Friday, September 18, 2015

From Mongolia to Siberia

You know we liked Mongolia. It was hard to leave, but we had other places to go and a train journey to begin.

We rode a Chinese train (Train number 3) from Ulaanbaatar to Irkutsk. I’m told that if you don’t have anything nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all, so I won’t say much about the train. The best thing about it was that we got a whole compartment to ourselves and could reposition ourselves as often as we wanted in order to enjoy the best views. We did enjoy the views, beginning with Mongolia and ending with Lake Baikal. It’s already autumn up here in Siberia and the birch trees are beginning to turn yellow and red and pretty.

Siberia feels different. Different from Mongolia, of course, and different from Belarus and even different from what I remember of Moscow and Saint Petersburg. We see many Asian faces here, and people have been unusually forthcoming in offering us help finding our way and doing various things. We like it, and plan to spend an extra day in Irkutsk because we want to see more of it and we can give up one of our nights in Perm. We have to take an inconvenient train to make the schedule work, however, because tickets are nearly sold out on the train I hoped to take. It’s OK. We’re having a good time.

More photos here.

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