Thursday, October 11, 2012

hello, gangwondo!

After three fun weeks of orientation, it was goodbye Jochiwon and hello Gangwondo!

For our provincial orientation, the Gangwondo TaLK scholars stayed at the Korea DMZ Peace Life Valley Education centre in the one of the northernmost parts of the province.

Here is the beautiful view from one of our rest stops between Jochiwon and the DMZ.
Regrettably, I took most of the photos on my phone and got busy with Instagram as you can see below.

It really was quite the unexpected back patio view of an otherwise regular rest stop.
We made it to our lodging facilities in one piece!
The mountains were really beautiful here.. although the same can be said for most of Korea.
"Who Am I?"
How cool is this place?
Thick fog enveloped the mountains most mornings
Biggest and brightest moth I've ever seen!
One of our first stops was a war memorial site & museum
As the rain began to fall, we moved onto the "Fourth Tunnel"
This was our first really "close" encounter with the South/North Korean border
This photo was 100% not allowed. After a what seemed like a very long trek down through the walkable part of the tunnel, here we are on the shaky trolley that took us to the very edge of South Korea.
Post-it notes of encouragement to the SK military
By the time we made it out of the tunnel and the adjoining museum, a thick fog had settled over us.
We then made the arduous drive up to the DMZ observation post adjacent to the "punch bowl of Korea". Words nor photos can properly describe the spectacular view.

!!! 2.0

Here are some snaps taken between stops.
Can we agree at this point that Korea is a beautiful place?

We also checked out an art gallery and pottery museum.

I was in awe of this mixed media piece. It was quite large - 5 by 7 feet at the very least - and was plastered with thousands of little pieces of wood that made the scene dimensional and realistic. The artist captured the natural glow of a rural evening quite perfectly, I think.
Another incredible piece - believe it or not it is not a photograph, rather an oil painting on aluminum with scratches in the paint to bring out the highlights. Very Chuck Close.
This man was just outside of the gallery doing his thang.
Having a beginner's go at it
And the pro.
This was at the porcelain museum - a giant model map of Gangwondo underneath a glass floor. Some of the Wonju crew gathered for a picture above mini Wonju!

Our itinerary the following day included a hike up Seoraksan in Yangyang. Unfortunately, we were unable explore the famous mountain due to a ticket mix-up of some sort. 
I ended up with a bunch of group photos at the bottom of the hill instead.

One of our coordinators giving us the bad news.
Nope, those three boys in the middle are looking at absolutely nothing in particular - this was them posing for my camera.
This is what we encountered on our walk down to the bus! More gorgeous fog views.

We hopped back on the bus and instead of hiking up Seoraksan, we drove over to the coast of Yangyang to check out Naksansa (a temple atop Naksan Mountain).

Yangyang beach
Classic ajumma
Check out this boy's ballin' snack pack
After a moderate uphill walk, we made it to the temple complex.
The trees in Korea are very unique. Nothing like this back in Canada as far as I've ever seen.
One of the many communal drinking wells
Joshua's closeup in the making
Hyesun and I
From the very top, you had a 180 degree view of the coast
This poor horse looked super unhappy
Whoa ajummas. Bling for all tastes.

As a quick stop on our tour of northern Gangwon, we made a visit to one of the filming locations of Korea's most popular dramas, Gaeul Donghwa (Autumn of the Heart), in Sokcho (Abai Vilage).

Best friends
We didn't even get to step foot off of this man-powered pulley ferry once we got to the other side. It was a few minutes there and a few minutes back but some of the scholars had a go at pulling our weight.
Pension posse hanging out like vagrants under a bridge.

Throughout the trip, we were fed quite well:


And we also fed ourselves:

Evening crew hangout

We spent a lot of our time on the bus, but overall it was a solid experience of the DMZ!

Leaving our mark at the DMZ Peace centre :)

1 comment:

David said...

Wow the pictures make me really nostalgic... far out it looks like you guys are having such an awesome time! Awesome photos btw. Much better than the ones i took lol.

(This is previous jangyang scholar just stumbled on ur site while reminiscing haha)