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November 10th 2010
Published: November 10th 2010
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Ice ValleyIce ValleyIce Valley

The entrance to Ice valley on our way out.
Stacey here,

Wow! This blog update is very overdue so I’ll shorten the stories to avoid any overwhelming
amount of blogage.


First up if you are even in Korea around the time of the International Fireworks Festival by all
means go! We had great company as our Oregonian friends came from Daegu to watch with
us but the fireworks were fantastic. (Their weekend long visit was the highlight of the month!
) Honestly I’ve seen a fair share of fireworks and I’ve never been very impressed. This show
blew my socks, in the first 15 minutes there were probably more fireworks in the air then my
combined lifetime of watching them. The show went on for a beautiful hour. Not only was the
pure amount amazing but the variety, the timing to the music, and the laser shows on the bridge
were just spectacular. As a fair warning we got to the beach at 4pm and even at this point the
beach was crowding up. By around 5:30pm the beach was closed off and people had to stand
on the street. Keep in mind the show started at 8pm! We sat next to a Korean College student
who
DescriptionDescriptionDescription

Ice Valley freezes during Summer and melts during Winter, spooky.
went to high school in Boston (and yes had a Boston accent) and his girlfriend. Tragically
he lived in the far away city of Seoul but it still made the experience all the better. Aside from
literally crawling through a seated crowd trying to make my way to the bathroom the night
couldn’t have been better.


I’m currently taking Korean classes twice a week with fellow Foreign teachers. While the
alphabet was very logical the language is proving quite difficult for me. I asked a Taiwan
exchange student who spoke both English and Korean which one was easier to learn. Her
response was English. From my experience with how hard English is to teach I’m a little
daunted by this. We’ll keep at it though.

The same teacher that took us for our first raw fish restaurant experience again provided us
with one of our best days in Korea. Herself and her husband spent Sunday driving us around
the countryside where they both grew up. In Korea the fall is lasting much longer here and the
leaves far outshone the brief show in Oregon. The hills seemed to be covered in spilled fall
colors. We visited a
Eddie, Stacey, and SoonEddie, Stacey, and SoonEddie, Stacey, and Soon

Us with our friend Soon after our hike.
folk museum that had local artifacts and had great tour guides. Next we
visited a site dedicated to a great monk who lead the armies against the Japanese invasion.
His childhood home as well as a new temple built in his honor were the main attractions. Having
my teacher and her husband along provided such an interesting experience, we learned about
the traditional heating system, the tools, and so much more about the history. Our next stop was
a temple/tourist spot that held 5 Guinness world records. First in a 7 story museum we saw the
most ashes gathered in one spot in all the world. These were not just any ashes but were the
ashes of pious monks. When monks are cremated their ashes take different forms, from that
of common looking ash or stones, to beautifully colored crystal like stones. The museum also
held Buddhist figurines from numerous countries and time periods, ancient Sanskrit bibles made
of stripped wood bark, and oddly a beautiful rock collection. Outside stood the tallest statues
carved from a single stone, the largest ring, and tragically that was all we understood from the
monk who spoke with us. We briefly visited a stone
Eddie Stacey and Gre JoEddie Stacey and Gre JoEddie Stacey and Gre Jo

Soon's Husband and us.
pillar memorial that is said to sweat moisture
when the country is a state of crisis. This pillar is dedicated to the same monk that helped
defeat Japan and the sweating is attributed as a manifestation of his patriotism. Our final stop
was the ice valley, a strange microclimate that remains cool during the summer. This valley is
famous for the sweet, crisp apples as well as a spot that produces ice during the summer that
then melts during the winter. We’ll have to go back in the summer as they say it’s like natural air
conditioning.

I think I failed at a short blog entry but such is life, until next time!


Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


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Fall colorsFall colors
Fall colors

Tree colors
Ice buildingsIce buildings
Ice buildings

Entrance to Ice Valley
Photo 8Photo 8
Photo 8

Shrine to the great Korean monk general
Smiling BuddhaSmiling Buddha
Smiling Buddha

He smiles because he's happy
StatueStatue
Statue

Largest statue of its kind in the world, cut from one rock
MuseumMuseum
Museum

Museum containing the petrifed ashes of monks
Kim Chi PotsKim Chi Pots
Kim Chi Pots

This is where Kim Chi was made traditionally
ShrineShrine
Shrine

More shrine
Angry statuesAngry statues
Angry statues

why are they so angry?
MonumentMonument
Monument

Monument to the great monk general
Photo 16Photo 16
Photo 16

Soon, Stacey, Eddie, Gre Jo


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