Friday, June 03, 2016

Hitting the Trail

Spent last weekend rambling the outskirts... In the morning I left home to head out for a short hike just outside Seongseo industrial complex in western Daegu. It was cloudy in the morning and cool, but getting hotter when the sun started to shine. The trail goes straight on the bank of Geumho River. Hiked to the the nearby mountain where the trail disappears over the horizon as shown above photo. People named that Gung san 궁산 meaning a bow-shaped mountain. Sometimes a few walkers, cyclists on bikes, runners and dogs with their owners pass by. 
A traditional building at the bottom of mountain comes into view if you keep walking north and pass under Gangchang bridge. The river flows past the rocky cliff on the left. People usually take the trail by the building to start hiking right up the mountain and should go uphill from the start. Once you walk up, the trees block the sun's heat and cool breeze blows through them. The left photo shows the view of the top and the other the scene from the top overlooking the southern area, from which the trail in the photo at the top is dimly visible in the distance.  

Monday, May 16, 2016

Pro Baseball in Daegu

Last Saturday, there was a pro baseball match between Samsung Lions and Lotte Giants at the brand new Samsung Lions park to the east of Daegu. The second match between Lions and Giants started at 5: 00 p.m. during three consecutive home-matches. The stadium was filled with enthusiastic singing and chanting by the fans, which is most likely to be the cultural difference in baseball fans between Koreans and Americans. Major league baseball fans from North America have began to take an interest in Korean baseball and enjoy the exotic and unique atmosphere together.
Pro baseball has become the most popular sports in Korea since its inception in 1982. We currently have 10 pro baseball teams in Korea. Daegu is the hometown of Lions, while Busan Giants. The infrastructure has improved hugely as well. Samsung Lions Park is the long-awaited new stadium for the baseball fans in Daegu.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Autumn Hike

Last weekend, I went for a hike to the nearby mountains by myself, walking from home as usual, and took photos of random scenes about the changing season. The leaves have turned yellow and brown as the autumn is getting deeper. Leaves falling down scattered on the ground. Looks like this autumn there has been much more rain than the previous ones. We also had a couple of rainy days last week. It didn't rain while hiking even if it was cloudy. 

Walked along the trail for 5 hours and got to a river bank named Dalseongbo weir. Got back home after half an hour on foot and by local bus. Hiking really helps recharge one's batteries after a busy week at work.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Namji Bridge

A small, peaceful town, Namji 남지 in southern province of Changnyeong 창녕 county is just by the bank of Nakdong River. Namji Bridge was built on Feb. 1933 during the Japanese occupation, which was on the road from Daegu to Masan. The photos show the view from the top of the southern mountain, which were taken by an american war correspondent on August 1950 during the Korean war and the right side one depicts the bridge to be destroyed in the same month, which was intended to stop North Korean People's army from crossing. It has been estimated that this used to be one of the most major and beautiful iron bridges in the peninsular. Plus, it was built by using new construction techniques as applied to Eiffel tower in Paris. The tiny northern village across the river is Namji.

The areas around Namji Bridge were prone to floods. In the summer of the year 1933, flood struck the northern villages and thousands of villagers had to evacuate to the nearby mountains during midnight. The road linked to the bridge was also washed away, so it had been completely closed off to the traffic for two months in the same year as the completion of the bridge construction. This bridge had been used for pedestrians and vehicles until 1994. Now it is only opened for the pedestrians. In 1977, a new bridge for the express way from Daegu to Masan was constructed nearby. 
These photos show the recent images of the bridge last summer. The top is the southern entrance to the bridge. The mountain on the right side is the spot where the american war correspondent took the photo of Namji Bridge about 65 years ago during the war.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Confluence of Rivers

A little town named Samnangjin 삼랑진 is around the confluence of two rivers, Nakdong 낙동강 and Miryang 밀양강. Samnangjin means a river dock where choppy water fed by three tributaries flows over the surface. Since Shilla dynasty(57~935 AD), a river dock located here had actually played a principal role in water transportation route along Nakdong river. It became later one of the biggest dock along Nakdong river during Joseon Dynasty(1392~1910 AD) whose role had been more emphasized as a collecting center for taxes, and it had a prosperous period in its history. Tax was usually paid in grain, cotton cloth and coin. In 1765, a tax warehouse named Jochang 조창 was opened on the riverside at the confluence to store the collected taxes from 6 regions including Miryang, Gimhae 김해, and Hyeonpung 현풍. Jochang refers to a warehouse for taxes arrived by ships. This route was linked to Samunjin 사문진 and Gangchang 강창 river docks.
A railway station was opened 3 km inland northeast from Jochang in 1905. Since overland traffic was introduced, water transportation route had decayed. Jochang was closed, cherishing old memories and the town center was newly moved to Songji 송지 nearby where a railway station was built. However, Samnangjin had flourished again since the railway station became a junction which is connected to Seoul 서울, Busan 부산 and Masan 마산. 
During the Japanese colonial period, Samnangjin railway station had a big official residence for railway workers, which still remains partly renovated on the gentle slope to the north of the station. The residence are on the unique wall made of stone and cement that can be easily found in the typical Japanese castle architecture.
Meanwhile, since the first track had been partly relocated, the single-track bridge named Samnangjin bridge near Jochang was abandoned. Now it is still one-way car traffic or used by cyclists. It was nicknamed "Bridge on the river Kwai" in Thailand. Old rusty iron railway bridge is often called like that in Korea.
Samnangjin was also located on the key walking route to Seoul and Busan during Joseon Dynasty. The trail still remains partly on the steep mountain slope by Nakdong river, which is called Jando 잔도. There is a bike trail built right out over the water.