Magnificent and magical – Mongolia
There is a place where something magical hovers over a seemingly endless landscape, under a usually blue sky. There is something that warms the heart a little bit, that instills serenity and evokes laughter. Everyone should have a dose of this. Everyone should have a dose of Mongolia! Read Johanna Vakkila’s blog text about this magical place.
An image says more than a thousand words. A feeling though, says more than a thousand images, but oh, how difficult it is to share or publish… How can I possibly share my impressions of Mongolia? There is no obvious front cover image – no polar bear or penguin, no roaring lion or famous waterfall. There is an almost whispering gust and a silence one can almost hear. There is a pride in the nomads’ windswept faces and a horse people that rides in the deep footsteps of Genghis Kahn. They ride across vast, almost intangible plains, that are captivating, beautiful and surprisingly badly mapped. There is the clearest of waters and the most natural hospitality. And of course, there is the most fascinating history – the one of Genghis Kahn – cruel, vindictive and greedy.
An estimated six million people lost their lives during Genghis’ conquests. At the same time, he seems to be the ancestor of the impressive number of 16 million men, and amongst them is 35 % of Mongolia’s male population. But it is not the cruelty that has been inherited, but the power, awe and magnetism that emerges when Genghis Kahn is mentioned, and this is also what lives on after 850 years.
Mongolia is my dream destination – even if I’ve already been there. As an operator of polar expeditions, we often talk about the polar bug – the bug that causes a constant longing back to the polar regions. I have that one. But I recommend everyone to add another germ to their veins, that is just as contagious – the Mongolian germ. Totally harmless, almost healing! You catch it by sleeping well in your Ger, rinsing your face in the clear rivers and absorbing the desert, steppe, mountains and valleys! While listening to the traditional Mongolian melodies sung around the campfire and while absorbing the culture and all the small things that contain such big experiences! You catch it by admiring the beautiful traditional garments worn with a colourful silk sash, seeing the furniture’s ornamentations, enjoying the salted milk tea and looking into the proud nomads’ friendly eyes.
Go to Mongolia, you will find your front cover – even if it can’t be published!