Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Making musical associations while atop Seongsan Ilchulbong (and elsewhere)

Puppet Ponyo atop Seongsan Ilchulbong
Early morning view from the top of Seongsan Ilchulbong
Looking out towards the actually much higher  
Hallasan from atop Seongsan Ilchulbong
If anyone were to ask me, I would not describe myself as a particularly musical person.  Yes, I took piano lessons for several years as a child (like many Asian children are made to do).  And yes, I also learnt to play the recorder and pianica at school, and actually was in the school choir and orchestra back in primary school.  But I didn't have the musical passion that I've seen a number of other people have and, unusually for an Asian, have never ever been out to a karaoke bar (even while I have been to plenty of bars where the primary activities are drinking alcohol and chatting)!
At the same time though, I can't deny my liking to sing in the shower and sometimes even while out hiking in the countryside by myself or strolling about on a street.  And there really are celebratory and/or happy moments when a particular song will suddenly pop into my head and I may give into an impulse to sing it out aloud! 
On a visit to England's Lake District many years ago, I was moved to sing the theme song from The Sound of Music after hiking up a hill and coming across the kind of scenic vistas that got me thinking of the ones that saw Julie Andrews (as Maria von Trapp) burst out in song in my favorite movie when I was younger than sixteen going on seventeenAnd after hiking up Jeju's Seongsan Ilchulbong and seeing the sunrise from atop it, a part of me wanted to burst out in song while up there too.
But whereas I had felt free to sing out loud on that hill in the Lake District because there was just one other person up there at the time (and she happened to be my cousin, who happily sang along after I got going!), there were too many people atop Seongsan Ilchulbong (aka Sunrise Peak) at the same time as me for my comfort!  So I contented myself with drinking in the beautiful views from atop the 180-meter-high volcanic cone, taking snaps of Puppet Ponyo posing atop it, and periodically humming sections of Cat Stevens' Morning Has Broken and The Carpenters' Top of the World under my breath.
Incidentally, besides being places that have made me want to burst into song, the Lake District and Seongsan Ilchulbong also both happen to be UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites -- of which I count myself fortunate to have visited 75 (in 23 different countries) to date.  And so too is Salzburg, which I will forever associate with The Sound of Music, and where I also was moved to sing songs from that movie when I spent time in that fair city! ;b  


Bill said...


In the top photo your travel partner is beaming with solar illumination. (This photo would be perfect for an image in the Tarot deck, known at "The Sun")...Sometimes in the poses you create for her, she appears as the incarnation of a nature spirit who may possibly know of a secret that is contained somewhere in your photo. Example: the two background silhouettes on the rock in this photo could recall a fleeting spirit moving across the rock.

Any inspired traveler will know exactly what you mean by "musical associations." For example, at a much younger age in Vienna, I visited residences associated with Beethoven and found myself humming his music. I'm glad you mention Salzburg because of the city itself, the mountains, and because of the divine Mozart...Thank you for a most entertaining travel entry.


YTSL said...

Hi Bill --

It's great that you saw Puppet Ponyo beaming in the top photo since the sunlight on her was so strong that it obscures the smile on her face! On a musical note: When I visited Vienna, I thought more of Strauss waltzes than Beethoven... ;b