Happy Parliamentary Elections Day!

Trip Start Dec 02, 2011
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Trip End Dec 02, 2012


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What I did
Gongseri Catholic Church

Flag of Korea Rep.  , Gyeonggi,
Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Today was a random Korean day off for voting in parliamentary elections, which is a pretty cool idea by the way, so my friends and I took a quick trip to Lake Pyeongtaek (평택호). Or was it Lake Asan (아산호)? The Asan tourist map called it Lake Asan, while the Pyeongtaek tourist map labeled it Lake Pyeongtaek. After much soul searching, I've chosen to call it Lake Asan, because that's what it's labeled as on Naver Maps (Korea's version of Google Maps). Nice try stealing Asan's Lake, Pyeongtaek.

Whatever you call it, the lake was man-made, formed by the construction of the Asan Seawall (The Pyeongtaek map calls it the Lake Pyeongtaek Tidal Embankment). We spent most of the afternoon on the northern, Pyeongtaek side of the lake.

It was definitely light coat weather, so it was a nice day for a stroll. A handful of Koreans were out fishing and even windsurfing. We walked along the northern shore of the lake, stopped at a Korean restaurant from lunch, and even saw an exhibition by a local artist of abstract sketches and, I don't know... we'll call them sculptures. The artist was actually there, and he spoke decent English so we were able to chat with him for a bit. The sketches were larger pictures made up of smaller drawings, while the "sculptures" were "paintings" made from tiling silk worm cocoons.

Oh, I forgot to mention, by the lake you could buy a cup of silkworms to eat if you wanted. I took a pass. One of my friends said they weren't that great, and they looked a lot like tiny balls of mucus. I'm not that adventurous.

We hung-out by the lake not really doing anything until late in the afternoon. At that point, we drove to the south shore for a visit to Gongseri Catholic Church (공세리성당). Built over 100 years ago, it was either the first or second church constructed in the province. I don't have much reliable information about the history, though. There was a small museum of Catholicism in Korea on the church grounds, but we arrived just after the museum had closed. You may know Gongseri as one of the filming locations for reportedly-popular K-drama "You Are Beautiful". It was "where Jemma (Go Minyeo) says her prayer and where David, Julian and Thomas clean a stone sculpture". Remember? Okay, maybe not...

Unlike modern Korean churches, which attempted to imitate European church styles but added things like neon-glowing steeples, Gongseri was a classic Catholic church. While a bit on the small side, it had the touch-stones of the medieval churches I'd seen in Europe. It was located on the top of a small hill and we were there as the sun was setting, so the grounds had a really nice atmosphere.

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