Today we get to head back to the city. I wanted to climb the mountain by our camp and watch the sunrise but the 5:45am wakeup time, 30 degree temperature, cloudy and rainy weather made me rethink my plans. My bed in the warm toasty ger was too much to give up. I have a feeling that you would have made me get up to enjoy the sunrise though. I did climb the mountain again before we left to get one last look at the countryside. It still took my breath away.
On the way back to the big city we stopped so Tsegi and Bazaara could buy some more airag from a local family. Yuck! We were all too scared to get out of the van because we thought they would make us drink some more. Whenever Americans rest somewhere we just lean against a wall, but whenever we see Mongolians resting they seem to squat with their feet flat. OUCH! Today we decided we are gonna try to squat like Mongolians as much as possible, so keep a close eye out for our group squats.
We stopped at the Chinggas Khaan Statue Complex. This 131 ft tall statue of Genghis Khan was amazing. It was very shiny all in silver, with a gold horse whip and gold accents on his belt. It’s reported that Genghis found a golden horse whip in the area and it was an omen signifying his power and importance and foretelling his ultimate rise to power. I’d just be happy to have found something made out of gold. There’s an elevator in the horse’s tail that allows you to ride up inside the statue. You get to stand on top of the horse’s head and get a close up look of the statue. Awesome!
While at the Statue Complex we had the opportunity to try on some clothing from the 1300s when Genghis Khan was in power. I think the power in the helmet went to Dr. Abram’s head.
We stopped at a local city for lunch and guess what was on the menu again: MUTTON! We are all so tired of sheep! Dr. Gayle even asked if they had any goat. When they said there wasn’t even any goat Jenna convinced the cook to make us the same meal but to use chicken instead. Our waitress thought we were crazy, but it turned out really good.
The traffic in Ulaanbaatar is insane! Crazy drivers who make up their own lanes is only half the problem. Since they get cars from all over the world the steering wheels could be on either side of the car. It took us several hours to get back to the motel.
After a quick shower we made it to a traditional Mongolian performance. We got to see their throat singing called Khoomei and some of their musical instruments made with horse hair (I told you, they love their horses!). The best was the contortionist. This girl could rest her chin between her ankles. OUCH!
We ended the evening at a French Restaurant. Dr. Gayle loves French food so he was super excited. We were all happy to have another meal with no mutton.
We only have one more day in Mongolia. Tomorrow we get to explore the capital city of Ulaanbaatar.