Black Market visit and 666 steps climbed!
on Sarah in Mongolia (Mongolia), 26/Oct/2009 09:27, 34 days ago
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Saturday’s excitement was a trip to the black market – Naran Tuul – which is not an illegal market but rather a huge market that sells absolutely everything! We all were given our winter clothing allowance the day before so we had some money for clothes and stuff. Luckily I had bought most of my stuffalready so I did not need to buy anything in particular. It was the most crazy market ever – just like the supermarkets around here there are thousands of stalls selling all sorts of different things. But it is a little more organised as there is a home ware section and there is a clothes sectionand a boots section so things are a little organised. But still every stall has similar things so you have to search for good bargains. I was on the look out for a hat with ear pieces and I spotted a traditional Mongolian one which was leather with animal fur lining. I tried it on and I looked completely ridiculous! Lol, I was banned from buying one! I did however find a hat and scarf set which I liked and I bought that. I also found some jelly beans sold by the kg, so I bought half a kg! They are quite tasty. We stopped for coffee as it was absolutely freezing there and we were getting pretty cold. I had more Husshur and also tried Mantu – steamed bread which was pretty good. From there we headed to the ger section where they had all the makings of a ger – the felt, the traditional furniture, the ropes and the flooring, all can be bought there. There are also all the requirements for horses – bridles, headcollars, saddles and rusty bits – it was insane.We had a rest in the afternoon as it has been a long week. In the evening we headed out to try a pizza place that had been recommended to us. We got completely lost but we ran into some other VSO vols and they pointed us back in the right direction and after we got lost again we ran into some American Vols who we had met before and they knew where the pizza place was and pointed us in the right direction. Pizza Broadway was really nice, it had a good selection of all kinds of foods and the pizza was pretty amazing! The cocktails also looked good, which we will try at some point!On Sunday we headed to the Backerli Cafe for breakfast which is run by a German woman who speaks fantastic English and who makes wonderful German baked goods. It was a lovely breakfast and a good place to find. She also imports yaktraks which are miniature crampons which attach to the bottom of your shoes to allow you to grip on the ice. And she has an adorable dog who I trust has not got rabies. It is so tough to see so many adorable puppies on the street who are so cute and look so safe but we just cannot trust that they do not have rabies.After lunch we headed up to Zaisan where they have a Russian Monument. It is about a 1.5 hr walk from our guest house and then there are 666 steps up to the monument. The walk there was not very picturesque but the views from the top were fantastic! We could see out over all the city and see all the hills that surround UB. The countryside looks beautiful and I am looking forward to getting out to the countryside later in the year.I am writing this having just spoken to Mum and Dad and the power went out mid-conversation.! So we are sitting through our first Mongolian blackout! We had an early night as we wanted to capitalise on the pitch blackness outside. The lights did come on again after about 2.5 hours so it wasnt too bad.