Friday, June 24, 2016

Nakdong River Memorial Hall – At Apsan Park

Min Hee wanted to see the museum at Apsan Park.  Her dad thought it would be a good idea to report about it as the 25th of June commemorates the start of the Korean War.  Currently there is a display of photos from modern times that shows the aggression of North Korea against the people of South Korea.
Once inside we met a volunteer.  Min Hee showed her badge and gave her a name card. The woman took her time and explained what we were going to learn. The first display is a timeline of what lead up to the Korean War from 1945 until the armistice in 1953.

Min Hee asked why the helmet was on the rifle.  This is a display of a hasty grave for a fallen soldier.  She didn’t like to hear that, but she thought it was interesting.
Also on display are many of the weapons that were used during the war.  They are sometimes difficult to explain about to young children, although the volunteer guide did her best to keep it a light conversation.  At this point the volunteer said goodbye and we headed up to the second floor.
Min Hee thought the display of “dog tags” (identification tags) was interesting.  Her mommy told her daddy was a soldier and has some at home.  Min Hee asked to see them later.
Toward the end of the display on the second floor are cartoon drawings depicting the harsh living conditions of the Korean people.  There are drawings showing everything from hunger to torture and abuse at from the soldiers of North Korea.  Min Hee said they are bad people!
Displayed in front of the Hall are the flags that represent all the nations who sent soldiers to fight the aggression of the north and put an end to the war.  Oddly, there was a slight breeze and the American Flag caught the breeze and stretched out for this little girl and her dad.
Also in front of the Hall are several pieces of heavy equipment.  Some of the displays show items used during the Korean War, and others show types of equipment used after the war.

For direction to the Nakdong River Victory Memorial Hall, I suggest searching your favorite GPS or mapping app for Apsan Park.  We usually use the 410-1 from one of the subway station between Youngnam University Hospital and Anjirang Station.

If you would like to see more on Min Hee’s adventures, visit her Facebook page and see what she has been up to! 
Here is a link:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dodong-seowon Among the Trees

Dodong-seowon (Confucian academy) is in one of Daegu’s most far-flung corners. It’s hours from the city’s major tourism areas like Dongseongno and Suseong and is snuggled against the Nakdong River along Daegu’s border with Gyeongsang-do. So needless to say, it took five years of trying before I finally got there. But it was worth it.

A little history: Dodong-seowon is built to honor Kim Goeng-pil, a great sage of the Joseon Dynasty. The original seowon was built to the east of Biseulsan, but it was destroyed during the Imjin War with Japan in the 16th century. The seowon’s resident scholars moved to Dodong-seowon’s current location, several kilometers away but still close to Biseulsan. The seowon was one of few that survived efforts to reform or demolish the Confucian academies of Joseon in the 19th century.

Upon arriving, I walked directly to the pavilion at the seowon’s main gate, passing under a 400-year-old gingko tree that seemed large enough to shade half of Daegu. The pavilion is the traditional Korean style, red-painted wood and green highlights topped with a gray tile roof. Stone walls stretch along the perimeter of the seowon.

And that’s all interesting and such, but Dodong-seowon’s real appeal is the nature around it. With Biseulsan creeping down behind it and the Nakdong River rolling along nearby, the seowon is awash with the sound of rustling leaves and birds making a fuss in the trees.

I grew up in rural West Virginia, far from any cities, so I was drawn away from the seowon itself and into the greenery around it. The seowon’s building seemed almost incidental to a visit to the seowon, go figure.
I must admit to being sorely tempted to strike out through the forest and see where that trail went. But then I’d miss my bus.
Anyway, Dodong-seowon itself is no slouch when it comes to nice scenery. Most of the other tour bus passengers had gone off to sit under the gingko tree and hide from the morning sun, so I had all the inner halls and shrines to myself.

We usually think of temples and shrines as being a little dusty and not very engaging, but if you look closely you’ll see they kinda celebrate life with all their colors and attention to workmanship and design.
I especially liked taking a close look at the way timbers were fit together in a careful manner that made nails and hammers obsolete. The pieces were put together and left for gravity to ensure. If I had a thousand years to come up with idea like this I’d still be at a loss. And I studied architecture a bit in college!
I was sorely reluctant to leave Dodong-seowon. The cuckoos and woodpeckers in the woods, the lush greenness of the hills and the fresh air sweeping across the field made all the effort to get there worthwhile. Nevertheless, the tour bus waits for no man, so I hustled down the hill to get on and go to the next stop.
Oh, and I got a stamp for the Daegu City Stamp Trail. This is my sixth year participating on the tour, and my very first time to get a Dodong-seowon stamp! I’m quite pleased with myself.
Now, as for getting to Dodong-seowon…good luck! I wouldn’t ever try to discourage someone from going there, but without a car you’re looking at several hours of bus travel – if you’re lucky enough to get the right connections!

However, if you find yourself with a free day on Tuesday or Friday, the Daegu City Tour Bus goes on a Biseulsan course that includes Dodong-seowon, the National Science Museum and Biseulsan itself. That’s the only chance I had to get to Dodong-seowon, and I finally had the right timing to get there.

Good luck getting there, and definitely get there if you can!

DIMF Openning Ceremony


 This Friday will commence the opening ceremony for the 10th Annual Daegu International Musical Festival! Join us at Duryu Park on June 24th 18:30 for an evening of music, beauty, and wonder.

     The musical festival will showcase world renown musicals such as, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Cats, Mama Mia, Ms. Saigon, and Notre-Dame de Paris. Musical actors and actresses will be joining the extravaganza, such as Brad Little. Brad Little performed in the Phantom of the Opera, Les Misrables, and Ms. Saigon.

Musicals, stars, and shows are not the only things to look forward for the festival. Hand printing, live performances from orchestras, and various college student performances will also be held.

 During DIMF, there will be  diverse musicals being performed from June 24th- July 11th.

To purchase tickets of all DIMF musicals, visit Type 'DIMF' in Interpark search box and you can see all tickets. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hike from Apsan to Wolgwang Lake

We started our hike at about 7:30 in the morning.  The weather was nice and we were able to get more than half way through Gosan Valley with no problems. We needed to shift gears about 40 minutes into the hike as it began to rain lightly. 

We stopped and had a quick meeting to decide what our plan should be.  We were in high spirits at that point.
We needed to get out some rain gear and stow our cameras, phones, and wallets. At this point we decided to continue on with our hike.  The weather was very comfortable and we headed out.
We continued on to the top of the ridge between Apsan and Sanseong.  After crossing the ridge we began our decent into the next valley and then up the side of Cheongryong Mt.  The farther we went the worse the weather became.  The entire valley was filled with low hanging clouds. At around two hours into the hike we were nearing the helipad the trail took us right to the edge of a cliff and we took a break.
We were at about 650 meters high and we could not see the valley floor or Daedeok Mt or Ap Mt.  We were, at this point well above the clouds. The rain and wind picked up for the next thirty minutes or so.  We pushed up to about 753 meters.  This was about 1130 in the morning.  The weather was getting a little less harsh and we wanted to snap some photos and move on for lunch.

After we had our lunch we continued along the ridge.  We arrived at the point where we could have stayed on the trail to Biseul Mt.  We decided that we were too wet to do another 10 – 15 kilometers. 
At this point we had clocked in about 12 kilometers. We went down into the valley and headed for Wolgwang Lake.  From there we grabbed a bus and headed back into the city. At the bus we had logged in 16 kilometers.  Good hike!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Grand Exhibition of Art, Crafts, and Calligraphic Painting at Daegu's Culture and Arts Center

The 36th Grand Exhibition of Art, Crafts, and Calligraphy Painting opened last week at the Daegu Culture and Arts Center located in Duryu Park. This exhibit highlights the remarkable work of local artists who entered Daegu’s annual art competition.  If you’ve never been to the Culture and Arts Center before, then this is a great time to visit.  In addition to viewing a wide array of Korean art forms, the exhibition is free.
The exhibit begins on the first floor of the Daegu Culture and Arts Center with several rooms of calligraphy and calligraphic paintings. The art of Korean calligraphy transcends the technicalities of handwriting and is an act of mental training and discipline.  Shapes, characters, and expressive brush strokes are all ways that a calligrapher expresses emotions.  You can still appreciate the accompanying abstract paintings of nature even if you can’t read Hangul or Chinese characters.

Continue upstairs to view contemporary paintings, photography, graphic design, poster design, and packaging design.  The subject matter varies widely, from modern examples of still life to examples of surrealism, impressionist, pop, and photorealism art.
On the opposite side of the second level, you’ll find a gallery displaying even more paintings.  Running down the middle of this room are a couple of rows of three-dimensional art including ceramics, woodworking, delicate metalwork, and intricately designed metal sculptures.
Once you leave the ceramics and metalworking room, continue on to the final two galleries featuring colorful Buddhist art, as well as traditional style paintings and drawings.
Contemporary Asian art is largely underrepresented in international modern galleries so this is a great way to become familiar not only with up-and-coming Korean artists, but local artists and artisans as well.  While the exhibit descriptions and gallery guides aren’t in English, you don’t need to speak Korean to appreciate the art itself.

The Grand Art, Craft, and Calligraphic Painting Exhibition runs through Sunday, June 26 at the Daegu Culture and Arts Center. It is free to attend.
Dates: 06/15/2016 - 06/26/2616
Cost: FREE
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., closed on Mondays
Place:Daegu Culture and Arts Center, Museum Rooms 1-13
Address: 201, Gongwonsunhwan-ro, Dalseo-gu, Daegu
대구광역시 달서구 공원순환로 201 (성당동)