Hi hello! Cześć czołem!

Blog
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Hello! We decided to be a bit more up  to date with our travells, so I 'll try to share some sneak peaks from our journey. Cześć czołem! Żeby było trochę bardziej na bieżąco, postaram się wrzucać krótkie info co aktualnie robimy. Ahoj przygodo! ...

YAODONGS, LIVING UNDERGROUND

Architecture, FRH, Travel China
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Around 40  mln people live in cave dwellings called yaodongs. I was very excited to finally be able to visit them, and after 3hours in train and 2h in buses we found one of the most curious yaodong villages in China. Now, on the fringes of Sanmenxia city we can find the underground village discovered in the 50s and then published in famous Architecture without Architects by Bernard Rudofsky. You can not see the village from afar. You can only hear it. Houses are created by sunked rectangular courtyards measuring ~ 8 x 6 m, from which separate arched rooms were dugged. The earth that surrounds the indoor space serves as an effective insulator keeping the inside of the structure warm in cold seasons and cool in hot seasons. Consequently, very little heating is required in winter, and in summer, it is as cool as an air-conditioned room. We visited the caves on a hot August day and the rooms stayed nice and cool. Entrances to the dwellings were separated from the courtyard itself. Old entrance. Renovated entrance. In the middle of the courtyard a tree was planted providing shade and a well dugged collecting rain water. Not renovated cave-room, with some Chinese furniture and a  kang on the right - a heated brick bed. A renovated cave-room with Mao's time interior. And now  the horror part of the story. The site was unfortunately discovered by Chinese tourism industry. And transformed into Underground Las Vegas. The layout has been changed - dwellings have...

MONGOLIA: OUR ROUTE

Travel Mongolia
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A few tips on how we went about travelling through Mongolia ;-) Ulan Ude (Russia) - Ulaanbataar Take bus from Ulan Ude-Ulaanbaatar - bus leaves in the morning and its cheaper and faster than train,  you can buy tickets directly on the bus station. Cash only. Ulaanbataar - we stayed around  in capital around a week.  For transportation within the city you can buy a bus card in any little shop with U Money sign and recharge your card. One ride costs 500tgk. (Btw. Museum of Mongolia is worth a visit as well as wrestling palace is worth a visit ) Ulaanbataar-Murun We took a Bus from Dragon Station - a night bus at around 17 : 30. It's good to buy tickets at least the same morning.  You can also ask a Mongolian to buy it for you online - fast and easy way but website is in Mongolian. Murun-Khatgal We took a taxi, which cost us around 70000tgk a person. You can wait for a (Russian) van to fill and then it's much cheaper around 10-15k tgk. Khatgal We spent two weeks in the countryside and then took horses from Bayara's guesthouse. It cost us 30k tgk per day per guide (it splits between group) and 15k per day per horse. The route Khatgal-Tsaatal people-Tsaganuur took us 9 days. Tsaganuur - Murun  We took a Russian van. It takes about 13h and it's a horrid ride. Drivers fly over one big hole of a road, russian van smell of petrol. Brace yourself.  It cost 35k tgk a person. Murun -...

ONE DAY WITH OT

FRH, Mobile Architecture, Travel Mongolia
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Seven km from Khatgal, between the larch trees on the top of the hill lives Ot. In spring, that is, because in the summer she will move down the valley, with her home and her animals, to enjoy rich pastures and wind cooling down Mongolian heat. I wake up at 7am, but Ot is already starting a fire for morning tea. Milk tea + bread + cream + sugar. That's breakfast. Honestly, the best cream on bread you can think of. Ot moves slowly, and while bending to pass beneath the fence of yak pen she swears in silent. Life is not easy in the outback, winters reach - 40 degrees, simple tasks are labour intensive, vegetables and fruits are scarce and towns are far. Ot sais that animals eat weeds and we eat animals so we get all the nutritions from both. That may be one cause of some health issues. Nathan, the Shaman, is sharing his healing cream . Now some cream for our horse, he got wounded with a rope few days earlier. Without him chasing after yaks is a pain. Yaks are milked twice a day. Then milk is going to be boiled. Some of it becomes yoghurt, some yoghurt and yoghurt. Then we figured out yoghurt is a name for anything Ot made of milk and there are milion and one things Ot makes of milk. And all our delicious. And some are delicious when you add sugar. Make fire. Boil milk. Clean the wok - pot....

ONE DAY IN TAIGA

FRH, Travel Mongolia
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After seven days on horses we finally reached it! From above the dense bushes, after hours of our horses sinking into the wet ground we saw white tops of tipi-like structures. Not to alarm reindeers and dogs we got off the horses and reached the first urt on foot. A man in front of it was softening the skin of the reindeers with a hammer, it will be handy for strapping to the back of the reindeers while moving between the camps. A three year old was running between baby reindeers, followed by her older sister trying to herd her back inside the urt. The moment we arrived, we were offered milk tea, bread and place to sleep.  I guess it's already something beyond hospitality. It's just...

NOMAD’S HOUSE ?

Architecture, FRH, Travel Mongolia, Wooden Architecture
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Living with Ot near  Khövsgöl lake For two glorious weeks in May we had a crack at being 'Yak Farmers'. We lived in a log house, cooked off the fire stove in the center, slept in the South and watched Korean soap operas on TV on the West side. That's for the layout. 'House nomads' just like the other nomads in Mongolia move 3-4 times a year. The only difference is that they own around 3 houses. One for summer, one for winter and one that serves them during spring and autumn. The summer spot by Ots was at the top of a hill with a beautiful log house hidden among larch trees. In the summer it gets too hot in such an enclosed area for yaks, that's why Ot and all her (nomad) neighbours move down the valley, to an open grassland. In the winter they head up the mountain, to more secluded spot with a big enclosed yak yard (to protect them from freeeeeeezing in the winter). The Bathtub and Reading Zone Plan of the log house resembles that of a yurt. Front door faces East, the kitchen area is to the right from the entrence, wood stove is placed in the center and the sacred zone it situated in front of the door. In the Ots house, just like in many others, it became the spot for TV (solar powered), blue ceremonial hadag and photos of family. Every morning, after milking the yaks, Ot would do an offering of fresh...

THREE MLN HORSES

Travel Mongolia
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There are three mln people in Mongolia. There are more than three mln horses. We made a 9 day horse trek from Khatgal, along the Khovsgol Lake to find Dukha people in the East Taiga. On the way we went through a spooky forest, ate local fish, played cards, picked up a stray dog ( a.k.a Goat Killer) , fell of the horse and met many beautiful...

Live like a Kazakh

Architecture, FRH, Mobile Architecture, Travel Mongolia
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Kazahska jurta jest zdecydowanie większa od mongolskiej. Gdy zostajemy zaproszeni do środka, pomimo że wkrótce ger zaczyna się wypełniać i jest nas razem około 17 , wnętrze nadal jest wydaje się przestronne. Dzięki krokwiom giętym na końcach wnętrze jest wyższe - i  jako że dzięki temu kształtowi korona jurty jest samonośna nie są potrzebne podpory -  o wiele bardziej przestrzenne. Wnętrze jurty ma podobną dystrybucje do mongolskich jurt, jednak dzięki większym rozmiarom Kazahowie posiadają więcej mebli, łóżek, szaf i stołów. W zimie mieszkają w domach z suszonej na słońcu cegły, o wiele łatwiejszych do ogrzania – dzięki czemu letnie jurty nie musza być aż tak mobilne jak mongolskie.     Kazakh yurt is definitely bigger than Mongolian one. When we are invited inside, although soon ger begins to fill and we are at least 17 inside, the interior still seems spacious and empty. With rafters bent at the ends, the interior is higher - and because of this shape the crown of the yurt is self-supporting without interior pillars - much more spatial. Even Nathan can walk around without bending his head. The interior of the yurt is similarly distributed to the Mongolian yurt, but thanks to its larger size, the Kazahs have more furniture, beds, cupboards and tables. In the winter they live in houses made of sun dried earth bricks, much easier to heat - so that the summer yurts do not need to be as mobile as Mongolian. Also interiors are much more colorful and decorated, with interior walls covered with handcrafted multi-color...

EAT LIKE A MONGOL

Travel Mongolia
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Meat and milk are the base of the Mongolians’ diet. When we cooked vegetarian meals two days in the row Nara, our driver, was impatiently looking for a sign of guanz, a roadside restaurant (filled only with Mongolian cuisine). Both milk and meat are products from the same domestic animals (along with useful hides, fleece, and wool, especially cashmere from goats, as well as transportation provided by some animals). The Mongolians refer to these animals as ‘the five muzzles’: horses, cattle (cows and yaks combined, as well as hainags, a cow/yak cross), sheep, goats, and camels. People living in the northwest regions of Mongolia, bordering on Russian Siberia, add a sixth muzzle to the herd: reindeer, which are also raised for their meat, hides, milk, and uses for transport. Nomads live on meat and some preserved milk products during the winter season from October to April, whereas in summer they mostly relay on fresh milk ( in all forms: cream, butter,‘milk skins’, soured clotted milk, buttermilk, yoghurt, sour cream porridge, cheeses, ‘milk vodka’, kumis, and many I don’t know how to describe). Milk from all of the ‘six muzzles’ is used for dairy products, although milk from certain kinds of animals is often preferred for a specific product, such as mares’ milk for kumis, and sheep, goat, camel, and yak’s milk for a variety of fat-rich cream products. Kilka dań z codziennego życia Nomadów: - Domowy zasmażany makaron z cebulą (jedną), suszonym mięsem, ziemniakiem (jednym) i olejem - Zupa z domowym zasmażanym makaronem z...