Thursday 12th July 2012
At 09:30 we left the hotel by coach to once again struggle through the traffic to the Central Stadium where the Naadam sporting events continued. First we went to the Shagai Shooting Terrace where the improbable Ankle Bone Shooting Events take place.
I know "Ankle Bone Shooting" sounds like an inferior form of "Kneecapping" (geddit?) but the actual explanation is very improbable and it took us all some time to get our heads around what we'd been watching. For now, I'll leave you with the pictures.
Next, we visited the Archery Range. This sport has now admitted women, the men shooting from 75 yards and the women, in separate events, from 60 yards.
As time was pressing, we then moved onto the Main Stadium, where we saw the changing of the guard on the State Nine White Banners.
After some delay, we saw part of the Fourth Round of the Wrestling for Seniors and Juniors. All the wrestlers are on the field at the same time and, with the complication of all the referees and each wrestler having an Esquire also on the field, I found the event hard to follow.
Our coach then took us to the Mongolian BBQ restaurant. I was tempted by the Mongolian Soup - a tasty lamb broth exactly like my Grandmother used to make.
In the afternoon we visited the Bogd Khaan Palace Museum which I found fascinating.
Some of us took up the offer of shopping for an hour at the State Department Store - not the bleak and probably half-empty Communist affair the name conjures up but a bright, modern store on six levels with everything you might expect in the west.
The coach returned to pick up the shoppers, giving us a little time in the hotel before being taken to Shukhe Baatar Square. After a while mingling with the holiday crowds in Shukhe Baatar Square, we went for a splendid meal in the 17th-floor Monet Restaurant.
We were lucky enough to get a bird's eye view of the State Nine White Banners in procession being returned to Government House at the end of the Naadam Festival.
'The Guide Book of Bogd Khaan Palace Museum' by D. Altannavch, published by Bogd Khaan Palace Museum.
'Guidebook to locales connected with the life of Zanabazar, First Bogd Gegeen of Mongolia' by Don Croner, Polar Star Press (ISBN 0-9779553-0-3). This book has a section on the Bogd Khaan Palace Museum.
'History of Mongolia' by Baabar, Nepko Publishing.
Material added 26-July-2012.