Fall in Gyeongju

I spent yesterday with friends in Gyeongju. My friend’s mother is here, so a couple of us joined them on the 90 minute train ride north. I’ve been once before when a colleague took me up with his family just a couple weeks after I arrived.

I can’t do the place justice with any meaningful background information here. But briefly, it’s the ancient Silla capital, and it celebrates one of the great historical periods in Korean history. The area today is a beautiful and massive open space with temples, burial mounds, parks, and various tourist amenities.

We got some bi-bim-bap and then walked through a wooded area toward the burial mounds that house the remains of the old Silla kings. The colors here are alive with deep reds, yellows and greens. And the air is crisp and clear. I’m really liking autumn here.

Once clear of the forest, we approached the burial mounds. You walk a meandering stone path and after a while the whole thing looks like something that might be conceived had C.S. Lewis and Dr. Seuss spent some time together.

Later, we went to the arts and crafts village, where people still practice ceramics in the classic Korean tradition. It’s another example of that great contrast in this country: tradition plus commerce. You can wander the village and watch them actually spinning clay in their homes and workshops, then go to individual stores to buy their works.

Here’s the entrance to the village, guarded by some old Silla kings, no doubt:

And some discarded works, I guess — broken and abandoned Kimchee pots lying in the hills:

The artistry goes all the way to some of the walkways outside the workshop buildings. Here are some exquisitely detailed tiles on a walkway leading up to one such place:

And I can’t let this photo collection go without mentioning Steve. Steve is the crab we ate on Thursday night. He was a King Crab, all 4 pounds of him! He died for us along with his partner Jamie. I don’t know why we named them after the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman, but they sure were delicious.

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One Response to “Fall in Gyeongju”

  1. C.S.Lewis meets Dr. Seuss. I like that. Brings up lots of images. But one shouldn’t name one’s food before scarfing it down.

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