A lot of reading

One of the benefits of being on two Thanksgiving weekend flights is that I
get a LOT of time to read the nifty shiny new travel books. I had the LP
guide to Russia and China delivered to my parents’ house to save a few
bucks, and pretty much read them cover to cover over the weekend. Anyhow,
after the research, it looks like this would be a fantastic general plan,
if given unlimited time and unlimited budget:

London
St. Petersburg
Moscow
Suzdal via Vladimir
Nizhny Novgorod
Kazan
Yekaterinburg
Tobolsk
Omsk (?)
Irkutsk and Lake Baikal
Ulan Ude
Ulan Baatur
Beijing and The Great Wall
Xi’An
Chendgu and Area (incl. Leshan overnight?)
Lhasa (by air from Chengdu)
Hong Kong
Tokyo and area

This pretty much leaves us with no longer than 36 or so hours on the train
in any one stint, which is pretty different than expected. But after
reading, there are lot of plusses to stopping in these areas!

So, Geoff, shall we let the train schedules help us figure it out?

And we’re off!

There will definitely more to come, folks, so don’t get antsy that there’s
not a lot here yet. But the first official hurdles have been covered (at
least for me):

  • Leave of absence (actually, it’s now an unpaid vacation; effectively
    the same thing, but semantically different, business-wise)
  • Basic plan of attack
  • Airline tickets to Russia (thanks to Amy’s hard work!)
  • A lot of understanding from Alex, without which I probably wouldn’t be
    going
  • This website!

Okay, yes, maybe that last one is stretching it a bit, but we really do
need this. When we’re on the road, we want people to be able to track our
movements. Certainly, if for no other reason than we probably won’t be
able to phone home from some of the places we’re going.

The train’s in motion now! Just wait to see what else comes next!