Sunday, April 05, 2009

Jinhae's Cherry Blossom Festival

To the South of Changwon, on the other side of a rugged line of mountains, lies the coastal port city of Jinhae, which is nationally famous for its annual springtime Cherry Blossom Festival. Like the Japanese, the Koreans love their Cherry Blossoms. Jinhae, blessed with more Cherry Blossoms than any other city I've ever seen, (they line every street and avenue) puts on a big show near the local South Korean Navy Base.

The grounds and surrounding hills and islands of the naval base also possess a very enviable number of the celebrated arboreal symbol of spring. So during this festival, they open the grounds to the public for picnics and tours. This year, they also hosted a military band from New Zealand, although I didn't stop to listen in for very long.

Carlos, whom I'd met the day before, was kind enough to invite me to join him and his girlfriend for the day. We went hiking on the mountain ridge between the two cities for spectacular vistas, blooming azaleas and then descended into town for food and festivities.

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