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Mt.Inwangsan – the Green/Holy/Touristy/Millitary Hill

The construction of the lomographic guide of Seoul is gaining pace and content. And so I thought I should pull out a merry old location to join the jam. A few years back on my first stay in Seoul, I discovered a green mountain in the middle of a city made of concrete and steel. Mount Iwangsan is a big city delight with a lot of incentives and shamanic ghosts.

The very first days of our stay in Seoul, we basically only saw streets, cars, and skyscrapers. A megapolis without green, even people won’t be visible from the window of your car. You also have to take into account to be in a traffic jam all of the time. But it all can be different, too. I am really glad that we went to the holy mountain Inwangsan on our first free day.

Korea has a lot of mountains and like in Seoul, they are right in the city. I suppose they were there first, so they have more stories to tell, than the buildings made of concrete. This 338-meter high mountain is accessible by underground number three (Dongnimmun Station), then you just have to find your way up. There is a Buddhist entrance gate and on the first steps are various temples, bells, and much more. More steps upwards will be stones and it is getting more adventurous.

We witnessed shaman ceremonies and temples. Quite astonishing because they are praying to the gods of nature and making noises with drums and singing in a very beautiful way. Also other city-escapers and permanent pilgrims go to pray there and they leave loads of food and money as a gift for the gods. I figured they chose what they would like best to have themselves in a possible nirvana, like chips, sweets, and booze. What is good for them can’t be bad for the gods either, right?! Eventually the caretakers and plenty of cats and other savage animals say thank you. There is a little beck running down the hill and adjacently there are many places where you can drink that clean spring water and you really should do so. It is very tasty. As tasty as the fountains in the Peters Square opposite the Vatican. There must be something to holy water…hey, that is a business idea!

Further up the pathway stops, we went through the trees and had the most spectacular sight of the city. A good chance for panoramic shots! We reached a fence which was clearly surrounding a military base. We ought not to forget the issues between North- and South-Korea are ongoing and is as tense as ever and such hills are of utmost military importance. Their are huge antennas and viewing sites. As Seoul is just a few kilometers away from the north possible missiles will be most likely spotted from Mount Iwangsan.

written by wil6ka

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