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Category: Length of Trip

Last Train in Russia and onto Mongolia!

Last Train in Russia and onto Mongolia!

When reading the guide books for the Trans Siberian, they mention that the trip around the bottom of Lake Baikal should definitely be done in daylight. Since we weren’t going to sleep on the train this time, I booked 3rd class, which is open carriages, four on one side, and two on the other, with only curtains for privacy. I had also tried my best to figure out which way the windows would face, trying to get a lake view,…

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Beautiful Baikal

Beautiful Baikal

Our minibus to Olkhon Island showed up a bit later than expected, and after picking up more passengers and making some other mysterious stops, we were on the road somewhat after 10:30. It’s really not very far, about 250 km to the ferry, but the road is rough, so it was 2:45 pm before we got there. And, for me at least, the ride was like an unsecured roller coaster – we were in the back row and I had…

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Better times through Siberia: Trains, Towns and Taiga

Better times through Siberia: Trains, Towns and Taiga

After only our one night from Vladimir to Yekaterinburg, we felt like old hands getting back on the train. We found our car, had our meat-pie disappointment, and set up the cars for sleeping and got to bed, hushed to sleep by the rocking of the rails. When we woke in the morning, we faced another long hot day in the train. Luckily, despite it being the same car and the same compartment as the previous trip, we were now…

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How Not to See What You Came to See

How Not to See What You Came to See

It was night time when we got to Yekaterinaberg and we were tired and hot and sticky as we piled out of the train and headed into the city to find our hostel. We found the metro, rode through its air-conditioned depths to our stop and followed the map I’d downloaded to our hostel. Only to find nothing there, no indication whatsoever. Ivo went off to ask at a local restaurant where our hostel might be, while we waited and…

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24 Hours on the Train

24 Hours on the Train

The next day when we woke up, we were determined not to miss the train again. Missing this one would be big – it was our first overnight on a train and the start of a carefully planned itinerary, with all hotels and trains booked right through to Ulaan Ude. And for three of us, it was the first ever overnight in a train coupe. So, even though the train wasn’t until 19:40, given the events of Friday, we were…

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Not every day is good

Not every day is good

The night before Aunt Nancy left, I was checking Facebook before I went to sleep. A friend of mine had been in the hospital, in a medically induced coma, and that night I heard that he wouldn’t be coming out of it. David was an internet friend, one I had never met yet I felt that I knew him very well. We’d both been on a now defunct discussion forum, one on which many erudite and thoughtful people discussed all…

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Travels with the Greatest Aunt

Travels with the Greatest Aunt

The next part of our journey was to be spent with my aunt Nancy. She’s the kids’ great aunt, or as K calls her, the greatest aunt (and I concur). We were a bit concerned that our style of travel would be hard on her since we walk a lot, and parts of it probably were, but she turned out to be the more hard core tourist. The first part of our journey together was by far the most brutal…

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Family Reunion

Family Reunion

On my solo trip on Barney in 2004, my goal for coming north was just to see where Helmer had come from – I wasn’t expecting much in the way of meeting people, especially since I then had absolutely no idea about the size of the family and only had those two email addresses – I thought I’d be there a few days, see the house, meet the family at the other email address and be on my way. I…

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Stockholm

Stockholm

Between 1820 and 1930, a million and a quarter people emigrated from Sweden, mostly to America. By 1930, there were 3 million Swedes in the US and only 6 million in Sweden. They left because Sweden was then very poor (as hard as that is to believe now), and had been caught in the typical vise of decreasing infant/child mortality and continuing fecundity and hadn’t had any wars for a century. Added to this was the practice of dividing farmland…

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Leaving Home

Leaving Home

I think in the end I was a bit scared to actually go. Normally as I approach a deadline I get super efficient and get everything done like Super Woman and I was counting on that burst of energy and anxiety to kick in. But as this deadline approached, I found myself stalling and not being efficient at all. Was I having second thoughts about it all? Was I actually a bit nervous, even though it’s what I’ve wanted for…

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Going Around the World for a Year

Going Around the World for a Year

There’s some evidence that the travel gene is genetic – that some people just have the urge to wander, and some just don’t. If so, both Ivo and I definitely have it. Even our meeting proves the point – we met over breakfast in a youth hostel in St Petersburg while we were both travelling. We tested our new relationship by driving to Spain on back roads in a small car and took a motorcycle trip of a few weeks…

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The Beach and the Way Home

The Beach and the Way Home

We chose the campsite in Torre La Sal because it had a heated pool and was on the beach, but it was definitely the campground equivalent of the boring concrete boxes that line the Spanish Coast. Rows of identical spaces in straight lines, with little between them. And, like the concrete boxes, it was full of mostly retired and tanned Dutch, German and British couples down for the winter. And while some of the couples seemed to be getting out…

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