Friday, May 16, 2014

Koreadventures: Part II

It’s Friday and I’m back with more excitement of Koreadventures, trip pics included of course.

FM and I are giant nerds, so when it comes to vacation, you’ll find us squirreled away in a museum or visiting something culturally/historically significant.  Call us crazy…  Good thing South Korea is jam-packed with both!!

 
One of the things I really wanted to check out were the vast Buddhist temples scattered around the country.  Thankfully, we got to see two, and they were both amazingly striking but so completely different!! I’m all for the Buddhist teachings of karma, the endless cycle of birth and death, seeking of peace and wisdom, and quiet meditation (if I ever had the time), and I’ve never had the chance to visit a true temple before.  It was one of the very best life experiences I’ve had so far, and I jumped in with both feet (sans shoes of course, let’s not be disrespectful).

Both temples we visited, Jogyesa and Bongeunsa, were absolutely gorgeous.  The carvings could blow you away, the giant pagodas were a sculptors dream, and the statues of Buddha… OH the statues!!

Jogyesa is smack in the middle of the city, dates back to 1365, and has three gigantic statues of Buddha within the temple, beautiful shining gold, and about 30-40 feet tall! I was in awe of these enormous specimens, and just being amongst them, and the worshippers inside, was so peaceful! And we got to be there for Buddha’s birthday celebration, including the lantern festival, which completely turns the temple into this amazing sea of color!!


Bongeunsa, on the flip side, was more spread out on the hillside, like a typical country temple, but equally as gorgeous with smaller temple buildings along the paths leading to an even bigger outdoor Buddha.  This complex was uh-may-zing, the grounds were fabulous and rich in history, and we just LOVED being here and poking around!



We also made a point to stop by one of Seoul’s favorite palaces, Gyeongbokgung, just in time for the changing of the guards ceremony.  This place was so expansive, and the paintings and woodwork so intricate, it was hard to believe we were still in the middle of Seoul city! Really, if I were a king, this is how I’d want to live! But I’d request a moat… and a few less tourists peeping in my windows.


Clearly, our historical itch was scratched just on these few little detours, but honestly, if you get the chance to visit the country, check these places out, they were amazing, and definitely ranking high on my amazement list!

Have a great weekend everyone!!




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