Ulaan Baatar

Trip Start Sep 21, 2007
Trip End Apr 10, 2009

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Flag of Mongolia  ,
Monday, October 8, 2007

Hey dear friends,

I am writing this travelogue from Ulaan Baatar in Mongolia. I am a bit in bad mood because my camera was stolen two days ago from a pocket in my jacket. :-(
Luckily enough in Irkutsk I put my pictures on a USB stick so I still have my pictures including Lake Baikal. I have lost the pictures after Lake Baikal up to now..... :-(
I'll try to buy a new camera in Beijing.

Anyway, here's what happened after Irkutsk. We got the train in the early morning, and the station thermometer indicated -2 degrees Celsius. Brrr. The route was very interesting, because part of the route was going along the shore of Lake Baikal. It was quite cold and there was snow already in this part of Siberia. Beautiful scenery! The last two hours we travelled along the Selenga river towards Ulan Ude. In Ulan Ude we arrived at around 14h30 and we immediately liked this city, because this was basically the first city in Russia where people were smiling and approaching us. We got a cheap hotel and then went into the city where on the central square they have the largest Lenin head in the world, and it was truly impressive. After that we saw the movie Mongol in the cinema - a movie which we had seen advertised already since Moscow. The movie turned out to be in Mongolian, dubbed in a single Russian male voice and to be honest, quite boring (we fell asleep a few times). :-)

The next day we took another early morning train to Ulaan Baatar in Mongolia. We followed the Selenga river valley again until the border. The border formalities altogether took about 9 hours, my longest border formalities ever. In the morning we arrived in Ulaan Baatar. We settled into a dormitory of a hostel and then we had a look around town, which is a rather ugly town. The Gandan monastery is pretty much the only sight in Ulaan Baatar and that is quite interesting, especially the temple with the 26,5 meter high Buddha statue. Later in the day we visited the main square with a lot of monumental buildings, called Sükh Baatar square. It is probably here that they pick pocketed my digital camera..... I realized it later that evening when I wanted to put the pictures of my camera on my USB stick.

Yesterday we went on a tour to Terelj National Park, which is a beautiful national park with mountain scenery and a lot of rocks. We spent the night in a ger, which is a traditional Mongolian white tent. We also did some horse riding, but (again) I got the laziest horse there was, and I was behind the group pretty much all the time, the same which happened to me 3 months ago on the Galapagos Islands. I think this was the last time horse riding! The night was cold (there's also quite a bit of snow here) but we had an extremely good time with other travellers in our ger (with a bit of vodka as well). This morning we came back to Ulaan Baatar, where we immediately went to the police station (for a police report for my stolen digital camera), but there they told us to come back at 3 o'clock, so now we are killing time in an internet cafe until 3 o'clock.

That's it for now, more news from China!

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