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A Leisurely Stroll around the Natural History of Gwangju광주의 자연사를 찾아떠나다
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승인 2011.04.08  18:00:50
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<#308 Reporter’s Sketch>



   The KBS hit program ”One Night, Two Days” has sparked sudden interest in roads (or gil in Korean) across . When we think about gil, Ollet-gil in Jeju or Dullet-gil in Jiri Mountain comes to mind. However, as usual, we overlook things that are close at hand. Moodeung Mountain - visible from Chonnam National University (CNU) - is a symbol of Gwangju. This giant and magnificent mountain also has a famous gil called Moodol-gil.



Notice of Moodol-gil


The name Moodol-gil originated from the old name of Moodeung Mountain , Moodol. This road was built to link the villages around Moodeung Mountain , and it also connected Gwangju, Hwasun and Damyang in a circuit 100 years ago. But as modern highways were constructed, Moodol-gil disappeared. However, Moodol-gil was restored in October, 2010 to protect the seriously damaged natural environment and for the benefit of Gwangju citizens.

I discovered that Moodol-gil is divided into 15 sections, which boast superb natural landscape, and are also well equipped with rest areas for visitors or local people. For a short break, I decided to go trekking from section 1 to section 2 in order to look back on the history of Gwangju.

Section 1 begins from Sihwa village in Munhwa-dong, Buk-gu. As you pass by this cultural village, you’ll see Gakhwa Reservoir situated in a quiet spot. From here, you can walk along simple country lanes. Although it was just twenty minutes from CNU by bus, this centuries-old road made me think of the people who lived here generations ago. It was curious to think that our ancestors made their homes so close to the center of modern Gwangju. Without any difficulties, I was able to reach the walking trail at Deulsan-jea, the first rest area. Sitting on the bench and looking around at the views made me fall silent. I realized again how enormous Moodeung Mountain is. After walking for more than half an hour, Deungchon village appeared and the second section started.

 Section 2 reminded me of a country lane. Walking along the paths with stone walls and trees on either side of the road, I felt as if I were at my grandmother’s farmhouse. This beautiful road led to the Choongjang-sa, which is a memorial shrine built as a tribute to Kim Duck-ryung’s faithfulness. Kim Duck-ryung was a general of the Righteous Armies during the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592. Choongjang-sa is one of the legacies to remind us to look back in history and think about the lives of our ancestors.

 My short trek ended at Choongjang-sa. It took only two and half more hours but I was able to try to follow their ways of living and thinking while I walked along the paths. It was so cold that I could not walk all sections of Moodol-gil, but I was quite surprised by what I had seen that day without actually climbing the mountain. Moodol-gil does not consist of artificial roads, but rather natural history. It provides a livelihood that has sustained a community for generations and has finally been recovered. I could get a chance to appreciate the natural landmarks here in the Buk-gu district. Moodol-gil is very near CNU and there is also a bus that can transport you to the starting-point and finishing-point of the trail. Furthermore, every course of Moodol-gil will be opened by June 2011. So why don’t you choose one or two sections from those 15 options and going hiking with your friends this spring? All you need to do is find a day with the right weather and pack a delicious box lunch.

 A Leisurely Stroll around the Natural History of Gwangju



   By Seo Jung-eun, Tribune Reporter

 -Moodol-gil, the road that links the villages around Moodeung Mountain-

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