Big Mountain in the North
The third Saturday of the month once again brought the teachers hiking club together at my school. This month no family was here to keep me away so I stepped up and went along. This time the Big Mountain to the North, or Bukhansan, was our destination. Unlike our Gwanaksan venture this turned into quite the trek with an added bonus of mountain climbing even though my shoes were not suited for it. Half way up the mountain our leader decided we’d go up and then instead of taking a path down we’d cut through and just climb down the rock face. Clearly not thinking about me, all of the other teachers agreed and off we went.
Situated in the northern part of Seoul it was only a few subway stops away from my school. The smooth granite rocks and boulders that make up this mountain range are an awesome sight, though maybe not so much fun to climb down. I’m all about climbing up them, but I guess I have a fear of going back down.
Apparently listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Most Visited National Park per Unit Area” the 5 million some people that visit this group of mountains are certainly in for some good views. Not only is it a nice breath of fresh air above the city but there’s a fortress and temples you can find along the way. Our route had a bit more of the army leftovers, but it was still a good jaunt. I couldn’t for sure say which route we took, but it was about 2 and a half hours to get up to the top and at one point someone pointed up and said Dobong.
There seem to be about 13 one day courses listed on the Korea National Park website for this mountain and I’m sure I’ll have to go back to find some of those temples and the fortress I’ve now read about.
I stopped talking pictures on the way down while I tried to keep myself from falling off the mountain face. But when we got down we were around Bulgwang Station and a large area of peoples mini farms. We grabbed some duck soup at the nearest restaurant and I had my fill before the teachers started getting tipsy and loud and I headed my way home.