Hey there APJ Crew,
I have an admission to make. We have been so busy that almost my whole week was put up from photos on one afternoon travelling by train from Irkutsk Russia to Ulaanbaatar Mongolia. Connectivity was spotty at best so forgive the lacks.
This week has been another week of wonders. Lake Baikal is a MUST SEE!
Scent Diary: 27.5 – 2.6.2019
We are on the Trans Siberian Railway still. Made a couple of mates, Dirk and Rick from Netherlands. Hanging out with them has been awesome fun. I’ve added a bunch of vista pics, they’re not all gorgeous but I wanted to give you a little idea of some diversity.
Today we arrived in Irkutsk station and jumped on the bus immediately to Lake Baikal. Really glad we did it without a days stop because all the travel was over and done with in one hit. Nothing can prepare you for the stunning, unspoiled beauty of Lake Baikal.
I woke up at 3.30am and got to watch the magnificent sunrise.
Jin and I were up at breakfast early (it was awful, bleaugh) and out the door to walk to the famous Shaman Rocks. You can tie a ribbon onto the Prayer Poles and as the wind blows through your ribbon your prayer is sent to the universe. You can bring your own ribbon or buy them in the Souvenir Stores. The walk is mildly hard going because it’s quite hilly and there’s a lot of sandy soil.
Here is Jin stealing a TINY pebble to give to TinaG, our resident Rock Chick.
He also braved the local cuisine. It looked pretty grim to me.
In the evening we met up with Dirk and Rick again. They’d arrived on the island in the afternoon. We grabbed some Vodka, beer and snacks and watched the sun go down together. Discussion was wide ranging and full of fun.
We all climbed back down to the Shaman Rock in the dusk. The sheer amount of blue tones in the sky, sea and surrounds was magnificent. The pictures do it no justice.
All the local fooderies were closed by the time we were done. Thankfully Jin called our hotel and asked them to stay open to feed us. No problem. We jumped in a cab and all had delicious burgers and chips, done Russian style with loads of pickles, sweet tomato chutney and cheese. A few beers for the boys and a coffee for me and we were set.
Here we are a truck stop on the way to Irkutsk from Baikal.
Lunch at a Korean BarBQ.
Sexy Russian men are EVERYWHERE. Jin got directions from this one.
Bought FAKE Montale 30ml bottles from this lady. The frags are dodgy AF but smell good.
You may remember Jin likes markets. Here we are at the meat and delicatessen market.
Outside is the farmers market.
Back on the train. This time Irkutsk to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The scenery was gorgeous. So much water and small town. I thought I’d taken more variety but nope.
One of the stops where we could get out, stretch our legs and buy some local cuisine or junk food.
Our very comfortable First Class cabin. NO DINING CAR! We survived on Cup Noodles.
We arrived in MONGOLIA! Met at the station by Tuvshin and Ikima who are going to be showing us around. Met through perfume friend Lkhama in Australia, Tuvshin has organised a kick ass adventure for us. He’s not a Tour Guide and is doing it out of the goodness of his heart.
First stop the Soviet era statue which also is a lookout point over Ulanbaataar. The mosaic work on the inside is wonderful.
Then we travelled out of the city to Lkhama’s relatives who are Yak farmers! They cooked us a traditional celebratory lunch of milk tea and stone BarBQ’d goat.
Then we went out to meet the yaks and see them being milked. OMG! I want one.
Here is a family shot of the lot of us.
Then Tuvshin took us to the largest stainless steel statue on earth. Chingiss Khaan! Set in it’s own theme park with museum, restaurant, parkland, ghers and statues of the horde. It’s wonderful. You can go right up to the top too. we did. View is huge.
Then we went to another theme park. The history of Chengiss, his hers and people, including shaman rituals from all over Mongolia. The rocks are amazing too, spectacular teeth rising from the earth.
After all that it was time to head to our accommodation for the night. A ghee camp. the traditional dwellings of the nomadic tribes of Mongolia.
We slept and woke up to a clear blue sky. It had rained ferociously through the night and we loved sleeping in the warmth and listening to it.
Around lunch time we went back to Ulanbaataar and hit the last Mongolian King’s residence. Sadly it is in need of some love but it’s interesting to wander through the compound. You can clearly see his Tibetian roots in the design and his winter palace is a very unpretentious building full of his life, clothes, rooms of state and the eeriest collection of stuffed animals, birds and fish you ever saw.
By this time Jin band I were STARVING and getting hangry. We ate.
Back to the hotel, showered, dressed and going to diner.
Dinner was originally to be a huge THANK YOU to Tuvshen and Imika. Luckily our train buddies arrived in Ulanbaataar today so we got them to come along too. A perfect evening of food, drinks and laughs.
Afterwards we went up to a bar in the sky for drinks, thanks to Rick & Dirk.
It’s YOUR turn. What’s happening in your world?
Did you do anything Fragrant, Fun, Friends, Family or even had some less than Fabulous news you want to share? Now’s the time, in the comments below.
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