I’m testing out this whole posting-by-email thing and I figured I’d let you in on a bit of the Itinerary we’ve got planned, specifically the trip on the Trans-Mongolian Railroad — a branch of the Trans-Siberian Railroad. This leg of the journey will start at the end of February (we’re going to try to catch the Feb. 28th train). This will be a long trek, over 10,000km of rolling rails and should take around a week of just by itsself!
The train ride would be pointless if we didn’t stop every once in a while to strech our legs in a foreign town. From Beijing, we will stop in Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, go into Russia and stop first in Irkutsk (we might stop in Ulan Ude before this if we have time) near Lake Baikal. Then plunging west across Siberia we’ll make time to pause in Yekaterinburg and Vladimir-Suzdal before entering Moscow to stay for a few days. Then we will breeze through Sergiev Posad and Yaroslavl, and finally end our Russian journey in St. Petersburg.
Our first stop will likely be Ulaanbatar. I have heard some really good things about Mongolia, from the culinary delights to the fantastic wardrobes to the beauty of the countryside. The homeland of Ghengis Khan and the Mongol horde, it is a more peaceful place now. Many nationalities do not need Visas to enter, and this includes Americans.
Once across the Russian border, we may want to stop in Ulan Ude to register our entry. From there, we’ll stop in Irkutsk, see the town, and try to do some activities around Lake Baikal if the weather cooperates. Our next stop will be in Yekaterinburg, where both Francis Gary Powers and the Romanovs were shot down. We may stop briefly in Omsk, the gateway to Siberia, if we get a chance.
The cities of Vladimir and Suzdal are within a few miles of each other and both seem to be fairly interesting places to visit. Our next stop will be Moscow, in all its glory. Of course, we’ll see the tourist sites, like the Kremlin, the Armory, Red Square, etc. We may even follow the Moskva down to Goriky Park. When we’ve blown our budgets, we’ll head east a bit to visit the cities of Sergiyev Posad ( beautiful churches) and Yaroslavl. St. Petersburg will be our final stop in the long journey. We’ll spend a few days there if our visas have not run out.
While this itinerary certainly has several stops, it should take around a month. So we will hopefully be able to spend as much time as is necessary in each city that we want to visit. If anyone has any suggestions or tips that might benefit us, feel free to send an email or post them in the blog comments. We’ve already gotten some good help from some people in planning, but more is always appreciated.