Six students from the University of Pittsburgh Honors College trek across Mongolia in search of illumination, perspective, and the perfect cup of Yak-milk tea.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Olympic mosquitoes

    Not even rolling blackouts and kamikaze mosquitoes could prevent us from rolling up to the old Olympic village in a giant, yellow Benz tour bus. The hotel is much better than all of the generous I was scaring my fellow classmates with. There are not any bed bugs, the bathroom is connected to our hotel rooms, the windows do open and the doors do lock. We have a stunning view of a park and cathedrals and while the beds are tiny there are enough for everyone.
  The hotel is divided into alpha, beta ect. We are in delta, which looks the same as all the others. We laughed when Olga warned us against going into the wrong building, but I know of two students who've already made that mistake :) Maybe we'll leave breadcrumbs for them tomorrow morning.
   We are currently visiting the underground shopping mall adjacent to Red square. St. Basil's Cathedral is amazing, both in it's architecture and the fact it was not destroyed during the USSR. The square itself is closed out of fear of protests but we had an excellent walking tour around the eastern side of the city. Our tourguide, Olga, is a professor in Ohio and has planned a good, but restful itinerary and we are traveling between all the sites on the subway, which is a site in its own right.
  While I love China it is nice to be in a country where I can read the signs and put to use the Cyrillic we've been learning. Tonight we are meeting with business school students. Hopefully they will be as interesting as the group in China