(Great views! At the mountain top with Seoul sprawling behind me)
One of the most popular sports in Korea is hiking. I know, it’s not the first thing that comes to mind when you think “sports.” But on any weekend day, you will see Koreans heading to the mountains outfitted in their color coordinating hiking gear, with walking sticks in hand. There’s plenty of beautiful scenery to choose from in Korea, so Cameron and I decided to give it a try.
We set out for Namhansanseong Provincial Park, which has trails running along fortress walls built hundreds of years ago to defend Seoul. Temples, pavilions, and fortress gates are tucked away along the wooded trail. It’s a mix of historic Seoul and the great outdoors.
As it turns out, I enjoy hiking. The scenery was beautiful and this was a great way to get a workout. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a fan of the gym or running in place on a treadmill. But huffing and puffing while hiking just feels good.
As the sun began to set, we ended up at the top of the mountain. That’s where we came across a dozen hikers poised with their camera gear, ready to watch Seoul fade to black. The views of the southern portion of the city were fabulous. Seoul is sprawling, and it rolls on for as far as the eye can see.
This was a great first hike, and I’m certain it won’t be our last. Who knows…maybe I’ll even have some color coordinated hiking outfits in my wardrobe soon, although they don’t have boots my size…
(Directions to Namhansanseong: Subway Line 8 to Namhansanseong. Take Exit 1. Then hop on Bus #9 to get to the park entrance.)
A "watch tower" along fortress walls used to protect Seoul in the 1600's
This beautiful painted detail has been restored. The same motif is found at local palaces and temples.
The fortress wall we hiked along.