Sunday, May 3, 2009

Get Away: Part 2

Waking up in a different place can be bewildering but also refreshing. Unfortunately Jennifer woke up with a sinus infection and knew she should head back home after our day's journey. We were going to go to Gyeongju and see the Buddha's and what-not but she knew it wasn't going to work.

However we were pleased to be where we were and continued on with seeing the Tea Bowl Festival.

Our accommodations...

Leaving the 민박 I was captivated by the sunshine and greenery. Next door there was a crowing rooster, which made the morning even more welcoming.
Along our walk there were many sidewalk vendors selling local wine specialties.
One restaurant had this oven type contraption out front.
Before we entered the festival I insisted on a little something for breakfast, so we stopped inside one place and had some rice, soup and side dishes.
As I have said before this place is really something special, mostly because living in Korea I mostly am around buildings and sidewalks. Rarely do I have moments where nature is dominating the scenery. The air was fresher and all around even the local people were nice.

The Festival: Outer Area
Before entering into the area with showcase of ceramics there was the tent part. Here were vendors selling everything from hand made clothing, jewelry to knives. There was plenty to see and some booths had food.

Since we were there early enough it wasn't too crowded yet and were able to meander around with ease. I enjoyed seeing the handicrafts.

Collected mud...Jennifer said it had great properties for the skin.

I really wanted this purse...but it came at a price.

We suspected some animals lived in that house...perhaps rabbits.

Many vendors were selling succulents planted in tiny pots.

You could have gotten your portrait done.
The tent area wasn't so bad but apparently the real ceramics were past the gate inside the recreated palace.

Tea Bowls and other Ceramics:
Going past the gate we came upon a stretch of road with grave markers or something similar.
After walking a while we crossed a bridge and you could see the recreated village area. Inside each little house were the galleries. Alongside shelves and tables the ceramicists displayed their works.

I enjoyed walking around past these buildings due to that my imagination started to go wild.

Many of the potters used this red glaze, which I was told is very expensive. It is a chemistry thing and I would imagine that it probably is either hard to obtain the minerals and that they are rare.
More views of the village...
Deeper inside we came to the "market" area of the village where people were showing off more handicrafts.
Around this area was another gate...
Found Peace:
Wondering further inside the village we came to more galleries. Some of which had parts of the house sectioned of for enjoying tea. In case you didn't know Koreans have a history with the tea ceremony like Japan and China. But of course Korea's way of doing the tea ceremony and the kind of tea they use differentiates from their neighbors. I was pleased to see a tea set up in one of the houses.

In one of the houses was a large window that looked out onto the creek. Jennifer sat down upon the window sill and took a moment to relax. I joined her and we embraced the peaceful scenery. Certainly I wished that this was my house and that I could sit at my window like that everyday. Ah well something to aspire to.

We saw a little bird fly down and bounce around the rocks. After it took flight there was a short spring shower.
Moving on we came to more houses with more pottery. I enjoyed seeing some works that resembled ceramics from the kingdom periods of Korea. As I saw the pottery it reminded me that most Korean pottery uses muted colors and not too much flamboyancy, like in Japan. Certainly was a pleasure to stroll down memory lane of my Korean Art history course.

Coming out of the village part of the recreated palace grounds you come to the area where the "palace" part was recreated. You could tell because the buildings were more colorful and structured higher off the ground.

Here was the international exhibit, featuring artists from America, Europe and Asia. This was a great experience because you got to see how artists take on the concept of the "tea bowl". The western artists used more flamboyant colors than the Korean potters, displaying some creativity as well. But that doesn't mean one is better than the other. Just that their artistic heart is different.

We left the palace area and looked around more at the Korean artists works.
One area had a recreation of Gwanghwamun...which tried.. but.. was short a little.
We found ourselves back at the village area where now the crowds really were coming in. It was lunchtime and the impromptu restaurants were buzzing with customers. The smell of steaming soups and frying cakes were indulgent. We sat down and had ourselves a Korean pancake of sorts and side dishes.

The rain clouds were starting to take over the sky and we knew it was time to move on. So we started to make our way back.
On the way we had a little chat with a paper maker and this lady. She said hello to us earlier in the day and said she wanted to practice English with us. As we walked around the festival we saw her chatting with several people. She was quite a character! Flamboyant and joyful... I think she was like the festival lovable. I got a few pics with them.

It was so wonderful! And to think that Mungyeong has more to offer in that area like hot springs and several other cultural sites. Since I know it is an easy bus ride away I may go back...even if it is just me. ^^ Thanks Jen for helping me and listening to all my ex-boyfriend chatter.


  1. What a beautiful experience...thanx SO MUCH for sharing it with us Joy.
    Some of the fotos are outstanding (again)!
    It's nice to see you smiling & enjoying life.
    It seems the scenery might have reminded you of GV?
    (That's Grass Valley, California, where Joy lived with her Dad as a teen, for those of you just learning about Foreign/er!).

  2. Sounds like you guys had a great time!


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