Thursday, 15 September 2011

Battersea to Beijing

File:Petersburg Nikolskiy from Sowjetskaja Hotel.jpgFile:Shanghaiviewpic1.jpg
File:Gorkhi Terelj Park.jpgFile:Battersea Power Station - - 829933.jpg

So the plan is -
46 days
4 countries
7,000 miles of rail
9 trains
5 aircraft
1 vast Siberian wilderness
1 oppressive, autocratic regime
(Or possibly 2)
(Or possibly 3, depending on how you count)
... and 2 homeless writers.

This is the blog we'll be using to let our parents know we're still alive, and to post the odd photo. So, um, welcome. We're still alive.

Currently we're in Battersea, which looks like this:

We've found the people of Battersea to be a warm, friendly folk - quick to laugh and happy to let a stranger warm their hands in the light of their burning Debenhams.

And of course the shopping here is spectacular - though we missed the summer sales.

Battersea bargain hunters

Tough to know how the rest of our trip can live up to Battersea's many charms, but we look forward to finding out (and letting you know).

But before going anywhere, we spent this week moving out of our respective flats. For those who are interested, here's a photo of All Our Earthly Possessions, shrink-wrapped in a warehouse. (Thank-you Ed, for providing the warehouse.)

We thought we had more stuff than this
Though, to be fair, we also dumped a fair amount of stuff at our mothers' houses:
Sorry, Mum
With our stuff safely stowed away, our travels begin on Sunday morning with a flight to St. Petersburg (top left photo at the top of this post). After a few days soaking up the City of the Tsars, we'll be catching a train to Moscow, and from there our journey looks something like this:

Trans-Sib map

We'll be following the Trans-Siberian line to Ulan Ude, then branching off down the Trans-Mongolian line to Beijing, with plenty of stops in between.

From Beijing we'll be heading off on a ten day tour of [a country which we can't name for legal reasons]. (Specifically, naming this country could affect our visa application – the visa agents being the only citizens allowed to use Google.) From there we return to China, to explore some of the most beautiful places on earth. After all the packing and planning, vaccinations and visas, we can't wait to get going.

Until next week, then - bye for now. Or as they say in Russia:
Покажите мне ваши бумаги, пожалуйста

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