|Another view on my walk to work. Mountains make me happy.|
Much to my surprise, they led to a secluded, solitary grave site. I have no idea who's buried here. (Those fresh-looking flowers in the vases? Artificial.)
It's an incredible view. I felt like I was the only person alive.
|Surrounded by flowers, to boot.|
This wasn't the hermitage, though. After I had a reading-and-snack break, I continued up the side of the mountain.
At this point it got buggy as hell. Gnats materialized out of nowhere to nag at me. No matter how many I killed, it seemed there were always four or five following me around. Someone driving a car down the path thought my futile attempts to swat the bugs away were me waving at him, and waved back.
It was a short walk—only half a kilometer—but it was steep, steeper than it looks like in this picture. But I persevered and made it to my destination!
The hermitage is a lot more impressive than Hoeryongsa. I felt supremely awkward, though: every step I took on the gravel seemed to echo throughout the entire mountain. I was sure the monks were going to come out of their meditation to yell at me in Korean and chase me away.
It was so serene. Part of me would love to run away and join a Buddhist monastery. Buddhist nunnery? Why wouldn't you want to live here?
I explored the grounds a bit, debated going into the tiny little shrine room to meditate (but decided against, for fear of the angry Korean monks), and ultimately contented myself with sitting on a large rock and enjoying the quiet. Eventually I noticed that the sun was getting low and began the walk back to my apartment.
Day well spent.