When visiting my wife’s family in Incheon in October 2017, we did a couple of suburban hikes, which are possible in many Korean cities because they often have small and sometimes not so small mountains within the city boundaries. What they completely lack in remoteness they gain in often extensive views of Korea’s impressively dense city scapes, and Gyeyangsan (395m) is one of these walks.
You probably wouldn’t seek out this walk unless you live in the area, so hopefully my blog will one day stop being virtually invisible to internet search results, and people looking for hikes in Incheon can find this post. On the day we walked up Gyeyangsan I actually wanted to climb the really impressive Bukhansan in northern Seoul, (which I did twice before and can totally recommend), but we didn’t have the time. Instead we took a train into the local suburbs to join a large amount of middle to older aged Korean hikers on this quite pleasant mountain.
There is a large network of tracks all over the mountain, so you just turn up, take a picture of the map at the start, and then chart your own course depending on the energy and time available. The walk starts about a 5-10 minute walk up a slight hill from Gyeyang train station (walking perpendicular to the main road). It was a clear day but I had to add lots of contrast to my photos to overcome the interminable haze. Continue past the photos for a bonus rant. How exciting.
After walking in very mild October weather, I had the following to say on my personal Facebook page about some of our fellow walkers… “Lots of walkers out today, including the usual mad women wearing full face masks, towels on their heads, and thick winter coats whilst ascending the mountain. I really don’t know what they were trying to achieve or protect themselves from: the heat, the cold, the sun, the non-existent wind, the pollution, any contact with nature at all?”
I actually have a strange but passionate intolerance for people who over dress when outside, protecting themselves from the elements in the mildest of conditions. By way of example, there was the time I saw a lady wearing a balaclava at a Sydney train station, on a very mild 13 degree Celcius winter morning. Or how about the university student who had her umbrella up against the sun at about 30 minutes to dusk, when the sun was managing to reach the ground only in very remote corners of the campus. Live and let live you may say, and that sounds very reasonable, but I feel like I need a prejudice, so this is it.