Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Under 2 Weeks Until Departure

Hi all,

It's been a few weeks since I updated you on the progress of my trip.  I have got some good news and not so good news.

I'll begin with the 'not so good' news.  Due to financial and time constraints I have had to go against my rule of no flying.  I looked into several different ways of getting to St Petersburg by land and sea but it either cost a lot of took too long.  One of my favoured routes was to get a ferry from Harwich to Hoek of Holand and then train to Rostock, Germany where I'd get a ferry to Helsinki, Finland where I could get a train to St Petersburg.  However, I have got a visa for Russia which runs from 14 November to 13 December and the dates are not flexible at all.  So to make the most of the time in Russia I would have had to leave straight after finishing work, which would not be practical.  Therefore, I have decided to fly out to Tallinn, Estonia.  This way I have cut out most of Europe which I have visited before anyway, with exception to Latvia and Lithuania.  It makes me feel better when I think, I've been on a bus to Warsaw from London anyway so, I've done most of the journey already!

The good news is...  I have now completed my course of vaccinations and have finished work. 

The Scheduled Journey So Far...

  • 14 Nov 10 - Flight from London Stansted to Tallinn, Estonia, 4 nights here along with Matt Duncan
  • Overnight bus to St Petersburg, 5 days in Peter
  • Overnight train to Moscow, 5 days in Moscow
  • Train to Yekaterinburg, 3 days in Yekaterinburg
  • Train to Irkutsk, 2 days in Irkutsk
  • Hopefully spend a day at Listvyanka by Lake Baikal 
  • Possibly travel on the Circum-Baikal Railway, but this will be decided when I am in Irkutsk.
  • Train to UlaanBaator, Mongolia, before 12 December where I will stay for a week before heading to Beijing.
The World's Highest Railway

 The world's highest railway runs between Beijing to Lhasa in Tibet and reaches 16,000 feet (5,072 Meters).   I want to undertake this journey via Xi'an.  My other decision to make is whether to continue on into Nepal or go to Hong Kong.  As I have a double entry visa, I can only leave China once, so I am going to have to decide where I'd rather go. 

More details on this journey can be found here.

Chinese New Year

The Chinese new year will be celebrated on 3 February 2011 and I would like to be there for this if I could, but where?  Another decision I will have to make.  I can stay in China for 2 x 30 days so if I planned it right I could do it.  The reason why I was going to head into Honk Kong was to get a Vietnamese Visa, but this can be done elsewhere in China.  At the moment I am happy with my initial plans as Russia is the most expensive part of the first leg and had the strictest visa control.

Ciao for now people!

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