We were spending a few days in Gyongju, a coastal city in the far southeastern corner of South Korea. We were staying in a Korean guesthouse on the shore of Bomun Lake just outside Gyongju. The lake is surrounded by beautiful cherry blossom trees.
Gyongju was capital of the Silla Kingdom which was founded in 57 BC and lasted over a thousand years. By the 7th century it was capital of the entire Korean peninsula. There are extensive historical remains throughout the area including ancient pagodas, palaces, fortresses, royal tombs and stone carvings. Gyongju is known as 'the museum without walls'. During archaeological excavations they have found amazing artefacts including golden crowns and ancient Buddhist statues.
On another day in Gyongju we enjoyed a spectacular walk to the top of Namsan Mountain. The peak was considered sacred during the Silla Kingdom. On our ascent we passed many Buddhist temples and shrines. This oval shaped mountain is 4km wide and 8km long running perfectly north to south. Namsan Mountain is like an open-air museum with 100 temples and 80 stone Buddha statues scattered across the mountainside. Locals say "You cannot say you know Gyongju without hiking up Namsan Mountain". From the summit we could look across the Korean peninsula with countless ridges stretching to the horizon.
** In the 'Scrapbooking' section of 'Beyond the Sacred Mountains' you can view a scrapbook page entitled 'Gyongju Blossoms' which uses the photo of Louisa and Susie amongst the cherry blossoms by Bomun Lake.
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