March 14, 2019, Songsan, South Korea-
After a robust meal of kalbi (grilled ribs), at Kyodong Dok Kalbi, we retired to the Golden Tulip Hotel, in this eastern fishing and shellfish diving center.
Our first stop, on a robust and happy day that will take us across the island, was Songsan Ilchulbong, a small promontory that is a favourite of locals and tourists alike, for greeting the sunrise. We did not do so, as the sumptuous breakfast buffet of Golden Tulip beckoned first.
Once we did get to the site, though, we found a small course for riding a Cheju pony, similar to the ponies of Shetland. Yunhee gladly rode the pony, even though it was a very brief experience.
Although the coastal areas of Jeju are treeless, in most spots, an effort is being made to plant windbreak in some places around Songsan.
Here is the volcanic promontory that beckoned us. I was last up this hill, in February, 1992, with a small group of freshman students.
Here is a view, from halfway up, of Songsan, in the morning light. Halla-san, the highest peak on Jeju, and in South Korea, is seen in the distance, on the near left side.
There are many igneous boulders along the route. Here is a particularly popular photo point for many Korean visitors: Lamp Rock.
The image on the right side evokes a Grandmother’s kind visage.
Two eyes appear to be watching, at this site of twin caves.
The indentation below seems to fit my daughter-in-law perfectly!
We made it to the top, so I chose this as my next profile picture on social media.
Below, is a view of the crater, for which the summit of Ilchulbong is famous. Yes, the hill is a dead cinder cone.
Here is the southern, less inhabited part of Udo, an islet just across a small channel from Songsan.
Here are the effects of constant saline deposits on this sedimentary boulder, in an area that hosts haenyo, or women who dive for abalone and sea cucumber. The traditional divers are mainly found in Jeju, though some are in a handful of towns on the southern mainland coast.
One haenyo is seen in the water, wearing a yellow diving vest.
Here is the bell of Dongam-sa, a Buddhist temple at the foot of Ilchulbong. A funeral was in progress when we visited, so we kept our visit quiet and short.
Contrasting images of the Buddha are seen here.
We ended our visit to Songsan, with a brief visit with an old friend.
With that, we are off to Songeup Folk Village, for some reconnection with the farm folk of old Jeju.