Day 2 began with a search for some coffee for the caffeine-dependent among us. Our quest spanned several hours and two cities yet sadly still resulted only in instant coffee. :(
Soon, however, we were headed to Seoraksan National Park, where you may recall that Victoria and I went hiking last October. Nearing the park, we had to stop once again to take pictures of the amazing cherry blossoms:
We entered the park near the giant Buddha and the Sinheungsa Temple:
Then we started hiking:
We followed, crossed, and recrossed a gushing mountain stream as we meandered our way toward a cliff called Bisondae. According to legend, a nymph came down from the heavens and played in the pool below Bisondae because it was a place of such exquisite beauty.
At times, there were stairs clinging to the rock face. We, in turn, clung to the stairs.
The view of Cheonbuldong Valley from the cave shrine was well worth the climb:
A monk, perched at the mouth of the cave, pointed out to us the various rock formations: the 100 Buddhas, the rose petals, the giant ship. (They mostly just looked like rocks to me, but we nodded and agreed politely.)
The way down seemed even steeper:
Before leaving the park, we took a few of the required pictures with the Asiatic black bear statue and mascots:
All in all, it was a great trip. The weather was beautiful, the food delicious, and the company delightful.
Incidentally, in case you were wondering about the title of this post, the phrase "I smell road trip" comes from Jin Soo's T-shirt, though he hadn't planned to wear it and had never actually read it until we pointed it out to him while on the trip: