JUNE 23, 2009: TUESDAY


Christi would define a vacation as laying on a beach somewhere and relaxing for days on end. So, prior to either of us leaving home, I continually reminded her that "It's not a vacation, it's an adventure!"

Most of the group boarded planes for home this morning but those of us who remained planned to spend the day exploring Ulaanbaatar.

Bayaraa, Muntsog's son, would be our guide through the city and one of his friends joined us. We set off to the Black Market first but it turns our this is the only day of the week it isn't open. So, we loaded into another taxi and headed off to another market on the other side of town. Cabs are extremely affordable. For trips under 4 miles or so, it seemed that it only costs us $2-4 US. Longer trips (10 miles) were $8 at the most.

View of Ulaanbaatar from our window at the Michelle Hotel

The market is where the locals shop for their goods. We had planned to find interesting things to take home with us but most of this expansive outdoor market sold only living necessities, not tourist trinkets.

On the way out of the market, we found a lady selling "Airag" which is the traditional Mongolian drink of Fermented Mares milk. We had her fill an empty water bottle for 1000 Tugrik (Mongolian money) which converts to $0.75 US. It tasted like Elmer's Glue with Turpentine mixed in. I don't think my American digestive tract was suited to digesting this concoction so I drank very little before I was forced to dispose of it.

Later we visited the largest Buddhist Monestary in UB. I expected the place to be very quiet and stale. It was anything but. People wandered around feeding pigeons and praying in various places. Christi and I thought we should really learn more about this religion.

For dinner we went to an Italian restaurant (seems odd doesn't it) and then it was off to the Hotel. Christi and I had to prepare for our departure to the wilderness the next day.

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