The Mountain that Makes Seoul Look Like Legos
Subway: Sinchon (Line 2)
Distance hiked: 3.16 km
Ansan started with a temple. Outside were white statues of old men, and through the gate, I was greeted with bright lanterns. It was windy, and I could hear the fish-shaped chimes ringing. A friendly ajusshi led me to the right trail. I took his photo and he took mine. As I ascended, a young man passed me by and sat on a rock. I liked his pose, took a photo, and ran for it. The top was a the smoke-signal station, where I encountered beautiful views of neighboring mountains, such as Inwangsan. It was then that I realized how the high-rise buildings co-existed with these centuries-old mountains. These buildings were still dwarfed by the majesty of these forces of nature, and I wondered which side would eventually win, if there really is a battle between the old and the new, as history often tells us.
At the station, I met two ajusshi, and learning that they spoke English, interviewed them on why they liked to hike. One showed me his photos from Seoraksan, a mountain outside of Seoul. I climbed that same mountain a couple of weeks earlier, and we had a good laugh when I showed him my photos from the same site. We parted ways, and I started my descent. Later, I heared someone yell, “Catherine! Interactive artist!” and gaped when I saw the same gentlemen coming down the mountain. It was starting to rain, and they offered me a lift. I hesitated, but the desire to avoid pneumonia won. We had coffee before they dropped me off Seodaemun Prison Museum. Nice guys.