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Day 3 (06.12.2007)

Today in the morning a driver picked me up and we left Hohhot towards north. The aim today and my main aim in Inner Mongolia was the Mongolian steppe. First we crossed some mountains and behind them the grass steppe began. In the winter there is little grass and if anyway then it is yellow. So the whole scenery looked yellow-brown. Only from photos I know that in summer the grass steppe is green. In history the Eurasian steppes were the homeland of many nomadic peoples for example the Mongolians, the Khitan, the Huns, some Turkic peoples (for example Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Uyghurs) and many others. In the country Mongolia and in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in China there is also a part of the Eurasian steppes. In the 13th century the Mongols, led by Genghis Khan, had conquered a large part of Asia and they even came to East Europe. Their empire belonged to the largest in world history. After the death of Genghis Khan in 1227 the Mongolian Empire was divided into four khanates. Kublai Khan, a grandson of Genghis Khan, had conquered whole China in 1279. He founded the Yuan Dynasty (1279 - 1368) in China, he became Emperor of China and he chose Beijing to be his capital. The Mongolian foreign rule over China lasted until 1368. Finally Chinese rebellions succeeded in the fall of the Mongolian rule and in 1368 Zhu Yuanzhang had founded the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). The steppe with its infinite vastness was always fascinating for me. I wanted to see it with my own eyes and imagine how the nomadic steppe peoples in former times had lived there. Even if it is not green in winter, nevertheless one can experience the infinite vastness of this huge scenery. Around noon we arrived at a house which takes care of tourists. The people who live and work here are Mongolians. In this area there are many yurts for tourists, but in the winter they are all closed and it is quite lonely in the steppe. But maybe this loneliness is the right atmosphere to experience the steppe intensively. The only other two tourists I met were two French. They decided to ride on horses through the steppe. With a Mongolian driver I drove further into the steppe. At a yurt a photo was taken of me, in Mongolian dress. Afterwards we drove back to the house and with the driver from today's morning I went back to Hohhot. Actually I hoped to experience a real cold winter in the steppe, but when I was there the temperature neither in Hohhot nor in the steppe dropped below -10 degrees Celsius.

Me in Mongolian dress at a yurt in the Mongolian steppe
Me in Mongolian dress at a yurt in the Mongolian steppe

The Mongolian steppe
The Mongolian steppe

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Last Update: 30.01.2009