May. 4th, 2012

sarahblack: (Impala)
Today I arrived in Beijing! It was strange to leave the train behind. I've become so used to hopping on and off trains, sleeping on trains, eating on trains...

We did get off the train in Ulaanbaatar, though. I slept one night in Ger Camp (about an hour and a half outside the city) and one night in the actual city. I adored Ger Camp! Mongolia really surprised me. It's absolutely gorgeous, and the weather was wonderful. I thought it would be colder, but other than that I hadn't really given it much thought. Maybe my nonexistent expectations helped make the experience so amazing?

In Ger Camp I got to go for a ride on an adorable Mongolian pony, try on the traditional Mongolian costume, and test out my mad archery skills. (I got the arrow to go pretty close to the target and everything!) In Ulaanbaatar I got to know all about Gengis Khan at the National museum, and see a performance of traditional folk music, dance and contortionism! The costumes that the performers wore were amazing!

The last day on the train took me through the Gobi desert. It was quite cool to see, but ohmygod the dust and the heat onboard! It was pretty unbearable.

Beijing is big, hot and scary so far. Tomorrow I plan to go on a tour of the major tourist sites. I'm very excited about the Great Wall, but I'm sure it will be packed with people. I think it will be almost as interesting to see all the people, the merchendise peddlers and the general spectacle of it all, though.

Right now I'm at the apartment of my couchsurfing host. It was difficult to find, but I got there eventually. My actual host is travelling right now, but his French roommate has been super helpful and nice.

Anyway I'm off to meet my fellow Vodkatrain travellers for one last dinner before we go our separate ways. Hope you are all healthy and happy!


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Sarah Black

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