On Saturday, we woke up super late (Noribang kicked our butt the night before!), puttered around and finally decided we didn't want to do any hard core hiking so we'd go to the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple... or as Shannon and I have been calling it, the Temple on the Sea.
First, we got lost, but we found this old fortress along the way, Gijangeupseong Fortress.
This fortress was built by the Japanese when they invaded Korea in 1590something. Obviously the Koreans haven't felt any urge to preserve it (who would?), so it's really just stone walls piled on top of one another. Nice views from the top though!
We got back on the road after this, and we got the GPS to work so we didn't get lost again. You're probably thinking "Why didn't they use GPS to begin with?" Did I mention that the GPS is in Korean? We're trying people!
Finally, we ended up at the Temple on the Sea, only to suddenly recall that Buddha Birthday celebrations were still on going. So this very beautiful temple, very close to Busan and Gijang, was packed. When we were parking I spotted this awesome couple. [Thank you to Kaori for introducing me to the matching couple concept, without you I probably wouldn't have noticed them!]
Shannon is super embarrassed when I take pictures of matching couples. My arguments- #1 If they didn't want the attention, they wouldn't dress that way, it obviously takes a lot of planning. #2 My picture is taken all the time because I'm Caucasian and I'm not angry or upset about it. Win!
When we walked down to the temple, this is what we found:
Good lord it's crowded!
But totally worth it, it's sooo beautiful... one of the few photos I managed to get with no people in it.
The next day, we got up at a decent time and we wanted to go see the Geumjeongsanseong Fortress. We grabbed some lunch and started driving. We didn't bother trying to use the GPS because we knew there would be signs. Well, we must have missed a sign because soon we were in downtown Busan. We found a place to turn around and decided we just wanted to hike afterall. We drove back to Beomosa Temple, got out and started walking. We stopped at a trail map and Shannon said he really just wanted to see that fortress. So we hiked back and got back in the car. We messed around with that GPS and got it to give us directions to the fortress this time. 3 hours after lunch we finally made it to the fortress.
This is a huge Korean fortress built in 1703 (after the Korean and Chinese invasions, the Koreans decided to mount a better defense), it was destroyed during the Japanese occupation (1910-1945). In 1972 it began to be restored.
Since we didn't have much time - Shannon had to go into work Sunday evening :P-, we only hiked to a command post. This command post had recently been restored. (or rather, reconstructed on site)
I assume there was less growth back in the day so the generals could view and command battle, you couldn't see much of the surrounding countryside because of all the trees.
However, you could see this...
Dang-it, that's where we wanted to hike!!!
Maybe this weekend or the weekend after, when we're not having such a run of bad luck. -.-;;;