Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bells and Trees (This week's Photo Hunt entry)


Back in the fall of 2009, I visited South Korea. Among the highlights of my week long vacation in the Land of the Morning Calm was a day spent in the city of Suwon that included time spent walking along atop the walls of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Hwaseong Fortress.

My trek around the 5.5 kilometer long wall of the Hwaseong Fortress began at its east gate, located close to the city's Hwaseong Haeng-gung Palace (which, incidentally, has a tree in its grounds whose photo was one I used for a previous Trees-themed Photo Hunt organized by tnchick (as opposed to either Sandi or Gattina)!), and involved a steep ascent up the hill along a stretch that was flanked on one side by trees galore. Shortly after ascending to the top of Mount Paldalsan (as the hill is called), I came across a large bell that, even if it was not exactly the mother of all bells, still was mighty impressive as far as I was concerned.

A sign near the bell (on which was engraved a beautiful representation of portions of Hwaseong Fortress) informed me that it was known as the Bell of Filial Piety and, among other things, "expresses the best wishes of the citizens of Suwon for your family and the nation. We hope you meditate upon the meaning of each toll..."  More specifically, one can pay a nominal fee -- as I did -- to strike this large bell three times, with: the first toll of the bell being "to show gratitude and respect to your parents"; the second toll being "to wish for your family's health and harmony"; and the third toll being "to wish for the realization of your [own] dreams".

In all honesty, I can't remember what I actually wished for myself in Suwon that day -- so can't say if those dreams got realized.  However, thanks to at least one photo I took of that bell, I can recall not only its existence but also its prime location atop a hill and flanked by trees in a setting that was pretty attractive indeed. :)


Trekcapri said...

Hi YTSL, what a wonderful take on the dual themes. Your photos are wonderful and I really love what the Bell expresses. I'm sure that all of your wishes have and/or will come true for you. I think that's very cool.

Have a great weekend.

MaR said...

Beautiful YTSL, may all your wishes come true in 2013 :) Love that engraved sign.

eastcoastlife said...

Envy! You went to South Korea too!? That's awesome. There are so many places to visit in South Korea, I have been to only three. Suwon sounds cool.

chica said...

Muito lindo,Yves! um abraço, lindo dia!chica

YTSL said...

Hi Trekcapri --

Thanks as ever for reading and appreciating as well as looking. Hope you have a great weekend too. :)

Hi Mar --

Thanks much for your wishes. And same to you! :)

Hi EastCoastLife --

Yeah, I've been to South Korea -- twice in fact! The first time was back in 1982... it was very different from when I visited again in 2009! :b

Hi Chica --

Thanks -- except I'm not Yves... ;b

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

sadly the Duke of Windsor is not the Duke of washington. I was shocked there were 10,728 handgun shooting death in USA and only 8 in UK.

Hootin' Anni said...

Wonderful post...and great share of 'bells'.

Gattina said...

Very interesting post and nice pictures.

YTSL said...

Hi Ann --

(Continuing a conversation began on your blog.) The Duke of Windsor wasn't all that great... but ya, that handgun shooting stat you cited sure is astonishing.

Hi Hootin Anni --

Thanks for the appreciation! :)

Hi Gattina --

Thanks! :)

Felipa Monteverde said...

Amazing bell, so big!
You are a lucky one for you to do that trip, that is a wonderful place!
And you get beautiful photos, very good indeed!

YTSL said...

Hi Felipa --

Big -- and I'd imagine heavy too! Suwon really did seem a wonderful place. I took lots of photos -- and also actually found myself thinking that it looked to be a good place to live if one were/knew Korean... :)

Vicki said...

The bell is magnificent and I love the 3 strikes you can give it and what each strike of the bell represents

My bells are at

YTSL said...

Hi Vicki --

I agree with you re the bell -- and I do like that I was able to make it ring. :)

Vane M. said...

Adorei a escadaria e a bela arquitetura do lugar. Um abraço!

YTSL said...

Hi Bia Hain --

I'm glad you like the first photo -- and would like to presume that you also like the other photos on this entry. :)