Sarimsa

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Dear, dear readers: We have returned from our fabulous Chuseok vacation on Jejudo, and there are so many things I want to write about! However, time is short, and laundry is piling up, so I’m just going to leave you with a quick recap of one of those magical little moments that only happens when you travel without an itinerary.

On the second day of Chuseok, we spent our morning wandering around Halla Arboretum, an enormous botanical garden in Jeju City. We had stopped there and planned to walk to our next destination, which our guidebook had described as “just uphill from the Arboretum”. (In plain English, this would read: approximately two miles–most of it without sidewalks–uphill.) As we began our little excursion, ignorant of the length and difficulty of the journey ahead of us, we came up Sarimsa, a tiny temple tucked back in the hillside above Halla Arboretum.

Dear, dear readers: We have returned from our fabulous Chuseok vacation on Jejudo, and there are so many things I want to write about! However, time is short, and laundry is piling up, so I’m just going to leave you with a quick recap of one of those magical little moments that only happens when you travel without an itinerary.

On the second day of Chuseok, we spent our morning wandering around Halla Arboretum, an enormous botanical garden in Jeju City. We had stopped there and planned to walk to our next destination, which our guidebook had described as “just uphill from the Arboretum”. (In plain English, this would read: approximately two miles–most of it without sidewalks–uphill.) As we began our little excursion, ignorant of the length and difficulty of the journey ahead of us, we came up Sarimsa, a tiny temple tucked back in the hillside above Halla Arboretum.

As luck would have it we arrived while the monks were chanting Chuseok prayers for people’s ancestors. We didn’t go in (I am loathe to disturb a religious ceremony of any kind), but I got some video footage of the temple grounds.

The overcast sky, the beautiful temple paintings, the view of the ocean (squint and you can see it in the distance), and this monk’s voice floating out over the hills combined to make one of my favorite moments of the entire trip.

At Chuseok, Koreans go back to their hometowns to honor their roots and give thanks for their families and the blessings they enjoy. Though going home was out of the question, standing there at Sarimsa, I remembered that you don’t always need to be home to be thankful for home and for the family you carry with you in your heart wherever you roam.

You can view my (totally amateur) footage here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRGk6awnkNw



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