Thursday, February 02, 2006

Around the World in 30 Days

I appreciate all your concern, but yes, I am serious. I really do plan to take the trans-Siberian railroad this spring. The plan so far is that my partner, Pipi, and I will first travel to Japan, where we have a friend. John is a professional travel photographer I met at the Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference one summer. He moved to Kamakura, Japan in the fall of 2005, and we plan to visit him there. Kamakura is about an hour from Tokyo by train. Tokyo, quite frankly, frightens me (call it Akira damage), so that sounds about right. We won’t have a lot of time in Japan, so I’d rather save the Neo-city for a trip where I have the time it deserves.

From Japan, Pipi and I will fly to Shanghai. Pipi has always wanted to see Shanghai because she’s interested in city planning, and this city is in the middle of enormous growth. I’ve been there before, and am very curious to see how it has changed.

Pipi probably will have to fly home from Shanghai--it’s the curse of being steadily employed. I’ll continue on to Beijing. Beijing is another city I visited in 1992, and I’m told it is barely recognizable now. I can’t even imagine it full of cars--I remember bikes for days--so I think I’m in for a bit of a shock.

John and I will meet up in Beijing and take the trans-Mongolian train line from there. The end of the line is Moscow, but I hope to also see St. Petersburg. If on the way home I’m routed through a Baltic city, or a Scandinavian capital, so much the better. But I probably won’t mind going straight home by then.

I don’t know exactly what the air route will be, but I assume I’ll be sent west from Moscow, meaning that I will have completed a whole circle around the globe. A pretty neat trick to pull off on a low budget.

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