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Trans-Siberian Railway: Irkutsk to Ulaan Baatar, Mongolian

Written on: Saturday November 3rd, 2007

A journal entry from: Around The World Without A Plane

Got up a few hours after the silliness in Irkutsk to watch the sun rise over Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world. Wasn't long though before we hit the sack again. So just as our bodies were coming to terms with leaping rapidly across the time zones we sleep until it's just about to get dark again. I reminisce of Hong Kong a few years back, where something very similar occured. Who said you live and learn.

The scenery though you'll be glad to hear started to change after Irkutsk. The lake that we skirted around the south of as we headed towards the Russian-Mongolian border was beautiful, the sun finally came through the clouds and Eva saw the first horse on our journey which meant she was crowned Trans-Siberian Window-Bingo champion. The train had climbed alot in altitude towards Mongolia also, which because of the temperature meant we had our first glimpses of snow.

At the border we sat for good on 4 and a half hours while the Russian border patrols reflected on Dave not looking anything like his passport photo, then another couple of hours on the Mongolian side reading some Dickens and playing yet more Shithead.

Once more we arose early; this time to see off Martin, Danny, Eva and Evelina at Ulaan Baatar, the capital of Mongolia, who over the past 5 days we had grown to become very close with in almost a brotherly-sisterly-brotherly sort of way. I think firstly because they were a really nice bunch of people and secondly because of the proximity of living so closely together for that period of time. After saying our goodbyes, we jumped back on to the train, in to our top bunks in our cabin and locked the door, hoping we weren't going to have our cabin invaded by any new attendees to the Trans-Siberian.  How wrong we were.