2014 Travel diary: Introduction and index

Window at Anjeoksa
Window in the abbot’s room at Anjeoksa

The timing of my 2014 trip to Korea was determined by a sad event: the 49th day ceremony (effectively the funeral) of Sena Lee, daughter of the former Sancheong mayor, to whom I was first introduced when I visited Sancheong in 2010, and whom I subsequently got to know better in London where she completed her PhD in neurology.

So, no big cultural festivals this year; instead, a more personal journey. Nevertheless, the new mayor of the County signed me up as one of the officials present at the unveiling of the highest temple bell on Jirisan, which was rather a special privilege.

Here’s a summary of my ten days, with links to the individual chapters.

5-6 JuneHarassed in Haeundae
Arrival in Busan | Dinner with friends
7 JuneOrchids for the altar
A literary lunch | Travelling to Sancheong | Suseonsa
8 June사십구재
Sena’s funeral | Return to Donguibogam Village
9 JuneThe reappointment
The new mayor | Rearranging the diary | Epic sashimi dinner
10 June타종식 — New beginnings
The hike to Beopgyesa | The ceremonial first ringing of the temple bell | Back down the mountain | Off to Seoul
11 JuneModern design and ancient mysteries
Treasures from the Kansong Museum at Dongdaemun Design Plaza | Conversations on mountain spirits with the Goodwill Ambassador for the Baekdu-Daegan | Dinner in Suyu-dong
12 JuneThe concubine, the eunuchs and the gisaeng
Another literary lunch | The tombs of the royal eunuchs | The temple donated by a courtesan | The Tie Museum
13 JuneTwo museums near Yongin
Ho-am Art Museum and Hee Won Garden | Paik Nam June Art Center | Pungmul in Daehakro
14 JuneThe RASKB Garden Party
A third literary lunch | The Garden Party | Sewol memorial at City Hall
15 JuneTwo art museums and a reality show
Suh Do-ho and more at MMCA Seoul Branch | Malfunction Library and more at SeMA | Art Star Korea | San Chon
16 JuneReturn to London
The most expensive breakfast ever | Reflections | Thank-yous

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