Seongnamsa, Beomeosa Hiking

Just spent a fun weekend hiking, after a great night our with our coworkers on Friday. We all ended up going out for chicken and beer after work, then switched to daenamu-tang-sul (a tasty bamboo beverage), before heading to The Basement where Anderson was DJing. A long crazy night, as evidenced by sombrero that Anderson came home with!
On Saturday we went to a temple about an hour away, called Seongnamsa, that Anderson is currently procrastinating writing an article about for The Korea Sun, the foreigner’s magazine he writes for. It was a smaller temple, up in the Korean hills, near a “tall for Korea” mountain called Gajisan. We did some hiking but didn’t have enough daylight to get the summit, but it was definitely a very peaceful and beautiful place. The temple itself is next to a small river, and has several nice Buddhist buildings. Unfortunately the Japanese essentially destroyed the whole temple in 1952, so everything has had to be rebuilt, but it definitely all looks very nice. It is actually under some renovations now, as new bridges are being built around the temple complex. We plan on going back to hike to the top of Gajisan, maybe in a couple of weeks if we’re not too busy.
Today, Sunday, we went hiking with our co-teacher Blaise near the Beomeosa temple. We hiked the hills for around 3 hours, so our legs are definitely feeling good now. The Korean summer has arrived, so the days are warm, sunny, and long. Koreans love to exercise and hike, so the trails were busy but not packed, and we crazy North American men with no shirts on definitely attracted a bit of attention (all good – though some guys told Liz that she should join us!).
Our days of overtime work are now officially behind us, which is great, although we are now stuck teaching a split shift, where we will each teach 4-5 classes, then have a break for around 2 hours, before returning to teach for 4 classes. At least we’ll be able to eat lunch at home now, rather than having to eat out everyday, and we can bike on the river as well, so it won’t be too bad. In August we will probably have the chance to teach more overtime, since it will be summer intensive time for a month, but we’ll take the respite from the long hours while we can get it!

That’s that for now, need to grade a few tests…

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