08 Dec

MONGOLIA IS COOLER THAN COOL – IT’S COLD!!!

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Ulaan Baator’s claim to fame is “The Coldest Capital City in the World”.   When I read that I thought whoever had written it had never been to WInnipeg.   Unfortunately,  they were right!  My flight to Mongolia was delayed due to poor weather.  I arrived to minus 8-degree weather but learned an unseasonal cold spell would begin the next day – and it did.  For the next five days  the temperature was about minus 25 degrees.  The cold was not the worst – the wind and icy streets and sidewalks were more than I could handle.   I walked to the State Department Store the first day.  It was only a block away, but took me half an hour – it was so icy.  I saw two people have bad falls, and I so did not want to start this trip with a fall.  If I was going to be stuck inside I could not have found a better hostel.  Zaya hostel has to be one of the best I have ever stayed at.  It is big, spotlessly clean, includes a good breakfast,  and has great beds.  For $10 a night it is a great bargain.  Most of the guests here are doing the Moscow – Beijing train trip. This is such an interesting country.  I was amazed to find a 98 % literacy rate in a country with a 40% nomadic population. I finally was able to get out of the city on a tour to see the famous statue of Ghengis Khan (Chennggis Khan)  It is a pretty desolate country.  Nomads live in “gers” – round felt portable housing. Clothing is made of cashmere and yak wool.   Domestic horses and cattle are short, stocky, and hairy!.p1000348

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The sun finally came out, and it warmed up so I was able to get out and walk around to see the sights I came to see.  Chennggis Khan Square is huge,  surrounded by beautiful buildings.  A Monastery I visited was colorful and interesting.  15181516_10157775463440384_1278889589124645729_nimg_2066
img_2073The country may be cold but the people are warm and friendly so it really is a cool place to visit for sure!

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