July 9th (Hvar's 2nd Birthday)
17.07.2018 24 °C
We spent an amazing day with a guide visiting some of the highlights Mongolia has to offer. First we travelled to the giant statue of Genghis Khan, they spell and pronounce it Chinggis Khan (Khan denoting King) The site is historically significant and when you climb into the viewing platform on his horses head you are looking out over magnificent rolling hills with a large sky and not a tree in site. Below the statue is a fascinating museum with interesting displays about Mongolian lifestyle their Yurts (Ghurs) how they are built and how they lived. We also stopped to see some camels, two humps, not one and stunning birds of prey, eagles and vultures; they have a long history of falconry.
Traditional Mongolian lunch in a Ghur; fermented mares milk, dried curd ( we saw it drying on the roof, mares cream'butter, weak milky tea with salt and what we most enjoyed; these meat treats with lamb, onion and garlic wrapped in a deep fried pastry, quite reminiscent of our meat pie, John even had tomato sauce from a squeeze bottle on it.
From there we watched them milk the mares using all their wiles to keep them calm and still. Then fearing for our sanity we headed of on a horseback ride through the Tejkie National Park which reminded us of the Grampians, minus the trees, stunning views, sweeping gullies and beautiful granite rock formations. Horses were and are still extremely important in their culture and lives..
Along the track John spied a rock formation that looked somewhat like an Easter Island Statue and was determined to have his photo taken alongside it with possibly a caption like " so which one is John?" In his rush to get there I slid down some loose gravel injuring my left wrist and causing a few other cuts and scratches!!!!!!!!
Finished the tour by climbing this 'ridiculous' hill to see a Buddhist meditation temple built in the Tibetan style. When I reached there I felt I had some insight as to why they may go there to meditate, it was all I had the energy left to do. The setting is sublime though and very conducive to peace and reflection. We finished off eating a very tasty Mongolian meal (don't ask me what - we just pointed at the pictures on the menu)