That’s what was on my plate for a short while during our second anniversary dinner. It was consumed quickly. It tasted just like beef to me, but our French friends assure us that, properly prepared, horse has a delicate flavor all its own. For some reason, CeCe, my favorite on-again, off-again vegeterian wanted to go to an American “Mongolian-style” restaurant upon our return from the vast open spaces of Mongolia. She then proceeded to eat lots of tofu and broccoli. In addition to the sauteed stallion I also had fatty tailed sheep. I prefer horse.
We’re back in Ulaan Bataar for a few more days before catching Sunday’s train to Beijing. We originally intended to take another trip, this time to the Gobi Desert, so CeCe could go camel riding. But the recent snow combined with fatigue and soreness resulting from countless hours in a van on Mongolias “roads”, have convinced us we’d rather head south soon. In the meantime, we adore Ulaan Bataar and plan to spend the next three days soaking up as much of it as we can.
On Tuesday we returned after six days spent exploring the vast almost-empty grasslands about 500 kilometers east of the capital. We saw loads of raptors, climbed to the rim of an extinct volcano, and generally marvelled at the unbelievably immense open spaces. There was a herd of horses here or there, and occassional herder, but not much else.
Finally, we had one of the biggest thrills of the trip when, on a visit to a museum in Tsetserleg, we had the pleasure to spend some time with the United States Ambassador to Mongolia, Mark Minton. After reading so many travel stories and their accounts of lavish parties of expats hosted by this ambassador or that, meeting a real-life ambassador was one of the things I wanted most to do during this trip. Ambassador Minton was extremely gracious and welcoming, although he quickly disabused me of my notion that we might get invited to some swanky soiree. He did offer us a ride in his Land Cruiser, but since there were no bottles of champagne at hand, and since our destination was just a few feet away, we had to decline.