Friday, June 13, 2008

Plan B Trip

Last weekend Randy & I were planning to hike up a local mountain on Sunday afternoon. However, the previous evening a huge dry lightening/wind storm had swept down on UB causing several big grass fires. So, hiking didn't seem the thing to do 1) because heavy breathing in all that smoke was not a good idea and 2) why go to all that effort if we couldn't enjoy a view? So...Plan B was to visit one of the few museums we've yet to visit after 4 years in Ulaanbaatar. What you see here is from our visit to the Bogd Khan's Winter Palace. This was the last residing Khan of Mongolia who was deposed in 1921 when the Manchurian Chinese invaded. The compound obviously resembles the Forbidden City in Beijing (shhh...); however, the residence was built in the 1880's and is decidedly European. You can get a sense of the dense smoke that was present that day (and the Mongolian attention to landscaping which is basically nonexistent) as well as the contrast between past and present with just a glimpse of the myriad of construction cranes present in UB right now. End note: the last Khan had only one adopted daughter who died during the "Cultural Revolution" (not what the common Chinese call it). We left wondering if anyone could lay claim as a descendant through DNA, etc. Hmm...

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