Gyeongju Cherry Blossoms and Namsan
Despite the yellow dust, which as since passed, the cherry blossoms were still beautiful this season. Randy and I have been lucky enough to have seen them in Washington, D.C. when we were living in the metro area, but it’s definitely different seeing them in Korea. They’re not only concentrated in one area, but their beauty exists everywhere in Korea. Gyeongju, the old capital of Korea during the Silla dynasty, displays cherry blossoms all over the city and is one of the best places to see the blossoms.
Gyeongju was one of the many cities that the Japanese invaded. And because it was the old capital, the Japanese destroyed a lot of the national treasures that exist there. When we went to Namsan (남산, “South Mountain”) for a hike with one of my co-teachers, we saw a lot of the destruction. Although the tombs of the kings still exist in what seems like large hills, Buddha statues are headless. But, other cultural and historical relicts still exist, such as Korean Buddha relief carvings and stone pagodas. These as well as other remains represent the rise and fall of the Silla kingdom. (Wikepedia) This area of Gyeongju was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage in 2000. But the Japanese left something beautiful that line the streets of every city in Korea, cherry blossoms (in Japanese, Sakura).
With a chilly spring finally here, the blossoms were still in full bloom. My school staff took a trip to Gyeongju to enjoy the cherry blossoms and a few other Korean delights. Enjoy the pictures from the Gyeongju cherry blossom festival and pictures from our hike at Namsan.