I left you on Thursday in Karakorum, the capital of Genghis Khan’s empire, where we visited the museum and various sights and shrines. By the way, did you like yesterday’s “photo of the day” of the shrine to race horses of all things?
This morning we visited Erdene Zuu Monastery, which happens to be the oldest of the Buddhist monasteries in Mongolia. It was started in 1585 when Tibetan Buddhism was declared to be the official religion of Mongolia. I loved the influence the Chinese had on the architecture, especially on the roofs and with the carved dragons inside the temples (Wednesday’s POTD will feature one of them). This monastery is quite
large with a white wall surrounding it. Once inside there are many buildings and temples and another wall surrounding a smaller group of temples. This small area has been turned into a museum and was my favorite part. A guided tour is highly recommended as the lady walked us through 5-6 temples and explained all the statues and artwork.
Of course I had my dad with me and his hearing is not great, plus he is horrible with accents, so I had to relay the information the guide said to me and Steve, a great guy that joined our tour of Mongolia. Of course I did not have the time or patience to recount every little detail, so I more or less paraphrased different bits. Halfway through we were commenting to the guide how much we appreciate her information
and Steve said “plus afterwards I get the box commentary as Shane relays it to Bill”. Haha
In the afternoon we drove several hours to Elsen Tasarkhai, which is a small desert with a dozen or so sand dunes. Once there we rode camels, but these were the two hump version you find south in the Gobi Desert. I found the two humps to be comfortable and the fur was way softer than I expected.
My dad did not feel like riding, so Steve and I hopped on and went with a guy we were told was not very talkative even in Mongolia. I have to say that that was a gross understatement, because when we got to a resting spot he simple pointed to a dune we were supposed to climb on foot and grunted. Steve and I shrugged and said I guess we are to go that way. Haha. Once we got back I did get my dad to ride a camel for a hundred yards so we could get some pictures. Do you like them? Haha.
Tomorrow I will post a “photo of the day” that will make you fall in love with a camel and on Tuesday I will tell you about our last day in Mongolia, so please continue to come back and show your support of this grand adventure with my dad.
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