Trip Start Jun 15, 2006
57Trip End Jun 15, 2007
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"Are you typing an entry?" - Bryan
"Everyone thinks you do them all by yourself!" - Lyn
"Hmm, make sure you use spell check." - Bryan
Well about a month ago we went on a really cool excursion to Cheongpyeongsa
I'm sorry to tell you that we still don't have pictures of Cheongpyeongsa. We do have great pictures of the way to the temple which, upon reflection, is what makes this place so special. You see, you can't drive to this temple.
We started by taking a taxi to Soyang Dam, which in itself is surprisingly picture worthy. It was unexpected to see the hordes of people walking up the road to the dam from the public parking area far below. As we were in a taxi we were spared the long march and dropped off at the top. The view was breathtaking but I couldn't look. I was sure our speeding taxi was going to clobber any one of the teetering toddlers walking up the road with their families. I actually wonder how we didn't get into an accident. I usually wonder that when I'm in a taxi in Korea.
Just an aside I can't resist. Soyang Dam is one of Korea's largest and the largest in our city. This past rainy season was unusually heavy and so much water poured into Soyang lake that the dam overflowed, consequently flooding the expressway in Seoul.
Back to my story, we took the ferry from Soyang Dam to the little dock at Cheongpyeongsa. The mountains are so steep that there is nothing on them but trees the whole way. It was a wonderful ride and after we stopped worrying about the floatability of the apparently ancient life jackets we really enjoyed it.
From the ferry's landing point we walked up a mountain trail to the temple. About a half hour hike with more beautiful scenery. We were disappointed to see that the path is very touristy. There are food and souvenir stalls almost the whole way up, though, many with dinning tables directly in the stream, which is kind of neat
We passed the Gueseong Waterfall. It is said that if you meditate there you can hear nine distinct sounds emanating from the cascade. We have no picture of this but we took seven in front of the preceding waterfall. (It was a tragically poor camera day.)
We passed a rare pond built even before the temple. It was one of Korea's oldest gardens. (No picture.)
The path was lined with Korean Enookshooks (take that spell checker) called Sari Budo. (No picture - I'm as frustrated as you.)
We do have pictures of some cool statues and a grave monument built in 1125.
We have no pictures yet of Cheongpyeongsa but I can leave you with a few details. It was founded as a private academy in 973. It has been destroyed and rebuild many times, lastly because of the Korean war. There is so much painting on the buildings that they are constantly being painted over. Like Gyongbokgung, the painting is the Korean base 5 colours scheme so it looks a lot like the palaces.
Don't be disappointed, we'll be back to take pictures so you can see this place too.
Bye for now,
We miss you all,
Lyndsay and Bryan