Thursday, October 19, 2006

buguksa and seokgulan

I caught the number 11 bus to buguksa temple. It was a little adventure as I took a wrong turn near the start and it took about 10 minutes to work out where I had gone wrong. The map I am using is also a bit misleading at times, the roads do not match up as well as they could to reality. So this was my first city bus trip, previously I had been in cities where I was using the subway. The french people on the bus explained how to use the machine to pay.

The two places, buguksa temple and seokgulan grotto are unesco world heritage listed. The temple was a large affair and for the first time in Korea I came across a buddist temple that did not allow photos inside the temples themselves. This is the norm elsewhere in the world. There were plenty of monks praying and the usualy millions of school children. I met a sporting group of Koreans from Parramatta with Australia written on the backs of thier blasers and for the first time I became a rock star. I had to sign about 20 autograph books. A most unexpected experience.

I caught the bus up to Seokgulan grotto. It is a small monumnet, but is missing the bus loads of children. It is architectureally very interesting and the buddha is supposedely the best in Korea, though I am no expert.

I then travelled down to Bomun Lake. Here I watched a free dancing display from the ancient sillia kingdom that went for an hour. At first there were only five of us wathig about 10 dancers, but by the second act the crowd had swelled to about 30. The I returned back to the guest house and had dinner with three people from California.

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