My Trans-Siberian book I bought this year.. With the Russia travel guide a friend gave me.
It's been a long while since I'm here blogging. I think stopped somewhere after closing down that page I had. Hmmmz.
So what made me come back? Coz as I was researching on my Trans-Siberian trip next year. I realized there's not a lot of information on the trip and the planning. I'm not talking about the typical tour group trips. But rather. The DIY kind trip. I've only found a good webpage (read more here: http://www.railway-train-travel.com.au) by a couple who shared from their planning to during the trip and details. Had a friend who linked me up with her friend who also captured some of her accounts on the Trans-Siberian too (you can read more here: http://burtontravels.blogspot.
So I decided to blog about the planning and the happenings during the trip (when that happens) and post-trip (if there is any) as I guess in a way. Besides wanting to share my experiences and how I got about doing it. To serve as a memory to myself that I can do all of this alone.
And the story begins...
Ever since I went Russia (Saint Petersburg. Novgorod and Moscow) last year with Contiki (no.. I stopped blogging by then. So sorry.. No stories to share. ;P). I started dreaming about doing Trans-Siberian. It felt like a daunting journey.. But little did I know how close to the truth I was.
I have a sabbatical next year that I am taking. So I decided to do the Trans-Siberian during that period.
What exactly is Trans-Siberian? In simple terms. It's a train journey across Russia and Siberia. Starting in Moscow and usually ending in Vladivostok. Spanning 7 different time zones. It is also the longest railway in the world (at a length of 9289 km and still expanding). There are a total of 18 stops on the Trans-Siberian journey and it also branches out in the Trans-Mongolian and Trans-Manchurian. If you were to take the train journey straight from one end to the other. It will take you 10 days on the train non-stop. You can read more on the background and history brief here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Siberian_Railway.
Daunted yet? :)
I have already started researching on where to go. What to do. Where to stay. And studying Cyrillic (or at least trying to recognize the words) since the beginning of this year. Along the way plans changed. And new additions were added. :)
So why Trans-Siberian? Coz I'm hooked on to the history. The culture. The architecture. And the beauty of the nature of the country. And that it was something that I guess I want to do while I'm still young and in good health.
What popped up as I was planning? That the thought of visiting Keukenhof Gardens in Netherlands came up. And when I realized how close Netherlands is to Belgium (I have cousins living there). And a friend asked why not do a day trip to Paris from Belgium as I am unlikely to fly and just visit France on its own. Then there is a Eurail pass that covers Netherlands. France. Belgium and Luxembourg for S$400. And thinking of going down to Ho Chi Minh on my way back from Vladivostok before coming home.
Hence. From a simple Trans-Siberian. Suddenly I have an overwhelming list of places to cover together. :P
As of now. I have only bought my tickets to Amsterdam. And from Belgium to Saint Petersburg. My flight ticket from Singapore to Amsterdam is on Garuda Indonesia (direct 13 hours flight) for S$535 and from Belgium (on Brussels Airlines - 4 hours) for S$119. Will need to buy the Benulux-France rail pass by the end of this month so that I can get the 1 free travel day on top of the 4 travel days.
So yeah. It's time to find back my mojo for writing. Regardless who may be reading this blog. :)
Safe travels to all. Wherever you may be heading!