first sunday of spring

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring has come to Sokcho. For the past month or so, the Korean saying, "Spring is arriving, but Winter is jealous," has held true. I hope I'm not jinxing myself by saying this, but it does look like the warm weather is finally here to stay.

Sunday, our friend "Jenny" (her English name), one of the Korean teachers at AP and one of Liam's favorite people, took us on an outing. We first met up with her after her horse riding lesson at Yeongnang Lake. She thought, correctly, that Liam would enjoy seeing the horses.

Jenny's favorite horse, who didn't bite Liam, although it looks that way. He was actually just surprised that the tiny human stuck a finger up his nose.

From there, she took us to Geomgang-sa, a temple we had not previously visited, as it's not on a bus route. The temple itself is small, but the surroundings are beautiful. Walking up from the car, we crossed a bridge over a river with a waterfall just downstream and a very old stone walking bridge just upstream.

We were able to enjoy "pumpkin fermented rice tea" at the tea shop on the grounds. Served in an oversized, handmade tea cup and meant to be consumed with a small, wooden spoon, the sweet, icy concoction isn't what I would normally consider tea. It's thinner than a Slushie, with small, but discernible pieces of rice and sweet pumpkin. Quite delicious and refreshing, the drinks were accompanied by pieces of boiled potato.

the road to the temple:

the temple itself:

the bell tower and "rice rock" where the founding monks were given sustenance from the gods

Jenny, Liam & Matthew descending the stairs up to the temple

the bridge over the ravine

Liam checking out a cool water fountain

Liam making friends with a native Korean "jindo" dog

the ancient stone foot bridge

the tea house as seen from the access road


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