Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Cuckoo for Irkutsk

In the immortal words of David St. Hubbins, there’s a fine line between stupid and clever. More than one person I’ve talked to thinks I might be brushing a toe across the stupid side with my adventure for 2006: taking the trans-Siberian railroad from Beijing to Moscow.

Not, you’ll notice, in the conventional direction, from Moscow to Beijing. Anyone can do that, and when I was in China after college, it seemed like every European backpacker I met there had. No, I’m not just exiling myself to Siberia; I’m doing it backwards. Starting in Beijing, I’ll travel through Mongolia, into Siberia, past Lake Baikal, and on into European Russia. The trip takes seven days without stops, although I’ll definitely be stopping a few times. (I once went on a non-stop trans-Atlantic cruise, and by day five, I was hopefully scanning the horizon for icebergs. I know my limits.)

I’m planning on stopping in Mongolia (because when will I ever be in Mongolia again?), spending a few days around Lake Baikal, and at least having a look around Irkutsk, just because I like to say “Irkutsk” so much.

Stupid? Clever? Insane? Only time will tell. I’m leaving in May. I’ll be posting regarding my trip-planning progress, and ideally from the road itself when the time comes. Stay tuned.

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