When I lived in Daegu the first time, I would often head to Palgong Mountain on the weekend if I didn't have the money to travel somewhere else in the countryside. So, last weekend, I was happy to bring EunBong and Fina to a place I'd spent so much time at int he past.
We started with a ride up the cable car, which made EunBong scream like if we were riding a roller coaster, and in turn made Fina burry her head in her chest, but once we made it to the top everyone was fine!
It was amazing being back there after so long. I'd forgotten what a beautiful mountain it was, covered in green, stony ridge running along the top, a couple hermitages dotting the trail down.
We had lunch at the cable car restaurant then sat in the sun on the large granite stones, enjoying the view.
We came back down and walked across to Donghwasa, a major temple in the area. There was a festival for the mountain that weekend, so it wasn't an ideal time to show EunBong one of my favorite temples, but it definitely made it interesting... There was a huge stage set up in the courtyard with a rock band doing sound check, followed by a mala of lip sync performances, in which most of the girls ended up being too embarrassed to do their usually choreography, I couldn't tell if it was stage fright or the fact that they were at a temple that was throwing them off...
We circled the crowd and made our way up to the main Dharma Hall where I was disappointed to see the beautiful round staircase in front of the hall had been replaced by plain, square stairs. EunBong went in to do three bows, and I would have liked to but Fina didn't want to, so I stayed outside with her and walked around.
After a few minutes, EunBong came around the back of the temple to tell me she'd just had a really amazing experience. After leaving the Main Hall, she followed the path up to a smaller shrine where an old monk was sitting in meditation. She didn't want to disturb him by going in, so she stood in the doorway and said to the Buddha that she's sorry she's so greedy wanting to have a son, but she hopes only that the baby will be healthy. As she stood in the doorway, a ray of sunlight moved slowly across her belly and she felt the warmth deep inside. She told me she felt like at that moment the spirit of the baby came into her.
We walked down the trail to see the really big Buddha in front of the REALLY big Dharma Hall, which Fina found really, really exciting, then, finally, continued down the path to the old Silla era carving of the Buddha touching the earth.