Finally, the last post from my Korea adventures. Still can't believe that trip was the middle of last October. Such a head-over-heels, wonderful trip full of friendly faces and a stunning array of colors and aromas and shapes. I will never forget it. Our very last day, after our friend Ashley left the day before, Natalie and I made a commitment to trek a little outside the city to hike through Bukhansan National Park, the biggest national park in all of Korea. After spending an entire week in a city environment, it made sense to get back in touch with what the country had to offer nature wise. We made it just in time to experience South Korea at its autumnal peak. I have never seen hues of orange, marigold and red so vibrant and so striking. Or if I have, I didn't remember them. What I saw around me was almost as if it was an unreal vision. Scared too touch the leaves in fear of them disappearing and it all being just a dream. But nope, it was all real, from smell to touch. It was fascinating.
Something that was interesting to witness about Seoul was the lack of gyms. It was a rarity to see Koreans running outside. Funny, because the weather was perfect for a good outdoor workout. The rosy complexions of Seoul's youth apparently is from good skin creams and face masks as opposed to a good cardiovascular workout. But once we entered the entrance to the park, it seemed like every Korean over the age of 50 was up and it, taking strides that seemed almost longer and faster than those of my sister and I. Wrinkled faces full of life and character to complement eyes full of sparkle. We exchanged friendly nods and curious waves with these hikers who came to enjoy the fresh air, mild weather and a good sweat. Everything my sister and I seeked out, as well. We got a taste of Korea without the sounds of heavy traffic, K=POP blasting from shopping complexes and noisy school kids eating bibimbap. Our hike through the park was the perfect way to ground ourselves after our whirlwind of city lights in a city where soju and BBQ ruled the nights and the music of heavily decorated pop stars led the way to the future. This was the real Korea. One that will stay consistent in its kingdom of beauty. The only things changing are the stories we'll take from it, and those will change with the seasons. And those stories we will never forget :)