Buddha’s Birthday

This post is coming about two months late, because the photos have been trapped on my camera. My USB was MIA, until I realized just yesterday that I have another one that fits into it. This is particularly well-timed, since I’m going on vacation next week and wanted to use my real camera.

Anyway, back on May 16th, we had a day off from work for Buddha’s Birthday. I had never given Buddha’s Birthday much thought before, mostly because I’ve never lived in a place where it was a national holiday. However, it seemed the perfect time to hike up to one of Busan’s hidden (re: nearly impossible to find) temples.

Armed with directions from three different blogs and still no ability to read or speak Korean, we set off on our journey to find the Seokbulsa Temple. We had to take the subway quite far from our apartment, then a taxi to a park where our hike began. There is usually a cable car that runs up the mountain, but it was not operating the day that we were there. So, hike we did.

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ImageI was very glad that we did, as it turned out, because this was very beautiful and bypassed if on the cable car. Though I’m sure the view from the cable car is also pretty spectacular.

Once we reached the top of the mountain, things got a little confusing. We reached several crossroads in which we simply had to choose one, walk and see if it was headed in the right direction. We also asked approximately 2638 Koreans for directions along the way. While everyone was very nice, it is apparently difficult to find even for those who can read hangul. 

We stumbled across this while wandering:

ImageThis is, of course, the South Gate of the Geumjeongsanseong Fortress. Duh. It is apparently an attraction in this park/mountain/hiking area. Though it wasn’t exactly what we were looking for, we did find a map here that would eventually point us in the direction of the elusive Seokbulsa. 

(Also, this was cool:)

ImageFinally(!!!!), we saw Koreans hiking en masse up toward what looked like a temple built into the side of a mountain. After some huffing and puffing, we reached our destination:

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It was a beautiful hike, and a special experience visiting the temple. We were the only foreigners there, but everyone was so kind to us. People gave us random food, and when we entered inside the temple, they pinned flowers to our shirts (you can see it in the picture of me and Alex). Despite being the only non-Koreans, we felt very welcomed. I’m very glad we made the trip on Buddha’s Birthday.

I’m also very glad that I have finally released my trapped photos!

 

 

 

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