Month: May 2016

By Alex

Day 39: 61 hours across Russia in a train

This was it. The big one. Three nights, 61 hours, in third class. I arrived at the station, in front of me sat my new home/prison. It shone majestically in all its Soviet glory: a clunking, rattling metal rectangle inhabited by very bored-looking Russians, all smoking cigarettes on the platform. As you walk in, the…

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By Alex

Day 36: Siberian vistas, hiking, and blini

The train ride from Irkutsk to Krasnoyarsk, my first leg in 3rd class, was uneventful. Platzkartny, as it’s known in Russian, is 4-berth open compartments with two beds above the opposite window. It’s comfortable enough, and exclusively Russians. The carriage is almost empty the whole time; I’m alone in my 6-bed ‘section’. Each carriage has…

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By Alex

Day 22: Great Wall and Peking duck

After arriving in Kunming from Jianchuan at 2am, the driver mercifully let me and a few others stay on the bus till 6am – when it would be needed again. I had, then, 5 hours to kill before my train. I wandered around the city for a good two hours, stumbled into a fish market, found…

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