Inner Mongolia. Depending on who you ask, we were not in China any more when we stepped off the overnight train from Beijing to Chi Feng (pronounced Chay Fung).
There is a lot to tell about Inner Mongolia, but I will start with with sky.
Big and open and clear and you should have seen the stars… For the first time in my life, I had an unobstructed, unlightpolluted view of the Northern stars. And it felt strange to look up and not know what I was looking at. I was able to pick out the big dipper but that’s where my understanding of the sky ended. I could not find Orion. Even though I knew it was not there, I kept looking for the Southern Cross – such a powerful reference point for me. (Don’t sail at night in the northern hemisphere with me!).
Because we spent much of our time on the grasslands, I was able to revel in grand open sky in the day too. No buildings nearby, no visible pollution, fresh, cool, dry air, just gorgeous benevolent sky forever.
And this is the sky under which Genghis Khan rode. More about him later…
Arriving in Beijing this morning, the temperature was back up, the humidity was back up and the smog was back up. A little deflating, but being as tired as I was, it felt good to be back.