Jun 15, 2012

수안보 suanbo 미륵리사지 mireukrisaji and 송계계곡 songgye valley loop tour

 I've been to Suanbo plenty of times, and Mireukrisaji once before, but I had never visited Songgye valley. Looking at a map, it seemed like the best way to go was doing a loop around through Suanbo. I followed 3 into Suanbo and onto the 597, which took me out to Mireuksaji when it started to rain.
 Hoping it would let up, I decided to stop at a restaurant and get 산채비빔밥 sanchaebibimbap, mountain vegetable bibimbap. The rain didn't let up, but it did slow down a bit and I decided it was fine to keep going.
 I made a short visit back to the stone Buddha and then headed off towards Songgae valley.
 And pretty quickly I was at the valley in all of its rocky glory. There were a lot of camping spots along the way, but it didn't seem too busy today, probably because of the weather.
But the best part was when I stumbled across Chungcheongbuk-do monument no. 35: Deokju mountain fortress. It was absolutely stunning in person. I had to walk through a field of flowers/weeds to get a picture as the mountains faded off into the distance. It felt like the set for a fairy tale.
The wall disappearing into the mountains. According to the signage it played an important part in the resistance against the Mongolian invasion in the Goryeo dynasty (1200s) and the Japanese invasion in 1592, in case you're interested in history at all.

 Another fortress on the way to Deokju temple.
A man praying to Buddha at the temple site. 
And then it was time to head back. I continued on 597 until it dropped me off on 36 and then I headed back to Chungju. Which has absolutely beautiful views of the mountains, rivers and lake along the way. 36 follows the edge of Chungju lake going between Chungju and Danyang.
Mountains and more mountains.

And some animals at a stop along the way back, fenced in outside a restaurant. So I've got a good idea what will happen to them in the future.

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