At first we drove alongside the mountain range. While yurts are a thing of the past or for touristic purposes, this is a true Mongolian village; the mud-brick walls hardly visible against the soil of the mountainous area.
But the outline of yurts are still used in modern architecture as can be seen by these buildings in a town we crossed:
We stopped at a small lama temple:
The freshly re-painted temple walls tried to out-sparkle the sun:
I especially liked the coloured ceiling beams; white with dragons painted on them:
this was our friendly driver posing in front of his audi, yes they really do love German cars in China :)
Finally we reached Gegentala grassland. In ancient times Mongolians brought their cattle and horses here for summer grazing. Today it is a holiday resort for tourists, where they can stay in 'traditional' yurts. There were three different areas in this resort. We stayed in a yurt in the 'combat tank packzge' whatever this means.
I know roughly what the sign wanted to say though; our yurt was based on yurts used for the generals while on war (hence the combat). These yurts were mobile and could be dragged by many many oxen (mobile like a tank - I guess).
But otherwise it didn't have a lot in common with Ghengis Khan's yurts. I doubt he or any other general had modern comfort in it:
Including hot running water:
After a short break just enough to explore the area a bit we were ushered into the dining hall where a table was already set for us with different vegetarian Mongolian dishes. Note that this was meant to be for two people and it was not the end yet!
I just loved the fried bread:
This is the Mongolian girl taking care of us during lunch. As you can see, we weren't even allowed to pour the tea ourselves.
To prevent customers from getting bored they staged a 'lunch show'; we were entertained with dances, Mongolian overtone singing and of course the horse-head fiddle.
These two young men playing the horse-head fiddle or morin khuur, were especially talented. They were called oo-bama. If somebody knows them, please add some details, I think they were just awesome. Sadly I can't find any information on the web; I would probably need their Chinese name.
Enjoy them for 14 seconds; we were so busy munching our lunch we forgot to take a proper movie:
With all our senses satisfied we headed for more adventures, so come back to my blog to see more about beautiful Inner Mongolia.