Trip to Korea

There is a voice description of each slide that you can listen to while looking at the slides. It is from the cassette tapes we made almost thirty years ago. I was pretty long winded (no rehearsals or editting and tapes were cheap) and the section for this page is about eight minutes and will take about three minutes to download with a dial up connection. So might you not want to get it unless you have a broadband connection to the internet.

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This is one of the images of Budha at Bul Guk Sah. The statue itself would be wood or bronze with a thin layer of gold. Bul Guk Sah Budha. =0=
Bul Guk Sah is located in a beautiful mountainous region and this is one of the views from the temple. Bul Guk Sah. =0=
Bul Guk Sah is located at Kyong Ju which was the capital of Korea from about 900AD to about 1200AD. This is the foundation of a stone pagoda that is about 1200 years old. It originally had twelve levels, but the upper nine were thinner and more flimsy. An invading army knocked down those upper levels, leaving just these three levels. Bul Guk Sah Pagoda. =0=
The pagoda shown above is greatly revered both because it is so old, but also because it is made from carved stones about the size of bricks. It is hollow on the insde as you can see from this entrance. Of course, the interior doesn't look very appealing to me. Bul Guk Sah Pagoda. =0=
Around this pagoda was a very pleasant garden. Their gardens tend to be pretty simple, but most peaceful and this is the a picture from the garden around the pagoda above. Two pictures from this series are missing. They are described in the tape, but haven't been encountered as yet. They may be added later. Bul Guk Sah Garden =0=
That completes our Korean temple tour. The next series of pictures are of Cheju Doh which translates to Cheju Island though you may catch me saying Cheju Doh Island (just as redundant as Ap San Mountain). This island is just South of mainland Korea. We took a tour there with the Army recreation center and spent a pleasant weekend. Cheju Doh is famous for carvings from volcanic rock of stone grandfathers. The stone grandfathers are supposed to guard the house from evil spirits and bring good luck. This is Barbara with one of her favorites. Cheju Doh Stone Grandfather. =0=
This is me with one of the stone grandfathers that I particularly liked. We also got a souvenir stone grandafther (which was actually poured cement). When we showed it to our Korean friends, the said, ah yes, a ... (in Korean which I don't remember). When we asked them what it meant, they said it doesn't mean anything. It is just the name of the artifact. However, when we asked them what the different parts meant, they discovered that it meant stone grandfather (they had never thought of it that way). Behind me is a typical wall made from valocanic rocks without mortar. Most houses will have a three foot wall around them like this. This wall was around a temple and was taller than usual. It was also pretty thin, only eight to ten inches thick, but thick enough (it seems). Also, Cheju Doh is known in Korea as the land without walls, beggars, or thieves. It was a quite peaceful area and not nearly as crowded as mainland Korera. Cheju Doh Stone Grandfather. =0=
This is a pretty typcial Korean stone carving 'factory'. Just a shaded work area under a tarp. It looks like they are making stones and decorations for the more modern houses around Korea. Stone Carving. =0=
The first night of the tour we stayed in a hotel that is at the base of the plateau that you can see in the distance. The plateau is known as sunrise peak and many people would stay at the hotel for their honeymoon and get up early in the morning to climb the trail and see the sunrise. We got up early and climbed the trail. Cheju Doh Sunrise Peak. =0=
On the climb up it was too dark to take pictures on the way up so I took pictures on the way down when it was light out. This is the low foothills on the way up. I was impressed by the natural rock formations. I imagine that they started the stone grandfather tradition with natural carvings that looked somewhat like a person and then started enhancing the effect. Most of the holes in the rocks seem to be the result of volcanic gas with some as large as a room with the more normal sign about a foot across. Cheju Doh Sunrise Peak Trail. =0=
As we got higher up the plateau the trail got steeper and the rock formations got even stranger looking. Cheju Doh Sunrise Peak Trail. =0=
We got to the top about fifteen minutes before the sunrise. Unfortunately on the morning when we were there, there were clouds in the distance so that the sunrise wasn't all that impressive. We were told that if there weren't clouds on the sunrise it would look like the sea was boiling fire with the waves in the distance changing the angle of reflection. Cheju Doh Sunrise Peak. =0=
The sunrise was prettier than in these pictures, but these iamges don'r really capture the range of colors in the sunrise. Cheju Doh Sunrise Peak. =0=
As the sun rose further we were able to take pictures of the top of the peak. This is a volcanic crater with the center lower than the edges and pasture in the center (with goat or cow trails). Cheju Doh Sunrise Peak. =0=
This is what the edges of the peak look like. Cheju Doh Sunrise Peak. =0=
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This page was last updated on September 5, 2005.