Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sokcho and Seoraksan

Seoraksan National Park is home to, and named after, Korea's most popular mountain.  It's on the east coast, 3 bus-bound hours from Seoul, next to Sokcho (a city).  Seoraksan is so dang famous I wanted to climb it before splitting Korea for good.  My lovely companion and I made it so one magical (highly arduous, actually) Saturday.

Yep, still funny.

Here you can see the pink motel in which we stayed and a half-naked man doing laundry atop the bus terminal.  Sokcho has its charms.

Ugly Hotel Room:  The Embeddenning

What I like here is the juxtaposition of hideous appointments and a massive LCD TV.

This one's for you, internet gaming community ca. 1996.

A love motel built for a Turkish sultan.

Because sometimes you're at a bus stop and desperately need a plush toy, light bulb, grip exerciser or vibrator.

Look who's a big scary bear!


That there's the tallest peak in the park.  We did not climb it.  (Takes 2 days.)

That would kill my knees.


Every comestible or useless bauble you buy on the mountain was carried there on this guy's back.


Buddhist hermitage, complete with (unpictured) prayer cave.

Our destination was Ulsanbanwi, that rocky thing in the distance.  It's ~770 meters high.

Baby Bear will have flashbacks to this moment of horrified paralysis for the rest of his life.

Rocky the Rock says, "Erosion is everyone's enemy!"

After the hermitage the path became ever steeper until the stone gave way to steel.

There were many steps.

Many steep steps.

Frankly amazed a smoker was able to make it this far.

I wonder about the super badasses who climbed up here when there weren't any stairs and left behind stairs.

View from the top:  not bad, a bit hazy.

The locals thought this hilarious.

This is a picture of me before I learned the ascent would cost me a week of crippling leg pain.

This is what that last picture would look like with yours truly expertly Photoshopped out.

Nature is our future and the future is hostile.

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