Welcome to the 227th edition (05/14/2015) of Travel Photo Thursday, and the BIG birthday. This is the first time that my birthday has fallen on Travel Photo Thursday, and I’ve also moved into a new decade (gulp!). I’m not much of a party animal, and wanted to do something different for this birthday. A friend of mine just happened to be organizing a spiritual retreat last weekend, so off I went to Damyang for my birthday weekend. I did get out with the camera (first time in ages), and I think I got some lovely shots. Have a look!
Don’t forget to leave a comment and your link when you finish reading and looking 🙂
Damyang is a rural hamlet about 30 to 45 minutes outside of the historical city Gwangju, and 2 hours south of Daejeon. I took an early Munghwa train out of Daejeon. There are several types of trains in Korea, and the Munghwa is the slow train. The trip was about 2 (relaxing) hours in a comfortable seat with my book for company. Upon arrival, I headed to the bus station to meet the rest of the group. The owners of Damyang House, Sean and Jo Jo, graciously whisked us off to our countryside retreat.
Getting ready for the evening circle…
The house backs onto a beautiful bamboo forest…
Love the light…
Look up, look way up…
Around the neighborhood I found properties that have been rebuilt, and some that have been abandoned. A number of the homes that have been refurbished are now Minbaks. These are traditional Korean homes that rent rooms by the night. If you have ever dreamed of spending time in a traditional Korea house, this is for you!
On Saturday night we ate at a traditional Korean restaurant, and we were treated to a gorgeous sunset on our walk to the restaurant.
I love Korean restaurants outside of the city. Usually, everything is homemade, and just soooooo over-top-delicious!
Banchon (side dishes)…All were fantastic, but two are memorable. The Kimchi (orange colored food behind the bean sprouts) was the absolute best I have ever eaten. It was very well aged, but still had a lovely texture and flavor. Quite often Kimchi can leave you with a lot of burn, but this had mellowed out perfectly. I cannot say the same for the dish beside the bean sprouts. Blurred out a bit, but those are cured anchovies with green chilies. The anchovies are good, and not too hot. Somehow a green chili managed to find its way into my mouth. I love hot food, but this was beyond. Imagine smoke billowing out of the top of my head. The heat lasted a good 20 minutes, and the chili lingered and lingered. Mary Ann, our fearless organizer, thought maybe I was a wimp. She changed her mind once she bit into that ring of fire! 🙂
Now bring on the grilled duck and the homemade tofu…hmmmm. The tofu was stuffed with awesome tasting seaweed! Koreans usually eat any type of grilled meat wrapped in lettuce leaves with various condiments. For me, this duck was so good that it did not need anything! I ate my duck naked! 🙂
The spiritual side of the weekend was very personal for all involved. We did sitting meditation, dancing meditation, released some of out hopes and dreams into the universe.
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse of rural Korea. If you are ever in Korea, and want to experience the rural side, contact Sean and Jo Jo. They are great hosts, and I am sure if Damyang House is available, they would love to have you.
Don’t forget your comment and your link!
If you’re looking for past Travel Photo Thursdays, here you go.