RESPITE

“Life is like a jungle sometimes…it makes me wonder…how I keep from going under”

Slick Rick put it well. Sometimes the urban routine can get you down. The metaphorical jungle that is a city can be a maelstrom. It can be a cold hard bitch at times (sorry ladies). I have been calling Seoul home for nearly a year, and in that time have found very little respite from the concrete. Most every weekend is spent navigating city streets by bicycle, or wandering clustered markets taking picutres. Thus all the more reason why I so enjoyed a recent trip to explore the nearby coast and mountains.

Vacation days are like magic pots of gold in Korea. Mythical and ever elusive. That’s why when my boss granted me four days off (a swelling euphoria filled me immediately in my office) Lauren and I knew we had to break the routine. Originally we  thought Shanghai, but visa hassles deterred us and eventually we settled on Sokcho, a small fishing town at the foot of Seoraksan Mountain,

Seeing the ocean and open spaces broke the constant views of city sprawl, exploring the markets and derelict spaces in town was also photographically fulfilling. The food was excellent. Anyway, what follows are some scattered frames of the four days we spent in Sokcho and the surrounding mountains.

SOKCHO BLOG
The crags of Seoraksan National Park, taken at dusk into the setting sun. I haven’t shot much landscape photography and know very little about it. But being we saw some spectacular views I felt like I had to try to convey what we saw. (nikon fe2, nikkor 24mm, fuji superia 200).SOKCHO BLOG

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SOKCHO BLOG
There was a Buddhist presence as the moutains of Korea have always been a refuge for temples and monks (especially during Joseon persecution). The quiet spaces ancient temples were a nice break from the neon crosses that light up most of the urban spaces in Korea.
SOKCHO BLOG
SOKCHO BLOG
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SOKCHO BLOG
SOKCHO BLOG
There is a little hermitage on the way up to Ulsanbawi and this sweet grandmother invited us in for coffee while she giggled at us lambasted the Japanese in shirades (which didn’t seem very Buddhist). She let me take one frame of her and that was it.
SOKCHO BLOG
SOKCHO BLOG
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SOKCHO BLOG
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SOKCHO2_82
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The town of Sokcho was a cross between an industrialized fishing village and a seaside resort. Somehow the two combined to create an endearing mix of seascapes and decaying urbanity. Positively charming? I have strange taste.
SOKCHO BLOG
The House Hostel in Sokcho. Seriously recommended. Very affordable, clean, with a great manager who goes out of his way to help.
SOKCHO BLOG
Something about seeing the ocean again

SOKCHO BLOG
SOKCHO BLOG
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SOKCHO BLOG
infamous squid sausage of Abia village
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SOKCHO BLOG
SOKCHO BLOG
some local color
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SOKCHO BLOG
SOKCHO1_12
SOKCHO BLOG
Even in such a scenic place I couldn’t help myself being drawn to the urban scenes. Four days without shooting the street will have me finding any derelict alley or bus stop to snag a frame of.
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SOKCHO BLOG

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