I am now in Ulan-Ude, the very last of my Russian stops. I meet up with Atle, a Finnish guy I met in Irkutsk and who was nice enough to warn me that bus tickets for Mongolia were running out very fast. He even booked one for me (fortunately, because I left the day my visa expired).

A few steps away from the hostel, there is the largest Lenine head of the country.

P1030308I spend a great time with interesting people at the hostel. The owner teaches me how to play the Buryat hymn with my flute. I meet an American who has studied the same as what I am about to and who gives me loads of advice; he is crossing Russia on a bicycle, it’s impressive. Most people here are going to or coming from Mongolia. I even see a super nice girl I met in St-Petersburg, small world!

Outside, I have the weird feeling that I am neither completely in Europe nor completely in Asia. People’s faces are at the same time Asian and Western, and the atmosphere is a mix of both, with Asian calm mixed to European infrastructures. The city itself doesn’t impress me much, though it is not unpleasant.

With Atle and one of the hostel’s employees, we visit the city then go see a buddhist monastery that overlooks it. It’s weird for me, it reminds me lots of memories from Asia ! To have arrived here so progressively makes it so that I didn’t have a cultural shock, as when you disembark suddenly out of plane into a new world. It’s a more beautiful way of travelling, I find.

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My heart tightens a bit: these are my last instants in this huge country. Time goes by so fast.. I think again about all the encounters, all the experiences, all the challenges I have went through during these last 30 days. What a beautiful journey. I can leave serene.

Mongolia, here I come!

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PS: I notice some people come back every day to check for new posts. Because I often don’t write for long periods of time and to spare you from wasting your time, and in case you didn’t know, there is the option to subscribe to my blog. There’s a button for that. This way, you will receive an email for every new article and you won’t need to come back for nothing. That’s it! xoxo

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