Sunday, October 07, 2007

Mongolia - What a place!!!!!

11/18/07 - I am finally getting to add comments...its been longer than an month and i apologize...i will be adding more pictures too tonight :) gotta grab the bull by the horns and such....so here's the info about mongolia....enjoy :) i sure did :)


this is the entrance to the gandan temple...one of the largest in mongolia and the largest in ulan baatar...it is a working temple and the mongolians all come in to pray and burn incense and guests pay an entrance fee to see the super huge wooden standing buddha...it was a wonderful place...
i love this shot of the monk walking through a second gate to get out of the temple...what was really funny to me was that this guy took out his cell phone seconds after i took the shot...i am always suprised to see modern technology combined with being a monk...

this was the portion of the temple the monks were chanting in...it was an amazing sounds and just made me think about all the oms i could, but we were not allowed in to see....

this is me with one of the prayer wheels...one that was painted...these are usually not seen in the mongolian or tibetan buddist temples...usually there are metal ones of bronze...remember...you chant and spin the prayer wheel always clockwise....if you spin counterclockwise you are demolishing the past...keep that in mind.....

this was the funniest monk...and i love that he wouldn't open his eyes for the picture...he wouldn't explain that to me either...but he had no problem taking the picture...he told me i was married...and when i said no...engaged he said...nope i said...in a relationship he said...i said no....had two kids...i said no...it was hilarious...and then he said i would live a long and happy life...simply hilarious....

welcome to the steppes of mongolia...i love this picture...its of the ger camp i stayed at...it could accomodate 90 people...and there were only 10 there...i had a ger all to myself and we were allowed to wander all over the place...we saw an amazing storm roll in while we were there...
this was my personal ger...and although its made of fabric...it was really warm and really large...it was built to accomodate 4 people...so to have one all to myself was pure luxury...

this is the interior of the ger...the painted furniture was stunning and the bed was really comfortable and really warm...as it had a horsehair blanket on it...every thing in the nomadic life of mongolians is based on the horse....and they are expert horse people...they learn to ride around the age of three...simply incredible...and they ride standing...it was amazing to watch...

this was one of the spectacular sunsets we had while i was out at the ger camp...although my camera has this incredible setting for sunsets...this one really was quite beautiful :)
we went and visited the nomads that lived about 1 km away from the ger camp...and when we stopped by the grandsons were milking the goats...goats are the other main staple of the nomads...and usually the girls milk the goats...but this family had only one little girl...so all the boys were trained how to do this as well...she would be joining them in a few years though :)

this is the internal view of the nomad family's ger...members of this family were horse trainers and were very successful...what you see are their medals for their bred horses...as well as their altar for buddha...they were very busy getting horses ready for the horse festival Nadaam that was happening the week after i was there...i was sooooo bummed to have missed it...but hopefully i will get there someday for the festival....

this is the bed the parents of the family slept in and we were sitting on the grandparents bed across from this...the kids sleep on the floor...and there was a smaller ger for the teenager boys, as they were growing too old to sleep in the same ger as their parents and grandparents....when you enter a ger, just like in a temple, you walk clockwise always...even if you have to go all the way around to greet someone...its interesting....

in ulan bataar they had this exhibit in the main square of fancy gers you could buy...inside they were amazing...and the exterior of this one was set up like ghenghis khan's - the black and white head gear are what was outside when they were in the middle of peaceful times...if it was just black, that would mean they were at war and if it was just white, they were visiting friends of the empire...in mongolia they called him chinggis khan...not ghenghis....

this is the inside of the swanky ger...it was amazing...they could put this up in 1-2 hours and could take it down in 1/2 an hour...it blew my mind and was cool to watch...

here is ghenghis khan...in all his glory...this is a HUGE statue on the outside of the parliament building in the main square of ulan bataar...most of the building is under construction...but this statue of him is amazing....they have one of his grandson...kubla khan as well...not nearly as large though....ghenghis was the MAN!!!!

i really liked this statue, also found in ulan bataar...the symbols on the front of the statue were symbols they found of a first group of people that lived in mongolia...i love the symbols... mongolian is quite an interesting looking language...i recoginize nothing and it sounds very poetic....
this is ulan bataar from my hotel room...in the distance on the hill there is a HUGE white representation of ghenghis khan made of rock...just an outline and very hard to see...but amazing none-the-less....ulan bataar was an interesting city, but you can do it in less than two days...and at the moment it is a cross between a construction site and a shanty town...if you are looking for its charm though...go soon...because it will look like everywhere else soon....but if you do go to mongolia, get out of the city and get to the steppes...i can't wait to go back and see other parts of the country...it was incredible and stunning and i loved it :)
this is the gobi desert from the train i took between ulan bataar and beijing...it was REALLY hot....and sand got everywhere...even with the windows closed...it was definitely a ride you needed a shower after....but it was cool to see them switch the train wheels in china....the gauge of the wheels is not the same between countries...it was wild....
this is the beautiful mongolian dining car...so different from the russian trains and the chinese trains...it puts them to shame...i love all of the wood...and they actually had good food too...shocking :)

this is me of course...very happy to be on this mongolian train...it was so different and like being in complete luxury after the train ride from perm to ulan bataar...but that was an experience i would never trade.....okay...more coming...enjoy this and GO TO MONGOLIA - you'll love it and fall in love with it...i can't wait to go back :)

2 comments:

shell said...

diferent places and exotic

Klaudia said...

I've been there many times.I love Mongolia!