Weekly Photo Challenge: Eerie

Some photographs stick with you for their beauty while others linger for their… how should we put this?…creepy qualities. This week’s photo challenge from The Daily Post is ‘eerie’. We had a shocking few pictures that we found to be haunting, ghastly, or bizarre in our portfolio since we tend to focus on the aesthetically pleasing. Below are a few photos we found on our hard drive to be a bit unsettling. Continue reading

Let’s go to… Mt. Bukhansan!

Okay, so we made a post about this earlier and included some of our pictures of this gorgeous national park, but we also shot a bit of video on the way to the top and thought we would share it with you as well! As you may already know, we like to make the occasional video and even have a vlog on Youtube. So, for the fifth installment of Let’s go to… Continue reading

Bukhansan in Autumn

Bukhansan has long been on our shortlist of mountains to hike in Seoul, but this 835m monster has always been in the back of our minds and the forefront of our to-summit list. Originally, we tried to go to Seoraksan National Park, but the timing was always a bit off. We have oogled over pictures of Korea in autumn and grew quite excited to get out and take some pictures once the temperature began to plummet.


The Hike

With a beautiful day ahead of us, we journeyed to northern Seoul where we entered Bukhansan National Park. The park hosts a small town that reminded us of an ultra-modern Colorado mountain town that had been overrun by thousands of hikers. Like with every trip into Korea’s hills, we joined the throngs of people plodding along together in an ironic pursuit of natural solitude. From the Korean Tourism website: “The park averages 5 million visitors and has received the Honor of being in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the national park with the highest number of visitors per square foot.” Constant company aside, we were blown away by the park’s beauty.

This park has a rich history, temples, old fortress walls, and views that evoke speechlessness. For info on getting to Bukhansan, or to read more than I am willing to plagiarize, click here.

Climbing to the top of Baegundae (the tallest peak) was a workout. Our hiking thus far has not produced the billy goat legs we keep expecting to replace our own, so we struggled, huffed, and puffed our way to the top just before sunset. The colors were incredible once we got about halfway up. The leaves were vivid reds, oranges, and yellows with backdrops of coniferous green. We couldn’t stop to take as many pictures as we wished since the light was fading fast and we had no clue about how much more hiking would be required until we reached the summit. There was also the issue of having too many beautiful things to photograph in every direction. Once you take 40-50 pictures of the same tree, you start to assume that one will probably turn out decent, and no additional trees need to be shot before getting to the top.

With a harrowing path that relentlessly threatened our balance and footing, the last bit acted to set up the reward of a completed mountain hike. Every direction provided a myriad of colors and rock formations with city skylines in the distance to juxtapose the natural beauty of Bukhansan. Massive granite peaks flanked Baegundae on both sides. These peaks were blanketed with rock climbers, and I can only imagine the visual spectacle they enjoyed.

After taking pictures and enjoying our incredible vista, we decided that it was time to descend while there was still light. This decision was prudent, although a bit late, as we found ourselves running down the path in total darkness, using our cell phone lights to guide us out. We eventually made it and caught a free taxi out of the park to a nearby town with metro access. Exhausted, we found some samgyeopsal and naengmyeon at a restaurant and rested our feet before making the trip back to Anyang.


Directions

Click to enlarge

We took the subway line 3 to the 구파발역 station. We had to take a bus up the road to the entrance of the park. There were big signs on the side so we saw it immediately and got off the bus. We had to walk through the small neighborhood at the base of the mountain to get to the trail head. There were a ton of hiking clothing stores and restaurants. The peek we summited was Baegundae and took about 5 hours just to get to the top.

map-800wi

English map of the park


Ryan & Stephanie

A Day in the Life – TV Show Project

It has been a crazy week for us here in Korea. Our school, where we’ve been working for 8 months, decided that all the teachers would go through yet another round of training… for 3 weeks! Three times every week, we’ve had to wake up at 8 am, catch an hour + long subway ride during rush hour into Seoul, sit through two hours of training straight through lunch, and then get back to our city as fast as we can so we can get to class on time and teach until seven or ten pm, depending on the day. Continue reading

InterNations – We’ve been featured!

So a couple of weeks ago, we were contacted by InterNations, a website for expatriates across the globe, who wanted to feature us on their website. If you follow us on our Facebook, then I am sure you have already seen our post about being featured. However, as a gesture of appreciation, we decided to do a quick write up promoting InterNations ourselves. Continue reading

Fond wishes for our family and friends…

This month happened to contain the birthdays of several of our family members and friends. It is sometimes very bittersweet to be here in Korea while the people we love and care about back home celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, births, and weddings. Even worse are the loved ones we’ve lost in this short amount of time and were unable to see one last time. Continue reading

Gwanakasan Mountain

This weekend we summited the most incredible mountain we have ever hiked! We had seen pictures of Gwanaksan before, but they just don’t do it justice. So far all the mountains we have climbed here we simply see them off in the distance and just start walking towards it. I’m sure there are easier ways to get there, but we enjoy a pre-hike to our actual hike. Continue reading

Ryan’s 26th Birthday

When I woke up on the morning of March 16th I had no idea where Stephanie was planning on taking me. Furthermore, I would be unable to assist her with any sort of navigation for the day’s events but she assured me that everything was planned to the smallest detail. After a few Skype chats and hearing Happy Birthday be sung a few times in varying keys, we set off for Anyang Station to attempt navigating the subway system by ourselves. Continue reading