Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day 3: Climb Every Mountain

On the eve of day 2 we finally arrived at our destination, Sokcho/Seoraksan mountain area. Our hotel was a little  The thing with Korea is, the lie. The pictures they show on the internet for hotels is not what you usually get, and once again we were thinking in our American heads "Oh that's what they showed... then of course that's what we'll get. You get in trouble if you lie." Yeah in Korea... you don't get in trouble for lying. Needless to say we were slightly bummed, but it still was decent.

Alright... on to the mountains. We woke up nice and early to a fantastically CLEAR day. Absolutely clear days are really hard to find in Korea. There always seems to be some sort of haze, but today we were blessed with bright blue skies!

This is taken from the car, through the window. So it's got a bit of haze to it, but still look at those mountains!

Walking into the national park (Buddha's Birthday is comin' up so that's what all the lanterns are for)

I know, I know, I'm a creeper... but how stinkin' cute are these kids!?

Those are the rocks we are climbing up to, and climbing up. You see the little crack in the middle... here's the close up... you see those stairs!? Yeah, 808 stairs and we FU-HINALLY made it too the top.

Climbin' on up

Words can't even describe how steep this was. I was literally straight up and down for some of it...a little on the freaky side, and the fact that the railing was loose didn't help.

Surprisingly I didn't have a panic attack... although I think it was more due to the fact that had I had one... I would've died. Amazing preservation skills right there.

The top! It was soooooooo windy! There was a man selling drinks with his little cart and things were just flying off of the cart. Every time the wind picked up we'd immediately duck for fear of being blown off the side, and I truly wish I was exaggerating. But like I've said before... the wind is vindictive and it must've known it hadn't bothered me in a while.

We interrupt these pictures for a brief story.
  So the entire time we'd been following this group of girls up the mountain. They were from another country, but we couldn't quite place it. Later at the top of the mountain we meet these two guys, take their picture, vice versa. And then we get to talking. They are from the Czech Republic, they're telling us how they're here on vacay and have yet to meet other Czechs.  They then offer us some liquor, now we aren't big drinkers, but I start to take swig anyway. Before I do though, I ask what it is and they say it's a special homemade liquor from Czech Rep. So I ask "Is it plum brandy? I have relatives in Slovakia and we would drink Slivovitz." They got extremely excited, and then a voice peeps in a heavy accent. "I'm sorry are you talking about Slivovitz?" It's one of the girls we'd been following. And apparently her and her 3 friends are all from, get this, the Czech Republic! Holy Reunion on top of a mountain batman, those Czechs were freaking out! It was really fun to watch, and more fun that we stayed up there for a good 40 minutes just chatting with them about Korea, Europe, the US... etc.  Just a fun moment and I love meeting people from all over the world!

Alright we are now returning to our regularly programmed schedule...

Ahh the joys of a self timer, me sprinting back and forth, and a large group of Koreans staring at us from the path. yeah... I'm cool, what can I say.

After our hike back down the mountain we were debating between hiking to some waterfalls or taking the cable car up on the other side of the mountains. In the morning the cable car wasn't even running it was so windy (told ya so).

But since we'd just hiked our butts off and stair mastered it up that mountain we opted for the cable car, I am so glad we did!

This is from the cable car, at the bottom you can see the Buddha statue where we started, and you can see the mountain said we got to the top of in the back ground.

Thoroughly enjoying my view at the top. It was INCREDIBLE! I can't even believe it. We were up there forever with our jaws dropped on the ground.

Jon enjoying the view as well.

 A lovely Thai man took this for us. He then introduced us to hi entire family.
Amazing the friendliness you find at the top of mountains.

Again, there are soooooo many more pictures, moments, and memories to share. I do think this gives you a little peak though. Seoraksan (san means mountain in Korean) is my FAVORITE place in Korea... hands down. It was just beautiful!

I know you will all be wondering where we are the next few days (wow look at that humility :) ) But we will be out of internetage... (is that a word?) Because we'll be headed to Busan for the....

HALF MARATHON!!!! yee ha!

you can expect a full recap of the race, and the rest of our trip when we get back!

Have a fantastic weekend!

p.s. if you can name the movie my title is from, you get a high five... and you are my friend for eternity...


sailingsusi said...

looks like you are having a Sound Of Music experience! What a wonderful time you are having. I am a bit sad that I am not still there, but I believe God put me where I was for the sole purpose of exposing that creep, and so it was worth it!
I will live vicariously through you! hugs!

sailingsusi said...

sailingsusi AKA, MamaLisa (^_~)

The Stainbrooks said...

Good one Mama Lisa! We miss you being here as well! I hope all the wedding planning is coming together! *hugs*

Angie said...

... ford every stream, follow every rainbow, till you find your dream! we'll have to watch it Stainbrook style - with pizza - next time we see you : ) Your pics are beautiful! it looks like you had an amazing trip!