If you haven’t listened to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History series on the Mongols called Wrath of the Khans, do so immediately. The Mongols shaped the world into a completely different place through astonishing, brutal violence and cunning. Nothing was able to stop them as they conquered the Muslims, the Chinese, the Russians, and the Eastern Europeans. The way that Dan Carlin tells this tale of force and destruction is fascinating. His narration parallels an audio book. I must confess that I’ve listened to the entire series twice – from start to finish.
Without the background in history provided by the Wrath of the Khans, I would have brushed this BBC article aside without a second thought. However, with the wealth of knowledge as related to me by the Hardcore History podcast, this article takes on an entirely different perspective. My love to travel aside, the thought of experiencing Mongolia in a similar way to the traditional, nomadic Mongolians, and seeing the very steppe that gave rise to the most deadly conquerer the world has ever known with my own two eyes would be a dream come true. To further entice me, it would seem that the current inhabitants of Mongolia are welcoming and very hospitable. A trip through Mongolia, once something that would seem completely absurd (why bother?), has now earned its way to slot number 2 on my bucket list.
Footnote: To this day Genghis Khan’s burial tomb has never been found. As the story goes, all who built it were killed by soldiers, then those soldiers were killed. After his lifetime of spreading his empire from the East to the West, I just can’t imagine what the inside of his tomb would look like. Mongols were notorious for coveting ‘loot’ and treasures and for having many, many ‘wives’. What a fantastic sight it would be to see what secrets and treasures his tomb holds. I’d even be content with seeing pictures and the Nat-Geo issue.