Trans-Siberian Part 17: Exploring Ulaanbaatar
6.30am on a Sunday morning and I am dragging my suitcase out of the railway station at Ulaanbaatar towards my hotel, about 20 minutes' walk away. At 106° 53′ east I'm three times further east than I've ever been before - and I did it all by train. I'm feeling very proud of myself, really!
The station had Cyrillic on the front and Latin on the back, which was a bit odd - didn't happen in Russia like that.
In my first ten minutes I must have been asked by about 20 people if I needed a taxi. Most of them weren't even taxis. This is normal in UB - everyone is a taxi driver, and if you stand by the side of the road and put your hand out someone will stop very quickly to take you somewhere for a cheap fee. I fancied the walk and found some quiet sidestreets where I would get less hassled.
I'm already starting to see some of the quirks of a place that's a "long way away". This official-looking "you are here" helper has clearly been printed from Google Maps!
My hotel was the Ramada and I persuaded them to let me in early. I had a long shower, had an enormous buffet breakfast and then fell asleep in the most comfortable bed I'd been in in months, waking up just after lunchtime. My time zones are now officially all over the place. Never mind, great bed, and I don't think I've ever had a view from a room that's beaten this one.
Decided to walk down to the main focus of the city, Sukhbaatar Square - about a 25 minute stroll down Peace Avenue. This is a pretty lively road, with a lot of people now showing themselves and lots of varied shops open, including these two of my favourites:
Sukhbaatar Square is a fantastically massive open space, perfect for all those military/Communist parades of yesterday. You just don't get space like this in Europe.
|Next:||Trans-Siberian Part 18: A great big statue of Ghengis Khan|
|Previous:||Trans-Siberian Part 16: crossing the Russia/Mongolia border|
Last updated 01 June 2013 12:54
I think I'm meant to do an "About" here but I think you'd be more interested in seeing a random seagull.