Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Train That's Gonna Take Me Back Where I Belong

All smiles the first morning. That night, my roommate pissed in my boot. I'll tell you all about it later.

Well, Albania and I have parted ways, and I'm heading into the second of three legs of the Trans-Siberian railroad. Technically, I guess, it's the Trans-Mongolian, but everyone knows it best by Trans-Siberian, so I'll continue to refer to it that way. Right now I'm in a coffee shop in Siberia, in Irkutsk, Russia. It is a proper city of over half a million people and it is farther away from home than I have ever been. It feels like it, too. There is a strange disconnect between this busy city and the fact that we are in the middle of so much isolation. It makes me wonder what being in Mongolia will be like. I'll find out soon, since I get on a train tonight bound for Ulaanbaatar, the second stop. 7 days of steppes and yurts and horses? I can't wait. My long cherished dream of galloping across the grassland with my hair streaming is finally coming to fruition. I had to make sure to do it while I still had hair to stream and hips that could a) hold me on a galloping horse and b) not break so easily if I fell off of said horse. This trip was on the "Need to do sooner rather than later" portion of the bucket list, and now that it's finally here I can definitely say I'm glad I'm doing it now, when I can roll with all the crazy Russia throws my way.

Here's a map of where I've been/where I'm going. It was supposed to be all overland, including trains and buses from Beijing, China, to Vientiane, Laos, but Bobby and I decided in St. Petersburg that we'd rather spend 5 hours on a plane than 5 days on trains and buses. I think overland from Albania to China is enough to say we gave it the old college try. Oh, we also cut out our stops in Latvia and Lithuania in favor of more time in Estonia. Best decision ever.


Until the next time I can be bothered to sign in and post something,
Cortney


Post title courtesy of Bright Eyes