Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday: Part 1 - The Mountain

On Friday we decided to climb one of the mountains that surround Seoul, Yongmasan. Our plan was to get up early as to avoid the mid-day heat (forecast of 30 degrees). However, after the previous night, we didn't get moving too quickly.

We got to the mountain around .... and the place looked kinda closed. The waterfall near the entrance wasn't running, and there were a number of people sitting around a closed gate. It seemed like we had arrived too early. However, a little investigation by me found the actual path and we began the hike.

Psyched! Well, some of us.

I must say that it was hot and I was not at all inclined to be there. I don't mind a nice climb, but it was hot. I took the lead for a while and Adam at a fork split from the group. The two paths merged a short distance later and Adam, staring down at us back lit by the sun claim that I was a false prophet and that we should follow him. We went my way in the end, as it looked more like a proper trail. The mountain was odd, they had a gym on it about halfway up. Odder still was how packed the gym was. A gym where you have to hike a mountain to get to, now that is hardcore Korean fitness. There were also little workout areas dotting the trail. It was kinda funny.

Seriously, a gym halfway up a mountain??! Who are these people?


We made it to the top a found a man selling double priced water bottles. We also found a small family of cats, who were very interested in our lunch. We fed them a little, but most of the food was for us, plus it was mostly sugary pastries from Paris Baguette. We brought some booze and in classic Korean style broke open the Soju and Makkoli at the top. Some of us actually got a little tipsy, which probably wasn't wise as we were walking down, but oh well.

The top! And our tired hot boozing.

Overpriced on-location water. And a kitty.

Overview of Seoul

Their best Ajumma impressions.

Danial watched Dragonball Evolution on the flight, thus our pose.

A little ways down the trail we ran into another man selling booze, with a selection of Soju, Beer, etc. I'm not sure of the price, but it's good to know that hikers without our foresight can still get their mountain drink on. We eventually made it to the end and went off in search of the nearest subway to make our sweaty way home.

I had so much trouble finding this bar.

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