Category Archives: Trans-Siberian Railway

The Train’s The Thing

(November 2001) As if going to Mongolia wasn’t a memorable enough experience in itself, the train journeys to and from Ulaanbaatar were beyond unforgettable. To Ulaanbaatar After I boarded the train in Ulan-Ude I met five other Westerners travelling with … Continue reading

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Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

(November 2001) I’M VEGETARIAN and my first meal in the capital city of what was once known as Outer Mongolia was…? Pasta with fresh spinach sauce, and a cappuccino. Both of which tasted as they should (ie not exactly as … Continue reading

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Ulan-Ude

The journey to Ulan-Ude, the capital of Buryatia, was another overnight one. I and a Russian girl found ourselves sharing our compartment with a pair of drunken Mongolian men. One, who spoke really good English, explained that they were on their … Continue reading

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Lake Baikal, Listvyanka and Irkutsk (proper Siberia!)

November 2001 Lake Baikal and Listvyanka The next stop for me was the Siberian city of Irkutsk, an incredible 48 hours away. The train was just as comfortable and cosy as the previous ones, and for the first 24 hours … Continue reading

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Loo-st in translation

Yekaterinburg railway station. 4.08am. Waiting for a train. That will be more than three hours late. Something malevolent is trying to explode its way out of my guts. It’s either a space monster, à la Alien, or (more likely) the … Continue reading

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Gangsters’ Graveyard and other highlights of Yekaterinburg, Russia

November 2001 It was in Yekaterinburg that my journey began to get really interesting. Whereas St Petersburg and Moscow had been welcoming foreign visitors for decades, Yekaterinburg was closed to tourists during the Soviet era. The city had been an … Continue reading

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Moscow

In Moscow, I failed to post small parcels to two friends; the Post Office would accept letters but not parcels. I visited St Basil’s Cathedral and The Kremlin, where I coveted the handful of Fabergé eggs on display. The museum … Continue reading

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Ganina Yama, Romanov burial site, Yekaterinburg

November 2001 “That’s where the Tsar was buried,” K had told me. “That” was a simple wooden Russian Orthodox cross set among snow-sprinkled trees. It was late 2001 and K and I were on the outskirts of Yekaterinburg, the city … Continue reading

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