Yesterday I woke up in a funk and after attempts at curbing that funk, including heavy caffeination, watching a movie and reading, I put on my walking shoes, dialed in to some Tom Waits and left my apartment. I didn't necessarily have a direction in mind but I knew I didn't want to follow my usual path around the river, typically a 40 minute walk.
Whatever can be said about the path not taken, I took a hard right instead of the gradual left that leads to the river. I wound up walking the base of the mountain around which Yecheon skirts. I recalled a Buddhist temple high up on the mountain that my coteacher took me to my third week after arriving, almost exactly one year ago. I decided I'd try to find it. After walking a good 25 minutes, I saw a sign which I could read but not understand. I intuited it to be a sign for the temple. Almost immediately, the road ascended at a 20% grade (I understood that sign) and I walked and walked, following the snaking road up the mountain.
After another 25 minutes of walking uphill, I arrived at the temple and was once again humbled by the solitude of standing alone on its vista. The temple itself is simple though the beauty of the main room left me speechless all over again. Unfortunately I only had my smart phone with me so the pictures are not as spectacular as they ought to be. I will rectify this with a subsequent hike and my DSLR.
|Yecheon from the temple|
|The entrance to the temple|
|Inside the main chamber|
|Woodwork on the outer wall of the main chamber|
|Under the roof of the main chamber|
After poking around, straining to catch my breath and trying to raise the pall of the funk, I saw some wooden stairs which shot up the mountain. My curiosity got the better of me and I decided to follow them up.
|Steps from the temple on the right|