Monday, February 14, 2011

School Trip to Halla Mountain

There's a cool Korean saying that my friend Jung Hee taught me as I was hiking one of the Olle trails.  등잔 밑이 어둡다.  "It's dark under the lamp."  What it means is that people tend to look far ahead and miss what's right in front of them.  It especially applies to where you live, your hometown and your surroundings.

I've met an unbelievable number of locals in Jeju who have never been to the top of Halla Mountain, now a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site and the tallest mountain in South Korea.  If they have been to Hallasan, the only time was when they were in middle or high school on a field trip.  When these school groups come, they don't come as a class, but the entire school floods the mountain.  Thousands of students pack the buses and pack the trails all at once.  I met this group as I was coming down...It was so crowded that it was impossible to pass through.  It had a similar feeling to the running of the bulls.  I love the fact that the school is getting out to enjoy the unique nature of Jeju, but we'll leave the environmental impacts for another post....

No comments:

Post a Comment