Miryang. An Excellent Detour on a Busted Chuseok

I grew up in the central valley of California and in a tiny suburb of Omaha, Nebraska.  Population density isn't even a statistic that needs to be discussed in either of those regions.  There are people and there is plenty of space for those people to live and eat and shop and drive their cars.  Bad traffic means a fifteen or twenty minute wait as the pieces of a car are pulled to the side of the road or a stadium finishes emptying.  

Korea is an entirely different monster.  There are so many people and so many cars that the idea of traffic moves from an inconvenience to an absolute head-against-steering-wheel-I-can't-believe-this-is-happening-you-could-deliver-mail-here-because-I-live-here situation.  By my estimation the entire southern half of the peninsula turns into a parking lot, from the start of Chuseok to the end, with no break.  We drove past rest stops that had a line a km long on the highway just to park and pee.  We drove 10 km in one hour.  Then we drove another 10 in another hour.  We aborted our attempt at reaching the west coast and decided to head home, searching for any road that wasn't a parking lot.  In doing so we spent six hours on the road, most of it in traffic. 

In our search for any road with movement, any road not just a collection of red taillights and slowly moving hunks of metal, we stumbled across Miryang.  A tiny town in the middle of the Korean countryside with a surprising number of landmarks worth seeing.  The highlight for us was Yeongnamnu, a pavilion built on top of a hill, overlooking the Miryang River and the mountains surrounding the town.  After three hours sitting in traffic it was an incredibly laid back place to walk around and take some pictures.  Families sat in the shade, couples paddled yellow ducks up and down the river, and we wandered, stretching our legs and preparing ourselves to face the traffic once again.  As always, here's 10 pictures and some foolish comments.
No landmark is complete without a bunch of stone statues.
The pavilion dates back to 1884.  Wikipedia doesn't mention whether or not this is the original structure, but I believe it's slightly more modern than that.  

Lonely Planet says poet's were inspired by the views from the top of this hill, and despite the modern eyesores that now dot the landscape, I believe it.  It's a beautiful spot.

I love this door, it's an intense entry to a quiet and peaceful place.

No temple is complete without a bunch of these little guys.

It was a shock going from roads jammed with people to going to this temple where there were so few.  Families and couples and us.

The poem inspiring view from above the temple.  Not bad for an unintentional side trip.

Giant ducks of course.

These pictures are over-edited, but I've taken pictures at exclusively temples for the last couple of weeks and I'm tired of looking at the same old things, hence, these.  

My next post will be from the Ulsan Photo Walk that I took part in last week.  It was a great way to get out, shoot something different, and meet some incredibly talented photographers from all over Korea.

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