Friday, June 17, 2011

Not to worry, I haven't stopped having excellent adventures, but I haven't been able to get my latest pics out of my camera and onto my computer. So, I want to share my latest trip to Arkhangai Aimag, and hopefully, the pics will follow soon.
I was invited to the Teacher Training Institute to deliver several lectures. So, we set out on Thursday morning and stopped on the way at Erdene Zuu Monastery. This monastery sits on the site of Kharkhorin, the ancient capital of Mongolia. Chinggis Khan founded the city to be the capital not just of Mongolia, but of the world! It was a large city, "protected" on four corners by stone turtles (2 remain). The capital eventually moved to Beijing, and later, the Chinese invaded and burned the city. Some few hundred years later, a monstery was built on the site, using the burned bricks of the ancient city. The monastery stands today, with some added, newer, buildings. The monastery is ringed by 108 stupas - each containing precious items. One of the turtles is not far outside the boundary. A wonderful place to visit. We also went up the mountain to a memorial that depicts the comparison of the size of Mongolia at three different times in history, the largest, of course, during Chinggis Khan's reign. We went up the mountain on the other side of the road and saw the 2nd turtle - quite a way off.

Including this stop, we arrived at our destination 12 hours later. Turns out there was no electricity in the area from 7am to 8pm each day! A generator was rounded up, fixed, hooked up and the lectures went off without a hitch all day Friday....in the evening we climbed yet another hill, to yet another temple - wonderful views of this beautiful town set among mountains and forests.

On Saturday, we started with a trip to a rock that comes with several legends - take your pick, but it is actually the last part standing of mountains and it has over 100 ancient rock drawings on it. Then, a picnic next to the river. Then, off to the Hot Springs where we stayed overnight at a ger camp. The camp boasted two pools of naturally hot water. And, a most gorgeous setting.

Good walking on Sunday, and then back to town after lunch....a stroll through town, dinner with new friends.

Monday was the ride back to UB...9 hours. Another great experiences - lots of new friends, and the chance to see another part of Mongolia. Keep your fingers crossed that you'll be able to see the pics from this trip - then you'll see the beauty for yourself!

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