Saturday, 3 January 2009
We arrived in Ulanbatar a little behind schedule because a wheel fell off one of the train carriages. We were due to be met at the railway station by someone from the guesthouse, and we were a little bit worried because we couldn't get a mobile phone signal in Mongolia, but fortunately they were there to meet us despite our delay. It was a strong reminder of how much we rely on mobiles these days - I wouldn't have liked trying to find a Mongolian payphone to call them if they hadn't been there!
This is the inside of the roof of the ger we stayed in. We initially assumed the beautiful painting was for tourist value but every ger we saw had some kind of decoration on those wooden pieces.
Looking down from our guesthouse over the city - where people still put up gers instead of buildings in many cases. Contrasts nicely with the tower blocks in the background!
Just by the turning up to our guesthouse, someone had abandoned a broken snooker table. As we walked through town later in the evening, we saw other tables on street corners, where people were playing some hybrid game involving snooker balls and a pack of cards.
Sukhbator Square in the heart of Ulanbatar. This is about the busiest we saw it, although surely it must sometimes get full.
At the temple, a lama reads. Local Buddhists would come in and just sit inside one of the temple rooms for a few minutes. (Some of them even talking on their mobile phones at the time - so much for respecting the peace of the monastery!)