Here now and now here or nowhere

The title of this blog comes from a play on words that "now here" is also the same letters as "nowhere" just with a space added in the middle. I am always trying to get better at being in the here and now, and I've always been a bit of a joker so that is why I chose this name.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Trans-Mongolian Railway

Though I wasn't fortunate enough to make it into Beijing via Moscow on the Trans-Siberian route, I was able to take the train from UB to BJ on the Trans-Mongolian line. I had read about how it was a social train and it sounded like many other like minded travelers would be on it and endless fun would ensue. You may have already guessed this, but this was not the case. Passengers mainly stayed in their rooms and the cafe car that I had read was a hotbed of social interaction was actually a restaurant car where people got food but did not really communicate. I did meet a few other travelers who had had similar thoughts and were surprised at the sterile like environment of the train.

I had wanted to go 2nd class to meet more people but all I could get was 1st class. I know, not the end of the world. My roommate was a turkish fellow who had travelled over 80 countries. He didn't like planes so mostly took trains, boats, buses, and cars. He was very friendly, though he slept for the majority of the 30 hour commute.

The train has arrived and people are beginning to board their respective cars.

My car attendants checking the people in line ahead of me. I had someone take a picture of me with the ladies, but they ended up taking a video instead. Not sure why but this "asking for photo and getting video" was a common thing in mongolia. odd

my roommate. I had bottom bunk

Leaving UB!

First stop. 2 weeks ago and I've already forgotten the Cyrillic I learned.

Gobi from the train. Ger in the distance.

Next stop. Locals peddling warez. Sadly no meat paddies or dumplings were being sold. :(

Gers and sand dunes.

Camels in the distance!

The sun begins to set.

Sunset over a small town

Sunset over a small town

At the border we pull into an area to change the gauges of the rails, as Mongolia/Russia use different sized than China. Of course.

Changing of the guage.

First real glimpse of China.

good morning! I love these samovar type hot water thermoses. Definitely something to acquire when I get back to the states.

scenes from the rail

scenes from the rail

a city in the distance

a city in the distance

just some of the numerous corn crops we passed.


building and building...

The only non BJ stop we were allowed to get off of the train at. we were given maybe 5 minutes.

stacks and stacks and cones and cones. industrial china

beautiful scenes from the rail

rivers and mountains. so lovely.

scenes from the rail

nature and development

At last, arriving at Beijing Main Station.

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