Subway: Eungbong (Jungang Line)
Distance hiked: 0.91 km
Near the edge of the Han River and overlooking a manmade forest, Eungbongsan was usually visible to me on the train. Its pavilion is unmistakable. It’s low enough to distinguish human activity in the city below. I watch a pigeon hop away from an exercise machine and further, I walk through the trees that are still bursting with flowers. On the pavilion, an elderly gentleman squats down, holding his umbrella for support while he observes the commotion below. There are so many bridges with zooming cars with Seoulites inside dashing from one appointment to another. The stark quiet of the mountain feels interesting—it’s as though an invisible wall separates the city noise from the mountain silence. I think this is where the oddness of having mountains in a city hit me the hardest. The line between nature and urbanity isn’t fully straight in Korea, and this fact alone is enchanting and puzzling and alarming, all at once.