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Author Archives: james

No More Instant Noodles

  • Posted by james
  • 16 February 2009

6000Ks, 5 time zones, countless stops, -40C temps, 2 border crossings and we pulled into Beijing Central train station just 2 minutes late. Unbelievable.

That was, indeed, an epic train journey. 

I'll send more as soon as I have eaten real food!

The picture is shot through a dirty window somewhere in Mongolia...

The Rails from Wales

  • Posted by james
  • 10 February 2009

I have a few hours to burn till my Trans-Siberian train leaves Moscow, so...

...The trip in numbers...so far...hoooraaay

Days traveling: 7

Distance traveled: 1918 miles (roughly)

Trains caught: 6

Trains missed: 0

Hours spent on trains: 42

Nights spent on trains: 2

Flights caught: 0 

Cameras broken: 1

Cameras fixed: 1

Rolls of film taken so far: 5

Digital Photos taken: Lots

Russian Vocabulary: 12 words (& a few useful phrases) 

Mandarin Vocabulary: 0 words, 0 Phrases!

Countries left to visit: 3

Distance left to travel: 5580 miles (roughly)

Days left on the rails: 7

Days left to Hong Kong: 8

Beef Strogonoffs eaten: 2

Days till next blog: 6-7ish?!...speak soon howies. 

(Im not sure what the first pic says, something to do with the Metro, just thought it looks very 'Soviet'. Second pic is one of the Moscow metro platforms, Be nice if London underground was as pretty as that!)


  • Posted by james
  • 9 February 2009

Usually the first word I learn, when learning a new language is 'thankyou' Not much use here! No body uses it, or please, or anything polite. So in order to not stick out, like the polite Brit I might seem, It's rudeness all the way! 

Saying all that, Moscow is quite a place, especially negotiating the underground palace that is the metro, dordle here to try and figure out the crylic map and your swept off wherever the crowd is heading. 

Hiked (and slid) around the usual tourist traps today, and tomorrow it's off to the markets before catching a week long train to china. Will get there in the end howies, there is just so much to see on the way!

p.s Merino boxers we're a goooood idea.

Poland and Poles

  • Posted by james
  • 8 February 2009

So onward from Cologne, and my first experience of European sleeper trains. First things first, time to practice my newly learnt 'ipod' polish  on my cabin mate, a rather large polish woman. After a few strange looks, she gathered what I was trying to say, and then proceeded to laugh at everything I said from then onwards. Not the biggest confidence builder I must say. After a rather stuffy nights sleep we were pulling into Warsaw central to meet my Australian friends cousins, my hosts for the next few days in Poland. 


Hanging out with the 'It' girls of Warsaw, wasn't quite what I had mind for this trip, but embracing new experiences is something that I have learnt well over the years. So that's how it went down. 

My good friend from Australia sorted out this leg, his cousins met me off the train and since then I have been whisked around the city, shown the sites and walked the busy streets. The girls love the city and it showed in how much they wanted me to see. I have to admit though, I had no idea what to expect from Warsaw, in fact I knew very little of the place except it was flattened in the war, but I was pleaseantlysuprised, and one thing is for sure, they like to party! 

After getting to know some good new friends, it's back to the journey at hand... an overnight sleeper train to Moscow. Russia awaits. 


Onward, towards Hong Kong.


On The Dot

  • Posted by james
  • 4 February 2009

All smooth sailing so far, in fact just arrived in Cologne, Germany on the high speed Thayls train, exactly on time, to the minute! Why can't out trains run like that?

Now it's an evening of lounging until my overnight sleeper to Warsaw. 

Above is Brussels Midi, quite busy, just after lunch today. 

Over and out.

Mission Passport

  • Posted by james
  • 3 February 2009

After a crash course in snow driving trying to get out of Tenby, I've at least made it to london. A little later than hoped but walking through Swansea in a blizzard to get a coffee this morning was interesting. 

So tubes negotiated, passport collected (at last!) and snowballs thrown.

Tomorrow, London - Brussels - Cologne and on to Warsaw to meet a friend of a friend's cousin who I've never met who is looking after me...errrmm this could be interesting.

more soon.

Packing Light

  • Posted by james
  • 2 February 2009

Packing my bags is one thing I have done many times... For a single destination it's easy. Open bag, throw in clothes, throw in cameras and a little more, zip bag closed... leave... done. So when howies asked me to travel out to Hong Kong to visit their denim factory, by train. The whole packing thing just got a little bit more complicated...

8000 miles, 17 days, 8 trains, 2 continents, 9 time zones, 9 cities, rain, snow, -20c, +20c, cities, desert, mountains, hotels, bunks and one great wall. It's going to be quite an adventure!

It all begins tomorrow, first leg; Wales to London, where somewhere buried under 6 inches of snow is my passport (slightly important) with 5 shiny new visas. After that it's Paris-Brussles-Cologne and Warsaw, where I make my first stop. 

Will I make it? will I even make it to London to collect my passport? 

I'll keep you posted.

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