27 December 2014

A day of Buddhas

Dear Coco
This morning Simon arrived to fetch us with a snack of Korean sushi rolls for breakfast. We wanted to head out early as the bus to the mountains of Palgong-san gets quite busy.
We arrived without any trouble - Simon is a real whizz as getting around Daegu! The path starts in
 the provincial park and winds its way up a path
to the first Buddhist temple of Gwanam.
And somewhere in the elaborate carvings I found a dog to remind me of you Coco - but you don't really want to live in Korea because there is rumour that they sometimes eat dogs! (But we didn't see any evidence for this so I am hoping it no longer happens.)
There were lots of scary snary dragons.
We left the temple behind and slogged all the way to the top of the mountain. This is a view looking back over Daegu, There were lots of people going up and down as there is another famous Gatbawi granite Buddha up there
that everyone want to visit as he apparently is a healing Buddha. It is very colourful up there with lanterns and lights.
and here is the Buddha - carved many hundreds of years ago from a solid piece of granite rock.
We walked down the other side of the mountain, coming across more temples and more Buddhas.
And more colourful paper lanterns.
There were even some lanterns strung up along the path down the mountain. There was still a lot of snow around and it was quite cold, but at least it was a sunny day.
Here are some old stone lanterns along this path that led to yet another temple 
with lots and lots of buddhas at the end of the path,
some ancient, some modern, and some tiny plastic figures too.
Looking back to the top of the mountain where the granite Buddha is. All unbelievably beautiful, and set in forests of pines and firs and birches.
A completely frozen stream.
Then we came back to the temple where we had started the walk, and found a restaurant where we had some tasty lunch
just below this elegant Buddha.
We then took a taxi to another nearby temple in the Palgong-san mountains, where we wanted to visit another famours Buddha. These are large lanterns in front of the temple of Donghwa-sa,
which also has some rather fierce looking guardians at its gate.
We walked to the massive modern Tongil-daebul Buddha, which was most impressive.
All Budda-ed out, we left this amazing place and went to find the bus, passing this cute short-legged Labrador-style dog
sunning himself outside his shop.
We caught the bus home - and Simon led us to our door. We were really tired so we told Simon we needed an early night, and he went off to see his friends. We packed up for our trip tomorrow, and fell into bed. In the morning one of Simon's colleagues is taking us to Gyeongju for the start of our three-day trip to Busan and back. I will try and write again tomorrow. We saw a lovely photo of you and Laddie and Harvey going off to Meadowridge Common, lucky you. Send my love to Kerryn and Phil, and lots of love to you and the boys, love from the Food Lady. (The Alph is asleep but I am sure he sends love too.)

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