Things are probably going to get very quiet around here in the near future (that is, even quieter than normal), so I thought I’d post something while I still have the chance, even if it means writing only a brief note.
This past Sunday Hyunjin and I got back from a brief trip down south. It started with an academic conference I attended in Andong on Thursday, and Friday morning Hyunjin took a bus down and we met up in Andong City. From there we headed east and drove up the coast for a while, spending two nights along the way.
There is some beautiful scenery on Korea’s east coast. The west coast has a lot of tidal flats, which can be interesting in their own right, but the east coast has beautiful rocky shorelines and clear blue waters. We stopped at a number of beaches along the way, but the beach that made the biggest impression on me was one that was not on the map. It was a long, thin strip of sand with some seaweed-covered rocks at the southern end, and I immediately decided that it was the most beautiful beach I had ever seen in Korea.
Thinking back on it now, with only my memories and some photos to guide me, I wonder what exactly it was that made me think that. Was the beach the most aesthetically perfect beach I have ever seen in Korea? Probably not. I guess if I had to pick one word to describe it, that word would be “pristine.” When we arrived there was not a soul there. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen a beach in Korea with no one on it, and that may have affected my perception of it. Hyunjin shared my opinion, though, and we decided to name the beach “Turquoise Beach,” for the color of the waters.
Why was it deserted? I’m guessing that there are two reasons: poor accessibility and a steep drop-off. There is only one small place on the southern end of the beach where you can pull off the road to the east, and to the west the heavily forested land rises quickly. The seafloor seems to drop off just as quickly, making it perhaps less than ideal for swimming. Considering that there are so many beaches along this part of Korea’s coastline, I guess it’s not surprising that there was no one on this one. It was nice, in a land where sometimes it feels you’re just part of a big line waiting to get somewhere, to find a place where we could enjoy nature in peace.
That is the end of my words. It would be a shame to leave it at that, though, so here are three photos of the beach (one scenery shot and two “detail” shots), with no further commentary.