Day 171 560 days to go. Distance: today: 0 km total 8862 km. It’s 9pm Saturday 19/ 5/2012 UB. Another awesome day in down town UB but before I get into that I want to say something first to you fine folk. I’m sorry for putting an abrupt holt in the travels of ‘shecyclesolo.’ It’s not about something I have done wrong but I do feel like I owe you an apology. You have been supporting me and Rube every peddle of the way and sharing in our travel stories. However this trip is not about joining the dots to destinations. It is about experiencing the human spirit in different places and its people. It’s also about discovering the elements to my own human spirit through these experiences. This trip was sooo planned on paper. But the experiences have been a whole bunch of unplanned events that have opened my eyes to bigger picture stuff as you know. I shared the planning details with my partner and family but the decision making I pretty much did myself and very much non-comprisable. Despite this, my partner and family gave me all their love and support and patted me on the butt out the door. This is unconditional love. I understand nowadays that my heart is strong with the rich love in my life. My head makes happen what the heart wants to do and resilience comes from a strong heart. I am soooo excited about enjoying this time now with my partner and family and playing with travel options that works in with what counts. We are all very independent people with our own dreams and goals but sharing is what keeps us connected. It’s in the sharing that my heart is happy. This includes sharing with you. It is not about compromise. It is about balancing my commitments to keep the heart balanced, strong and happy 🙂 Enough of the heavy and onto the day.
This morning I cleaned Rube and her trailer to get them through Brissie customs. I tucked the girl back into her box all ready for a comfy ride. The afternoon was spent doing a walking tour of UB. I read up on what sounded interesting. First up I went to the Natonal Museum of Mongolian History. It read up as one of UB’s highlights. The museum is a walk through Mongolian history from prehistoric to present times. I’m not a museum fan but it was pretty cool. There were theme halls from ancient history artifacts to traditional clothing and culture to socialist mongolia and its political reform of 1990 to the present. Of particular interest was the events of 1990 when the Mongolian Democratic Party came into power. Sükhbaatar Square has been the site of some pretty significant political events in the 20th century. The Lonely Planet explains “In July 1921 in the centre of Ulaanbaatar, the ‘hero of the revolution’, Damdin Sükhbaatar, declared Mongolia’s final independence from the Chinese. The Square now bears his name and features a statue of him astride his horse. The words he apparently pro-claimed at the time are engraved on the bottom of the statue: ‘If we, the whole people, unite in our common effort and common will, there will be nothing in the world that we cannot achieve, that we will not have learnt or failed to do.” However from 1921 to 1990, in the Mongolians People’s Republic, all sectors including economy culture and politics were directly dependent on the USSR lead by the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party. But in December 1989 a Mongolian Democratic Union was formed and in their first congress in April 1990 they established the Mongolian Democratic Party. They called a mass demonstration in the square later that month and forced the MPRP to resign and Mongolia became a democracy. Very different times to the Mongolian empire of the 13 and 14 centuries when it occupied Siberia to South Asia,and Korea to Bulgaria. During this era they conquered more than 50 contries and united more than half of the populated world. Chingiis khan was the first ‘great king’ who united the Mongolian state of regional khans in 1206. There were some of his famous quotes including, ‘wish to bring people under one reign to make them happy. What makes me happy is if this world again becomes one family peaceful and quiet.’ Also ‘Our goal will be realised when the whole world from sunrise to sunset shall become united under the power of the blue sky.’ This is a very strong Shamanist belief. GK surrounded himself with Shamans who are regarded as the ‘links’ on earth to the spirit world. Another bit of GK trivia is that his remains or tomb has never been found. Nowadays Mongolia is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world with 43% pastoral nomads 57% urban dwellers. There were halls and halls of history but all very easy to take in and enjoy.Good interesting fun. I then walked to the hill where the Mongolian symbol is inscribed on its side. I included a photo in a previous post. It was nice again to stretch the legs and get out of the city. Great views and pickies!! I walked back via Buda park where the gold statue is. Remember the photo I got at sunset one of the first days? This time it was showing off it’s gold in the afternoon light with the bluest of skies as a backdrop. So that was my walking tour of UB on what was my last day here. I crossed peace bridge back into the city and saw the graffiti face I got a picky with on day 1. It’s only been a month since then but it seems much much longer with all the layers of stuff that has happened. It was a good day to end on yay. Tomorrow I have a Skype date with the folks first up then I’d like to head to the Gandan Khid Buddhist monastery. It is one of Mongolia’s most important, and also one of its biggest tourist attractions. The full name, Gandantegchinlen, translates roughly as ‘the great place of complete joy’. Around the start of the 19th century, more than 100 süm (temples) and khiid (monaster-ies) served a population of only about 50,000 in Ulaanbaatar. Only a handful survived the religious purges of 1937. Only since the early 1990s have the people of Mongolia started to openly practise Buddhism again. It sounds like a cool place to finish my Mongolian experience. After this I’ll upload the last of my photos and get ready to go to the airport early evening. So this will be the last of my posts for a couple of days when I’ll be back with stories of what will hopefully be a safe trip home home home. Talk soon x