Trans Mongolian

A little more from my Trans Mongolian train trip:

After an evening at the Russian Border (passport control took 4 hours!) and the Mongolian border (passport control took 1.5 hours) we entered Mongolia. While enjoying a good night sleep, after yesterdays , we were brutally woken up at 7.30 am in Ulaanbataar, Mongolia’s capital. While having lived in luxury the last 5 days (2 persons sharing a 4 persons compartment) 2 new passengers moved in. We had to quickly take our things from the other beds and rearrange our stuff. A harsh wake up but we could have been 4 from the beginning so we were grateful for our first 5 days.

Mongolia seems more friendly then Russia which is nice. The landscape is different, no more silver birch trees, but we’re high up in snow covered mountains. We slowly get ready for a ride through the Gobi dessert. We see quite a lot of animals, camels (the Weeping Camel lives here!), wild horses, cows, a kind of gazelle and huge black vultures having lunch. We also see traditional Mongolian Gerd tents, incl. smoking chimneys, it’s amazing.

We are out of food, so our brunch consists of Pringles and tea, a couple of cashew nuts and half a can of Coke. There is surprisingly no Mongolian restaurant car attached and the Russian one is left behind in Russia.

On our stop at a small station children try to exchange some Mongolian tögrög (nice name for a currency) for a dollar. We unfortunately only have Russian rubbles, loads of them, and to no use whatsoever here. But J. finds a one dollar Bill (Bills are always good to have you see) in his wallet and comes back with a Twix, which is heaven when you are hungry.

“Here you go” he said offering me half of it.
“There is no way I can accept that” I said.
“Yes you can, I especially bought a Twix because they are easy to share.”

And I thought things like why is this guy only 19, why are the Brits so incredibly deliciously polite and charming and I really am hungry.

“I will remember you for this for the rest of my life” I said. “Let me make you some tea”.
“Tea would be just perfect” he smiled.

We got some soup and food from our neighbours and made it to the Chinese border where credit cards could buy everything we needed, where I bought a bag of jelly for J. because he loves those so much, and where we, to our big surprise, got offered free breakfast and lunch in the Chinese restaurant wagon.

I can’t believe that it is already a month ago that I left Beijing for New York. If I could zap myself back to that train right now, I would do it.

2 thoughts to “Trans Mongolian”

  1. It is great fun to follow your trip … the experience of Mongolia must have been incredible. Time passes way too quickly!

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