Now its time to admit it, I have finally left Mongolia. This blog is basically a snippet of what is to come (yes I’m still planning on posting… might as well when I’m still traveling ) . I hope to write more detailed posts in the future, but between two day s here and two days there, my time to sit down and write has been lacking. But for those who want to know , here is the basic synopsis of what I’m up to and whats to come…
My intrepid travel companion and I got on the train August 7th to take the Trans Siberian to our destination of Moscow. Our trip is 22 days total, and in that time we will cross 5 of Russia’s 9 time zones, and cross what seems to be a gazillion miles of Russian country side. A large percentage of our travel will be on the Trans-Siberian train line, the longest stretch being 2 days from Irkutsk, the so called capital of Siberia, to Yekaterinberg , the marker of the end of Asia. Not bad considering that the total area of Russia is basically double that of the United States.
Its quite amazing seeing a country that I really have only read about in history books come to life, and the Russians we have met along the way have been incredibly kind and accommodating. They are incredibly proud of their country, and want to make sure that my sister and I see everything. It almost makes me think that our trip is too short. That being said, while knowing Mongolian might just be a party trick for me now, knowing how to read Cyrillic has proven to be incredibly useful. I have a handle on reading the street names and directions, even if I only know the basic words for ‘store’ and ‘water’. One odd thing about going from Mongolia to Russia, has been the transition of going to a country where I don’t blend in the slightest, to blending in too much. Store keepers glance at me and start chatting away in Russian, until I bashfully say ‘No Russian, speak English ?’ – to which they giggle and give me a squint. I guess I look Russian ?!?
Anyways, while this trip is the ultimate distraction, It is a step in the right direction. I have written my itinerary on a ripped napkin of an ETA Stateside, which I’m clinging to . For those that are curious, I will most likely fly to New York (from where , can’t say) September 12th or 13th to spend time with my sister for a couple days. After that I need to visit my Aunt and Uncle at their new place in Florida . Then finally… CALIFORNIA. Here I come.
Meanwhile stay tuned for more detailed posts in the future, – V.