Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Train Trip

(Click on image for a larger and more detailed view.)

Well, here it is. Here is the reason why we created this blog. Here is THE post which details our our trip across Eurasia. It consists of 10 steps (along with facts that you KNOW Natalie did not draft) .

We leave from Bangor Maine on August 19th and fly to London England, where we stay for 2 nights. Natalie is looking forward to sipping afternoon tea, drinking lukewarm pints and visitng the fabled Harrod's. We then fly to St. Petersburg where the real adventure begins and Natalie's knowledge of the world dwindles. Lonely Planet, anyone?

1-St-Petersburg (once known as Leningrad)
Peter the Great's window to the Western world. We are only here for a couple of days. Home of the Hermitage, the Peter and Paul Fortress and many things Russian.

2-Overnight train to Moscow
Hopefully this overnight train will not be as bad as the overnighter when we met those Italians (see Europe posts below). It's an 8 hour train ride. Should not be too painful...especially if a sufficient Vodka is bought prior to departure.

Here for three days. Well what can we say about this place? Home of the Kremlin, Red Square, Lenin's Tomb...It's Moscow man! What else do we need to say?!?!?!?!?!

4-Four day train ride across Russia
This is where our patience and resourcefulness will be tested. Not much food, not much drink other than vodka (recent vodka training will no doubt come in handy), not much service and not much English, nor French. No showers, no baths!!!

5-Lake Baikal stay
For those big RISK players, you know where Irkutsk is: Siberia. Lake Baikal will be our home for about 4 days. A family will be hosting us for a couple of these. Again, recent vodka training will no doubt come in handy.

6-Two day train ride to Ulaanbaatar
Another train ride talking with some locals and hopefully get some cool hints as to what adventures await us in Mongolia.

7-Jeep ride in Bayangobi
This is where Erik get's excited: We are going to the ruins at Karakorum, hopefully (ancient palace of Genghis Khan' ancestors), and to a monestary at Erdene Zuu. We heard rumours that there are only 81 miles of asphalt in Mongolia. Holy jeep ride! Can you say "middle of nowhere"...

8-Stay in Ulaanbaatar
Capital of Genghis Khan's Mongolia, celebrating 800 years since the world's greatest empire. We really don't know what to expect on this leg of the trip. We can imagine alot of walking around and statements to the effect of "Holy Shit, we are in Mongolia". FUN

9-Two day train ride to Beijing
Again, hoping to get some insight on Beijing from other riders. One cool thing we heard about this leg of the trip: there is a time during the train ride where they have to go so slow, you can actually walk beside the train. We might test this rumour out... lol

Confucius, Sun Tzu, Tian'an Men Square, Forbiden City, Great Wall, dim sum...Home of a great civilization (and hopefuly our first daughter).

We will also be stopping in London, UK for a couple days post Eurasia to cut up the travelling.

Well folks, that's the gist of it. More to come.

Please fasten your seatbelts and get ready for takeoff!!!