In Korea, mountains occupies 7,80% of the whole Korean territory. Enormous mountain ranges like the TaeBaek mountains and NangNim mountains goes across the eastern part of Korea, and many other small and big ranges are connected to those big mountains and spreads out to whole Korea. Thanks to that, people in Korea can visit the mountains very often, very easily. Some comes on time to time, and other lots of people visits very often, regularly like once a month or once a week on holidays. The reason why they visits the mountains would be because they can get refreshments. Breathing cool fresh air and doing their exercise, feeling the clean energy of the mountain and feeling the nature… Some people who comes to the mountains would have dragged out by their families of friends, but most of them climb the mountains with their own will and gets full sense of accomplishment. Last week, our EWC members went to DoBongSan(Mt. DoBong). I can’t tell whether it applies on the case of ‘dragged out’ by Brent or on the case of ‘going with own will’. Anyhow, we went to the mountain.
The weather was so nice. It was cool,breezy but also warm. Maybe it’s because the spring with blooming flowers is just around the corner. When we arrived at DoBong station, it was full with mountain climbers going home. We didn’t know the way to DoBongSan but we started our way following the path where endless numbers of mountain climbers were coming out. The path was very long and narrow. Those narrow paths were full of small shops and cart bars fulled with snacks which are usually eaten with alcohols. All kinds of unusual, unique and strange foods were there! Most of the mountain climbers’ ages are about 4,50 and many of them eat some foods with ‘Soju'(Korean traditional alcohol) after climbing the mountains. Korea has so many unique foods like China has, which foreigners would have difficulties trying them. The shops in the paths had almost every kind of famous, loved foods eaten with SoJu. Some of them were which we can’t see on usual near our home. Those foods were so interesting, and caught our – especially my – sight. Reddish and yellowish strange foods sizzled on the grills looked soooo delicious and the smell of fried and grilled foods made me crazy. The sights of the foods made my mouth water, and I even just wanted to sit in any shop and eat.
The path toward DoBongSan was so long. According to Hye-rin who recently came to DoBongSan with her last year’s class friends, she said we might have to go back home before we reach the mountain in this speed. I thought we might really do so. We were walking in a very slow speed, stopping in every curious thing which we found along the way. I tried my best to make the girls go faster although me and Hye-rin is the slowest ones on usual situations. As we walked more and more, the path became bigger and wider. Famous, big shops selling mountain-climbing equipment were placing on one side of the path and the other side had other small equipment shops and also some cart bars with alcohols. We’ve walked for a long time since we leaved DoBongSan Station, but there were any signs of arrival to DoBongSan. When we were slowly getting tired and bored because of the endless walking, a small but quite big stream appeared from between the shops and the trees. We found some stairs and rocks to sit along the stream there, so we sat on and had a rest. The stream was rhythmically flowing in front of us, and between some resting mountain climbers, one man sang old Korean folk songs with a guitar. His singing or guitar not that good, but It sounded good and I felt like I was sinking in the mood of old Korean soul though we were very young.
A while later, as we leaved the stream and continued walking again, we finally reached the information board showing the map of the mountain. At last! Though it was not that bored walking such a long distance thanks to lots of interesting things to see, I also had some strange feelings like disadvantages of the fact we didn’t reached the mountain for that long time. However, I didn’t have any complaints. Anyhow, we walked a bit more from the board and finally arrived at the start of DoBongSan. Right in front of the start of the mountain was a small temple and the path was continued to the inside the mountain. It was crowded with thick woods and there were so many grasses. Although there were so many trees and grasses, it was not that green because it was not perfectly spring yet. The board cast said the first flowers are about to bloom in early April. The trees were still the ones of the winter with bare branches. Only the warm and breezy air and the atmosphere showed that it is spring. I could feel the nature of the mountain and feel the clean air, making my breath refreshing. We were just standing in front of the very start of the mountain, but the wide brick road of the very first of the mountain crowded with the forest of bare branches and the Korean styled temple made me think that I was in the center of the nature in the forest.
Our EWC members finally reached the mountain after such a long time, but we went back home only seeing the start of the mountain. Come to think of it, Brent said we are ‘going’ to the mountain, not ‘climbing’ a mountain. We’ve walked a long distance for a long time, but luckily, walking was not bored. There were so many things to see!! While seeing those lots of interesting stuffs on our way, I was quite a lot exited and I enjoyed walking. Also I thought walking in DoBongSan also helped my exercise, too. Korea has lots of mountains all around the whole region. For example, when I go to the rooftop of our apartment, I can see four mountains on all four directions as I turn around. We can experience many mountains around Korea and it is also very easy to go because mountains are almost everywhere. Going to a mountain and experiencing the nature of the it on timeful holidays would be good for your experience, health, and also for your relax. Later, I think I might go to the mountain again. That time, I would like to reach the top of the mountain and feel the fresh air and feel the sense of full accomplishment.