- Orkhon Valley -

 

The Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape (OVCL) lies in the central part of Mongolia, around 400 km southwest of Ulaanbaatar. Today, the valley is a magnificent example of the Mongolian steppe, the landscape is beautiful, vast expanses of grass crossed by the longest river in Mongolia from which it takes its name, the Orkhon River. But in the past was of great political and economic importance.

There are two sets of ancient ruins along the river valley: Khar Balgas, the ancient capital of the Uyghur Kingdom and Karakorum,

the ancient capital of the massive Mongol Empire.

 

  Orkhon Valley - Central Mongolia                                                                                            September 2015

- Bayanzang Sunset -
 

I was perched in the north of the Bayanzang's rock formation, better known as the Flaming Cliff, taking pictures to this magnificent landscape in the vast area of the Gobi Desert. When the other side of one of the canyon a couple of tourists appeared.

 

 

 

 

Bayanzang - Ömnögovi Province

Mongolia

                         September 2015

- Camping under the Stars -
 
In the camp everyone is asleep, today was a long day, many hours of driving off-road to get to the magnificent Yol Valley and explore the Yolyn Am a deep and narrow gorge in the Gurvan Saikhan Mountains.is just past midnight, the cold and clean air make the incredibly bright starry sky, a couple of shots and then I I'll go back in the warm comfort of my Ger.
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Yol Valley 
Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park
                  Mongolia                
    September 2015
- Sunrise in Khongor -
 

 Is the dawn, I have spent the last week traveling in the vast area of the Gobi desert. These are the Khongoryn Els also called Duut Mankhan is popularly known as the "Singing Sands", within the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park in the extreme south of the Gobi Desert.

 

 

 

              Khongoryn Els - Gobi Desert

                               Mongolia

                         September  2015

- Avalokitesvara -
 

I am inside the Temple of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, one of the many temples in the Gandantegchinlen Monastery Complex in Ulaanbaatar. In front of me stands the huge statue of Avalokiteśvara which in Sanskrit means "Lord who looks down". is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. With its 26.5 meters high is the tallest indoor statue in the world.

 

 

Ulaanbaatar - Mongolia

                          September 2015

- Fly -
 

I have to be honest, I was under this  pole for a bit of time, nothing too long, but a good 15 minutes. I knew that the sun behind me would brighten the eagle during takeoff. The area where is the Tsenkher Hot Spring, thanks to the nature that surrounds the small village, is populated by many different kinds of eagles and hawks.

 

 

  Tsenkher Hot Spring - Arkhangai Province

                               Mongolia

                        September  2015

- Monastery's Gates -
 

 In Gandantegchinlen Monastery local artists help the monks to decorate the large wooden gates at the entrance of the complex.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ulaanbaatar - Mongolia

                        September  2015

- The Way to the Gobi -
 

I'm pointing to the south, toward the legendary Gobi Desert, when riding off-road through the vast Mongolian steppe, a large dark shape appears in the sky, a huge Cinereous Vulture circling over the carcass of a horse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Somewhere in the Steppe - Mongolia

                        September  2015

     - Thirsty Tree -

 

I could have written a serious caption, maybe talking about the beauty of the landscape or the excitement I felt in getting lost in this wilderness ... but come on! it seems that this tree is actually drinking water from the lake :-)

 

                                   Khövsgöl  Nuur -  Khövsgöl Province - Mongolia                                                                              September  2015

- The Rockstar -
 

Many of the best memories of my experience in this incredible country are definitely with the many nomadic families that I met and where I found shelter during the cold Mongolian nights. The children of the families we met, always saw as a big news and it was easy to establish friendships. They were always very intrigued by these adults wearing strange clothes who did not speak a word of their language.

 

 

Semi-Gobi - Mongolia

                        September  2015

- Baby Camel -
 

While adult camels graze free in the great outdoors that surround the camp where live the nomadic family who tonight will host us, the little ones, born a few months ago, are kept secure not to far from the tents.

 

 

 

 

 

          Dundgovi province - Mongolia

                       September  2015

- The Jam's Thief -
 

After a quick breakfast with bread, goat butter and jam we were ready to greet the family and continue our journey to the west, towards the center of Mongolia. It was time to say goodbye, but we could not find the youngest member of the family. After calling her and looked everywhere we found her hidden behind one of the beds in our tent feasting with dirty spoons of jam and butter that we had used earlier for breakfast.

 

Semi-Gobi - Mongolia

                        September  2015

     - Aryabal Monastery -

 

The day is beautiful, the sun is shining and the temperature is pleasant, walking in nature, I have come to the "Kalachakra Cave" a tiny meditation cave carved into the rock of the mountain. The view is beautiful, on the left stands the profile of the Aryabal Monastery and glancing to the right is the enchanted valley of the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park.

 

                            Gorkhi-Terelj National Park - Töv Province - Mongolia                                                                             September 2015                                        

- Under the Rainbow -
 

Just before sunset a big storm hits the ger camp, 15 minutes of heavy rain and all'improvvisotutto ceases the sky is clear, the sun appears from behind the clouds and a giant rainbow paints the sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Semi-Gobi - Mongolia

                        September  2015

- Silent Night -
 
The absence of the moon, the cold air and the absolute absence of light pollution make the starry skies of Mongolia absolutely breathtaking. Take pictures at night sky is almost a meditative experience, in the silence of the night, the sounds of nature seem to be amplified, the bubbling of a small stream seems to be the thunder of a waterfall, the sounds of night birds become roars, and my steps seem so noisy that I could wake up people who are sleeping in the camp hundred meters from where I am.
 
 
 
 
 
 Ongi River - Dundgovi Province  
      Mongolia      
    September 2015
- UB Square -
 

I was surprised of modernity found in Ulaanbaatar, in the city center there are many modern buildings, but in the statues scattered throughout the Chinggis Khaan square are a reminder of past warriors and conquerors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ulaanbaatar - Mongolia

                         September  2015

- Bayanzag -
 

Also known as "The Flaming Cliffs" is a region of the Gobi Desert in which important fossil finds have been made. It was given this name by American paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews which I explore this area in the early 1900s. The area is most famous for yielding the first discovery of dinosaur eggs. Other finds in the area include specimens of Velociraptor and eutherian mammals.At sunset the red and orange color of the sandstone cliffs hence the nickname.

 

  Bayanzag -  Ömnögovi Province - Mongolia

                         September 2015

- Feathety Stalker -
 

During a walk around our camp in the Yol Valley I have been followed by what I believe was a hawk or a small eagle, the funny thing is that she was following me on foot, watching my movements from a rock protruding from 'grass and move to hops to not fall too far behind. At one point she understood that perhaps I was not so interesting, and then flew away.

 

Yol Valley 
Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park
                  Mongolia                
    September 2015
- Group Photo -
 

During my time in Mongolia I took many pictures of camels in different contexts, it was time to do something more original, and I knew that these four adults had the potential. After a few attempts I noticed that if I approached quickly the animals congregated and practically stood in line in front of me, that's the picture I was looking for. A group photo where they looked like a group of friends posing but laughing.

 

           Dundgovi province - Mongolia

                       September  2015

- Gobi Landscape -
 

The Gobi Desert occupies an arc of land 1,295,000 square kilometers, it is the fifth-largest desert in the world and Asia's largest. Much of the Gobi is not sandy but has exposed bare rock. The Gobi is a "rain shadow desert" formed by the Himalaya range blocking rain-carrying clouds from the Indian Ocean from reaching the Gobi territory. It's most notable in history as part of the great Mongol Empire, and also as the location of several important cities along the Silk Road.

 

   Khongoryn Els - Gobi Desert - Mongolia

                         September  2015

MONGOLIA

Known as the "Land of the Eternal Blue Sky" Mongolia is a country of vast landscapes and magnificent wilderness, the beauty of the scenery is breathtaking.Within its boundaries are very different landscapes: from the dry Gobi desert to the high mountains of the north west, and especially the largest steppe of the planet, an endless grasslands which covers most of the territory. Only 3.5 million people live in Mongolia and more than half of them live in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, making it one of the least populated country on earth.

 

- The Calm Before the Storm-
 

I am on the banks of Lake Khovsgol, in the far north of Mongolia. This large lake stretching to the border with Russia.It's almost lunch time, for a couple of days, I'll live with a nomadic family that lives near the lake, they have some extra tent for visitors and tourists.The scenery is amazing, the wind practically absent and the sun high in the sky transformed the lake into a giant mirror. Forecasts for the next few days are not the best,

winter is coming, and this year seems to be ahead, the weather announces that a big snowstorm is coming from the southeast.

 

 

 Khövsgöl  Nuur -  Khövsgöl Province - Mongolia                                                                              September  2015

- Winter is coming -
 

On my way to the north of Mongolia, I got to enjoy the first snow of the winter season, we are at the end of September. Winters here are long and harsh, with temperatures ranging from -20 ° C to - 45 ° C. It does not snow that much in Mongolia, but temperatures never climb above 0 for several months, so the snow that falls during the winter stick stas until the Following summer.

 

             Bulgan Province - Mongolia   

                     September 2015         

     - Mongolian Autumn -

 

I'm on the stairs leading to Aryabal Monastery, behind my back surrounded by an amphitheater of rock is the ancient monastery, in front of me stretches the beautiful valley of Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. It's late September and the fall colors transform the landscape into a painting.

 

                                              Gorkhi-Terelj National Park - Töv Province - Mongolia                                                    September 2015                                                

- The Bride's Father -
 

I was walking in Grand Chinggis Khaan Square in the heart of Ulaanbaatar between at least three pairs of bride and groom with family and friends took advantage of the sun for some photos, when the father of one of the brides stopped me and asked if I could take a picture of him. In the background you can see the legs of the couple and two bridesmaids.

 

 

Ulaanbaatar - Mongolia

                        September  2015

- Cinereous Vulture -
 

This large raptorial bird is also known as the black vulture or monk vulture, an adult can reach significant size, more than 15 kg and a wingspan of over 3 meters. During my days in the south of Mongolia, in the area of the Gobi Desert I often see this bird feast on some carcass or flying high in the sky.

 

 

 

 

Gobi Desert - Mongolia

                         September  2015

 - Amarbayasgalant Monastery -
 

Known as "Monastery of Tranquil Felicity", is one of the three largest Buddhist monastic centers in Mongolia. The monastery complex is located in

the vast Iven Valley, at the foot of Mount Büren-Khaan. The legend tels that while searching for an appropriate site to build the monastery, the exploratory group came across two young boys, Amur and Bayasqulangtu, playing on the steppe.

They were inspired to build the monastery on that very spot and to name it after the two children, Amur-Bayasqulangtu.

 

Iven Valley - Selenge Province - Mongolia                                                        September  2015

     - Mirror Lake -

 

During a wonderful walk along the banks of one of the largest lakes in Mongolia I came across this little peninsula surrounding a lagoon isolated from the rest of the lake, calm water allowed this spectacular reflex mirror.

The Khovsgol Lake is one of seventeen ancient lakes in the world, being more than 2 million years old, and the most pristine.

Today is the most significant drinking water reserve of Mongolia and Its water is potable without any treatment.

 

 

                                                    Khovsgol Lake - Selenge Province - Mongolia                                            September 2015 

- The Cheese-maker -
 

During the lunch break of a long day spent in the jeep I ran into a small local market, within this ugly and dilapidated building this lady was selling cheese. It was difficult to get her to agree to be photographed, but speaking as clearly and slowly as possible and smiling a lot in the end she agreed.

 

 

 

 

somewhere north - Mongolia

                         September  2015

- White Wave -
 

Often I am amazed by how nature's beauty is in its simplicity of form and color.

As this hill covered with a light blanket of snow on a sunny day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Norther Mongolia

                        September  2015

- Meet Genghis -
 

I took this picture from the horse's head that belongs to The Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue, a massive 40-meter tall statue of Genghis Khan on horseback, on the bank of the Tuul River not too far from the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, where according to Functional legend, he found a golden whip. The statue is symbolically pointed east towards His birthplace.

 

 

 

Tsonjin Boldog -Mongolia

                             July  2015

- The Ger's Eye -
 

 I must admit that after a month in Mongolia I fell in love with the traditional Mongolian tents called Ger. Spacious and welcoming protect the majority of the nomadic families from the cold and rain. This is the view from the exact center of the Ger, looking upwards. The only two openings of the tent are the wooden door and this small circular hole on the roof used for ventilation.

 

 

 

Semi-Gobi - Mongolia

                        September  2015

- Nomadic Kid -
 

I spent time in various nomadic families around a large portion of Mongolia, and each one of them had something special, a way of being and interacting with me in the complete absence of spoken language. In families there were always two or three children of various ages and play with them was one of the best ways to end the day.

 

 

 

Semi-Gobi - Mongolia

                        September  2015

- Sunset with the Camels -
 

After a great day exploring the magnificent area of Tsagaan Suvraga in the Gobi Desert, I was relaxing watching the sunset in the nomad camp where I spent the night ... and I realize that I was not the only one to enjoy the spectacular sunset, I took my camera and I went back to work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tsagaan Suvraga

Dundgovi Province - Mongolia

                        September 2015