After a good night’s sleep, we were back at it in Ulaanbaatar today. The city is hosting the world junior table tennis championships, and all the teams are staying in our hotel. As a result, we had breakfast with North Korea, Iran, and Hong Kong this morning (we were seated next to them). By the way, did you know the Ulaanbaatar has the only North Korean embassy in the world?
We spent the morning stalking Vladimir Putin and looking at statues in the downtown area - we saw politicians, war heroes and even the Beatles (yes, they have a Beatles monument in Mongolia!). After a walk to the largest monastery in Ulaanbaatar, we headed back to the hotel to meet Jimmy and the rest of our team.
Our group consists of Giles and Elspeth, who live in Australia, Leslie, who is from Denver and the Three Amigos - first impressions are we have a good team.
The team headed out for a day of culture, visiting two museums and a cultural show (replete with throat singers and a contortionist) - an interesting, yet highly entertaining spectacle of Mongolia’s past, present and future.
Oh, and we managed to run into Putin’s motorcade as well!
We have had a great time in UB, but it’s tine to get out into the wild and begin our trip - we are being picked up at 11:30 am for our flight to Ulgii. It may be a few days until we can blog again, so please stay tuned to our twitter feed to get updates on our progress.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
- Mark Twain