Fall Winter is surely coming to Mongolia. So much, in fact, that we all needed a break from the busy days of school and relax in UB during the kids’ school break. We opted to stay in the city rather than spend a million of hours on planes trying to get to new destinations (the fun part when you’re living in a remote place) – not to worry, we will have plenty of that ahead of us but this time, we wanted to stay home, go on a few day trips, and spend some time with friends.
So we dusted off the snow pants and headed to the close-by Terelj national park, one of our favourite hiking and outdoors spots about an hour away from the city. Yes, there was snow, plenty of cold, kite flying and hiking, and lots of time to collect animal bones …. yep, they are everywhere now and Juliana and I both have an eagle eye for spotting them.
The next day, we met up with friends to explore a Buddhist meditation temple about 1.5 hours to the North of UB – it was another cold day (well, not really that cold since the real cold is still to come) but the scenery was absolutely stunning. And despite uncooperative kids at first, we managed to hike the mountains around the temples and crawl over huge rocks and boulders and through caves. What a fun day!
And of course it’s not a proper break in Mongolia without horseback riding – so back we went to Terelj with even more friends and hopped on a horse or two.
And then, just at the end of the break, we followed Juliana’s lead and dove into Mongolian dress up mode. You see, there’s a tiny little museum in UB called “Mongolian Costume Museum” and it’s just that – a small room with an impressive display of various Mongolian gear and weapons going back a few hundred years. And then, for less than $4 per person, you get to dress up too – what was there not to like?
Well, perhaps the fact that these costumes are beautiful but by no means form fitting – they easily add on about 10 extra pounds!