a hand of love

17 October 2017

happy to have time to finally turn some ideas into reality. it's been a challenge but it feels so good to see ideas come to life.  

bayarlalaa or thank you in mongolian

our plans changed (like all plans do).

we ended up staying longer in russia then we had first thought. my friend dennis was sick and we needed to stay in one place so he could see a doctor. bad news.. but there is always the other side of the coin. we met the most lovely lady on the train and ended up staying with her in irkutsk for two and half weeks. she shared with us her house, her life and one of the most beautiful places, shamanka. we will be forever thankful.

and because we had already booked our flight to japan from mongolia, once we left russia we knew we only had two weeks to enjoy the country. first thing we did was to go on an 8 day adventure with a soviet 4x4 van through central Mongolia. what an adventure!

it was all that i expected and much more. we only saw a paved road on the first and the last day. and there isn't one dirt road either. there are dozens of tracks all over the place and sometimes none. the land is open and the path is free. 

the landscape was mesmerising. rolling hills everywhere you look. and the vastness and emptiness of it all...

we were happy to hike for two days, again with no path or track to follow (just the river so we wouldn't get lost). 

alone in the landscape. 

the ground was covered in bones. from sheep, horses, cows and who knows what else. there was also a lot of dung. all the traces of life and death beneath mongolian skies.

we stayed in yurts along the way. always in what felt to be the middle of nowhere. i had time to contemplate this nomadic lifestyle so connected to the life of the animals that roam this land. 

and on the seventh day we visited Erdene Zuu monastery, build from the ruins of Karakorum - the old capital of Mongolia. 

beautiful old buildings with mongolian landscape as backdrop. i was happy.

the inside, that we were not able to photograph, was stunning... covered in statues, murals, paintings, and also much work with textiles from embroidery to patchwork. what caught my attention and put my mind to work was the golden embroidery. i think it might appear in my work very soon ;)

a journey to remember.


12 October 2017

our trip to baikal was much shorter then expected..  but we still got to see and feel this lake that is more like a sea.

shamanka and autumn

we cross the bridge to the other side

where autumn lives.

it felt like magic. 

all of this was in shamanka, a siberian village we were so lucky to visit. we met it's people during  celebration of the village's 90 years of existence. their smile was warm, welcoming and curious.
we enjoyed a banya (russian sauna) that we prepared: water from the river and burning wood from the forest. we stayed in a wooden cabin straight out of a movie.. and in the last day we hiked to the hill above the village.. autumn was everywhere and the views were just jaw dropping..

shamanka, i will not forget you!