossom canopy above our heads.

We just kept on walking and walking taking in the cool breeze and splendor of nature.





Archery Range:


I believe it was at the half-way point that ther was a wall set up where you could wright something on a post-it and place it on the board.



The further we went the more vista points we came upon.
But we got to one point and realized that getting to the Namsan Tower was just too far and so we headed downhill, not knowing where we would end up.



Native Korean mountain pigeon.

After our trek we were beat, so we got on a bus and ended up in Myeoungdong. Eventually we found one of those Can More joints and tried to relax. Except the pop music was a little too loud and the place was crowded. However, the ice cream was delightful.

One of the more special moments to be had during this journey was watching the blossom petals fly about as the wind blew through the trees. All in all, I would say no matter what part of Korea you are in right now, try your best to visit a blossom festival and enjoy this seasonal gift.

2 comments:

  1. Good call on Yeouido. It was so packed I'm sure marriages were consummated just by walking down the path.

    The day was beautiful! Nice photos as always.

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  2. A beautiful experience... Thanx for the post.
    I really miss "spring" in the north!
    I imagine the sweet scents of all blossoms.

    FYI
    baron = a royal designation, nobility

    barren = devoid of, lacking (bare)

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