Geumjeongsan Mountain Adventure on Korea’s Foundation Day

Today was an important national holiday in Korea.  It’s called (National) Foundation Day.  I think it’s akin to Independence Day in America.  All I know is that I saw a whole lot of Korean flags hanging outside of businesses and people’s homes.  In any event, I didn’t have to go to school to teach.  So I was invited by a fellow teacher and friend to go for a hike with his coteachers.  He sent out an invite on Facebook and described it as a “leisurely” hike up Geumjeongsan Mountain.

Let me just cut to the chase.  After 4 hours of verticle effort, painful shin splints and blisters on my toes, not to mention the intense burn in my thighs I realized that I had been the victim of a hiking three card monty.  This was no regular hike.  However, aside of all that, it turned out to be an extremely rewarding day of beautiful sights, perfect weather, and a great time with some great people.  Once we reached the summit, it was immediately clear that the ends justified the means in this case.  The vertical measures approximately 2,800 feet and the view was breathtaking.  Really.  At the top, I got a complete panoramic view of the city of Busan (video below).  I even celebrated by buying a popsicle while there!  It was well worth the pain to make it to the top.

About 1/4 of the way up
Scoping out our plan of attack
Taking a much needed breather
Sensing victory was nigh.  (my friend wasn’t so into it)
I saw the top…and it was good.  (so was the popsicle in my hand)

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