Beauty within the mist: hiking along the Namhansanseong fortress wall

IMG_2840

IMG_2798

This was worth waking up early for.

Beads of moisture dripped off crisp green pine needles and orange leaves making their last stand against the impending winter. A deep fog clung to the air, muting but in no way diminishing the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

I was at the base of Namhansanseong fortress on a cool, misty morning, and 9:30 am in Korea is plenty early enough to beat the crowds.

IMG_2777

IMG_2832

I made the journey to the fortress with Yeonsoon (U.S.), who I’d met, incidentally, while walking near my house a few weekends earlier. We didn’t have the whole fortress to ourselves, but it nearly felt that way. It was a refreshing change to linger and take photos whenever the mood struck us. And the mood struck frequently. Despite the gloomy day, the trail was bright with rich green pine trees, blazing orange leaves, and dying golden grasses.

IMG_2849

My partner-in-crime for the day, who goes by U.S.!

IMG_0829US

Photo credit: U.S. Yeo.

IMG_2823

IMG_0831US

Photo credit: U.S. Yeo.

IMG_0832US

Photo credit: U.S. Yeo. (Beautiful, isn’t it?)


IMG_2792
IMG_2816

IMG_0830US

Photo credit: U.S. Yeo.

 

IMG_2824

This is Sueojangdae, the only surviving military post out of the original four.


Namhansanseong station is located southeast of central Seoul, along the pink #8 line. US drove, but I noticed several numerous buses making the journey to the fortress itself for those interested in seeing the place for themselves (I do highly recommend it, and it is a popular hike year round!) The hike itself takes around 2-3 hours, and is a nice moderate course- no scrambling over rocks like I did a couple of months ago at Bukhansan!

 

IMG_2783

One thing US said really stuck with me. He is involved in a photography Meetup group that gets together once a month to photograph Namhansanseong fortress. What better way to document and appreciate the changing of the seasons? I’ve watched muggy, summery days slowly grow cooler. Forests have exploded with colour as leaves begin their slow decay into winter. Rains have become less and less frequent. Rather than providing welcome relief from the heat, they now offer  a nice excuse to stay inside and cozy up with a cup of tea and a book.


IMG_2846

IMG_2804 IMG_2848

Afterwards, we had an excellent lunch at the base of the fortress- pajeon (green onion and seafood pancake), and sonbundu (soft tofu eaten with a less-typical variety of kimchi, and rice). And of course, don’t forget the makgeolli 😉 No middle-aged Korean hiking enthusiast would!

IMG_2861

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Beauty within the mist: hiking along the Namhansanseong fortress wall

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s