Saturday, April 10, 2010

Temple, Waterfall, Beach Tour…..

Me and the huge growth on my cheek rose early to get to the bus before 8 a.m. After a 90 minute drive we arrived at the Neso-sa Temple.  This temple was built more than 1300 years ago. 
Entrance to Neso-sa temple. The colors on this are so incredible; this photo does it a disservice.

The cherry blossom lined walk from the entrance to the temple. It’s a shame that the cherry blossoms weren’t in full bloom yet.
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These guys stand at guard at the entry way to the temple grounds

One of the temple monks. We did get to see part of a Buddhist service but we were not allowed to take photographs during the service.  It was quite moving and inspirational.
This is one of my favorite photographs from my tour today.  They are preparing for the celebration of Buddha’s birthday on May 21st.  They have these beautiful paper lanterns hanging all over.
Cherry Blossoms
Maybe Magnolia Blossoms
Pretty Pink Blossoms
Next stop on our tour was the Chikso Waterfall and it began to rain. I was not at all prepared for the rain or the 1.9 km hike over rough terrain.
The first part of the hike was flat and easy.
Then it began to get steep and very challenging for me to navigate. For everyone else it was merely the act of hiking up and over big boulders.
For me, it was an act of concentration and focus due to my balance issues.  Throw in a little heart condition and this made for a very challenging hike for me.
Then it opened up into a beautiful still lake surrounded by amazing mountains shrouded in clouds.  It reminded me of a movie set or a painting rather than real scenery that I was actually standing in the middle of.
Over another huge boulder and up 30 more stairs and there it was! So majestic and awe inspiring.
The rainy mist hung in the air like a veil shielding us from the magnificent spectacle, almost like it was too much for us to see.
I love this photo with the rain clinging to the pine needles and the hazy hillside in the background.  It really captures the mood of the day we were there visiting this natural wonder.
If you look closely you can see the people making their way across the top of that huge boulder.  That was a particularly tough spot to get up and over.  But I did it and I am insanely proud of myself for doing it!!!
Our 3rd and final stop was Pyonsan Beach.  Since the weather wasn’t really cooperating it was tough to get into a beachy mood. 

So instead of spending a lot of time wandering a damp dreary beach, I went snack shopping instead.  I must say that Korea knows how to make a good cookie!!! All in all it was truly wonderful to see such amazing scenery.  I took tons more pictures than what I posted but I just wanted to give you guys the highlights of the tour!