Apples and Pottery in Cheongsong

Patricia, Analie and I headed out on a trip to Cheongsong (청송 – literally meaning green pine) with Daegu Compass. Cheongsong is known among Koreans for its apples and for a famous prison near Cheongsong. For a mere 59,000 won aka about $55, we explored this amazing place! 
Our first stop was Songso Gotaek (송소 고택), a famous hanok (traiditonal Korean houses) situated in Deokcheon Village. The house, which displays various features of an upper class family’s house in the Joseon Period, is currently used as a tourist attraction. It is said that more than 4,000 people visit the house every year, something I plan to do one day during my stay here. What is amazing is seeing the traditional heating system they use (the ondol heating system).  This house still keeps a conventional kitchen where cooking and heating is done by placing firewood in the fire hole. But it has modern showers and toilet facilities installed as well. It was amazing to see the “chimneys” they had. The smell of burning wood was intoxicating. It reminded me of camping. 

Outside Songso Gotaek were farms. It was such a brilliant green! I couldn’t believe it. An old woman saw our tour group and urged us to buy cucumbers from her, so we did! Fresh cucumbers that we were able to pick ourselves! 

We then headed across the road where an older man taught us how to dye handkerchiefs using an herb that can also be consumed. As soon as he said that of course I had to try it. Gross!! It was soooo bitter! Blah! 

We then headed to Cheongsong Baekja (청송백자) where we met 80-year-old  Go Mangyeong (고만경) who is famous for continuing a long tradition of creating the pottery not from clay but from stone. 

The bowl he helped me make

We finished our pottery adventure by painting our own bowls. We didn’t make them but they were fun to paint.

My plate is super special to me because I wrote what has really been on my heart since being here in Korea:

“To thine own self be true” – William Shakespeare

“너 자신에게성실하라.”
-윌리엄 셰익스피어

We ended our trip by apple buns and apple liquor at two different locations. The apple distillory was made in what had previously been an elementary school. And the buns? The potter’s apprentice’s mother made them at her bakery. She is one of the few female business owners in the area and was so proud of what she had accomplished. The city also helped her financially because they want to support female entrepreneurship. Included is the article written about our trip on the July addition of the Daegu Compass: