I don't mean to make a habit of listing semi-obscure 90's bands and then the only part of their lyrics I can remember, but this time it's quite relevant.
Planning a hike was as easy as googling "hikes in seoul" and picking the first one on what was supposed to be a wet, rainy day.
Or was it?
Technically that was close to entirely wrong. The directions got the subway number and stop right. But not only is there no exit number 1, there is no bus 156. (Also there were neither admission fees nor maps.) The truth of the matter is that if you take exit 2 and get on bus 0212, then about 15 minutes later you'd be in the village.
However, being rather naive and trusting, I did not suspect the blatant myths and lies in the directions. Not having any way to learn the truth other than by walking around and around in circles, that's what happened. For just over an hour. But I learned that Gwanghwamun is renovating and making a square of some sort, and there is a big museum there that looks like the acropylis, and we found a huge bookstore that I've always wondered where it was. So it wasn't a loss.
I'll mostly let the pictures speak for themselves. Remember that this is actually within the city limits of one of the largest cities in the world.
Thousands of Koreans hike the mountain every weekend. Many really appreciate seeing foreigners who choose to hike with them.
One of the many interesting rock formations.
A view from the temple.
And a view of the temple.
A super nice house in the mountain village. The village felt different than other parts of Seoul I've seen, with outdoor shops, open air restaurants, and a vibe more reminscent of a resort town than Seoul.