Trans Siberian Railway

Trans siberian railroad large
Image via Wikipedia

The mythical Trans Siberian Railway has always had an enormous fascination on me. A railway long 9,259 kilometres, which go through 7 time zones (seven!),  and takes eight days to complete!

Moscow-Vladivostok: virtual journey on Google Maps

A dream of a trip I began to dream after reading Paul Theroux‘s book The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia, which has a last chapter on the legendary train. Theroux wrote about some guys who, being practically sequestered on the train for so long, stopped shaving. Who cares? -They seemed to imply. I still remember Theroux writing strongly against that behavior!

I love train travel, and though this is not the first dream trip in my bucket, it’s high on the list. Actually, the book has two of my hi-priority trips by land: Europe-India and Russia-China and beyond.

For the time being, I can continue dreaming, albeit with more sophistication, thanks to Google Maps, which provides a nice interactive idea-map of the Trans Siberian Railway, with travel route, amazing photos & a selection of Russian literature to be read to the “passenger” during the “trip”. For instance, don’t tell me the following vid doesn’t send you drooling around.

(Baikal Lake, close to the Mongolian border)

Anyhow, fortunately you have good sites with all kind of practical information to plan such a trip, should you want to venture there. You can organize and book the full trait Moscow-Vladivostok and then take a ferry to Japan (can you believe it? Straight from whatever Europe city to Vladivostok and Japan by land and sea! Whi said the trip is more important than the destination). Or, you could go through Mongolia and get to Beijing. And then continue via Vietnam down to Singapore and Thailand, or take the highest train, up to Lhasa in Tibet. A site which provides good practical info is; for instance on China railways.

Seat61’s forte is though the aptly named How to plan & book a journey on the Trans Siberian Railway from London to China and Japan. Wow, I’m boarding.

Anyhow, the Google Maps site is awesome. A demonstration of how a few good open ideas can generate more!

Of course, all this and Wikipedia remind me of two films which take place on the Trans Siberian: Horror Express and Transsiberian.

Horror Express is a 1973 Spanish (yes!) cult-movie (Wikipedia says it’s now in the public domain, here: starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Telly Savalas. Go download it!

Transsiberian (2008) is a nice independent thriller, with lots of snow shots and mystery and violence, and magnificent acting.

Happy travelz & enjoy the ending scene from the Horror Express.

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About Antonio Vantaggiato

Professor, web2.0 enthusiast, and didactic chef.
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