This was our home for two nights while we explored Jeollanam-do. It was on the second evening that Bob and I walked the streets of Gwangju, looking for something to eat, and discovered what a "Neon" city this was! This was Korea, the way I remember it upon arriving in Geoge-do to stay with Stephanie, Ben, and Emma in November 2011. (See here.) We must have found a the most colorful street in Korea! The video will reveal just a small sampling of what we saw.
But let me back up to that morning. We drove about 45-minutes south to the UNESCO world heritage Hwasun Dolmen Site. What is a dolmen you ask? They are burial tombs which are actually found throughout the world. But the largest concentration of them (35,000) are found in Korea, and only recently have they been located and excavated here. Dolmen are of varying types, but typically consist of two or more megaliths (large stones) supporting a large flat capstone. In the northern regions of Korea these structures are built above ground and look somewhat like a table. In the south, however, they are generally more like a stone pit built into the ground and topped with a stone slab. At Hwasun, about 596 of these ancient tombs were built 2,000-3,000 years ago. Numerous relics such as spindle whorls (flat disks with a hole in the center used in textile making), stone axes and arrowheads, iron knives, pottery and jade, have been found in these tombs. A small "experience center" introduced us to the primitive lifestyle of the Baekje people.
Scattered throughout the valley were nice little gardens and small Korean mound-style family burial plots. This spurred me onto a photo-taking quest to capture more of these as we drove through rural Korea that afternoon. My findings will be documented in the next post.
But let me warn you now, that when the day was done, my tolerant husband, Bob, was convinced that my obsession with burial plots was driving him to his grave!