Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ulan Bataar

2 + 3 November 2009
Ulan Bataar is not one of the prettiest cities, and there’s quite alot of pollution, and it’s very busy, so maybe it’s because we‘ve been on the train for 5 days with no showers and too many noodles, but right from the start Mongolia stole my heart, I love it here! Only after a few hours of walking around, experiencing the people and UB (as the locals call it, which i feel i am after only 2 hours), I would recommend everybody to come here!

Our Honcho for UB is Boogii. A very knowledgable, smart and cool girl, who packed our 3 night stay in Mongolia totally full. We meet her at the station, with a sign saying: Vodka train (somehow it‘s still kind of embarrassing that that´s what this trip is called). She takes us to our hotel (yay, showers!) and around noon our tour starts: mongolian lunch, buddhist statue, war-memorial on top of a hill with a view over the city, coffee in a bar called `Saffron Bistro´, an art gallery with photography of Mongolian tribes and finally dinner at a Mongolian BBQ, Teppanyaki style.

We have to be back in our hotel before 9 though, because there is a curfew on all social hangouts such as bars, restaurants and night clubs, due to the H1N1 flu. During the day you can see many people wearing face-masks against the flu, they look at us surprised that we're traveling while there’s an epidemic going on. A few of us did get the sniffles on the train, so every time an official came by we would hold in our sneezes and coughs and hope they wouldn’t notice the tissues lying around. But don't worry, no bad flues or anything, just getting used to the cold weather!

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