tokyo to paris overland
August ’08 – Kotor – Montenegro

As the 192nd member state of the United Nations, Montenegro is a brand-spanking new country, complete with that coveted new country smell and a few (unfortunately) bombed out buildings.  If one wants to be a new country these days, that seems to be part of the franchise deal. Prior to breaking out on their own, […]

August ’08 – Belgrade – Serbia

It’s tough being Serbian…your kebabs just are not as good as dodgy Polish varieties. Belgrade – Serbia, a world without vowels If I recall correctly, the Onion’s Our Dumb World Atlas lists Serbia with the heading Serbia: “So we’ve done a little ethnic cleansing…” When you read that particular book you have to have a […]

Warsaw, Poland – August 2008

…a place where vodka isn’t only for breakfast. Be seen in Warsaw Next stop on my super quick, stereotypical European Contiki tour was, as the title implies, Warsaw.  Warsaw holds some physical similarities to Moscow in terms of grand superblock configurations, Stalinist architecture, grand boulevards and good public transit. I found the patio culture to […]

Countries fomerly part of Mother Russia II

Any journey through the Baltics (and I’m not talking about the purple Monopoly Property) usually involves more than just a single nation traverse unless visiting one of the tiny three is your life long travel goal.  Once you are in one, you can’t get out without going through another (unless you fly, take a boat […]

Countries formerly part of Mother Russia I

There is something about leaving Russia… Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it is such a big chuck of land and that even after 10 days of constant rail riding you realize that yes…I am still in the same country but I’ve zoomed through nine timezones. Or maybe it is the […]

August ’08 – Moscow

The last batch of images from Russia. My friend and I  were tossed off the Trans-Siberian and deposited into the depths of Moscow in the wee morning hours with not a clue as to how to get to any hostels. We ended up loitering by a metro station until it opened up at 4am. Russian […]

August ’08 – The Mighty Baikal

The deepest, baddest lake in the world.  The second adjective is somewhat subjective as I’m not clear as to what exactly makes a lake “bad”…although it would morph into a great name for an travel company…B3 (B-cubed) for Big Bad Baikal Adventures. A great part of Russia.  In many ways I felt like I was […]

Irkutsk – Russia – August 2008

Nothing to write about so I’ll just continue to add my backlog of photos.  Nothing terribly special in this batch. However, Irkutsk was the best city I visited in Russia, probably because I had the lucky opportunity to have a set of local guides.  The vodka is incredible and Irkutsk oddly enough, has amazingly good […]

Russian Far East and Southern Siberia

Some shots from the first section of the reverse Trans-Siberian Railway.  I don’t think most of the photos are very good as the car was slightly shaky.  The below slideshow transitions automatically, but larger photos can be viewed in the gallery.

Japanese Alps – Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route – July 2008

I got a bit ahead of myself and posted Vladivostok photos out of sync.  I had a few more stops in Japan before I ferried over to mother Russia including a climb up Fuji and another in the Alps. I’m a big geek and I like to name my trips…for example, when I did Tibet […]

Vladivostok, Russia – July 2008

Not wanting to write papers or design massing concepts in AutoCAD, I thought I’d do the next best thing – add more photos. The roughest, toughest city in Asia. I spent a few days here after hopping off the ferry from Japan.  Really neat urban fabric and lots of restoration occuring throughout the city.  It’s […]

Photos from Japan I

In keeping with my impromptu Japanese theme today, I’ve uploaded and tagged the first group of my photos from the two weeks I spend in Japan in July.   From Kyoto and several districts within Tokyo.

One night in Moscow

Not actually anything to do with Moscow. I will openly admit that my experience with European ideas, opinions, cultures and ideologies is minimal – but I am increasingly suprised at the strong differences between Anglo-Saxon and American values versus what has been termed by some as “old Europe”. Initially it would appear strange given the […]

Irkutsk July 25-28th 2008

An example of poor weather karma is excellent conditions while traveling on the rails but consistently wet conditions while on stopovers.  Such is the case in Irkutsk, 70km from the shores of Baikal.  I caught an early morning glimpse of the lake as the train raced by on the 25th and it is simply massive […]

Update

Below you will find a number of entries that I wrote mainly while on the train from Vladivsotok to Irkutstk.  Some are related to Japan and others to the actual train trip but I haven’t placed them in order because, as usual, internet prices are high and I’m not keen on using my $4/hour net […]

Train 031 Vladivostok to Irkutsk July 22-25 2008

Traveling the Trans-Siberian Railway is really traveling the Trans-Siberian railway. Lots of traveling and not much doing. This fits rather fine with me since I fall into the category of a person who enjoys the traveling aspect of new countries. I enjoy seeing and doing things as well, but I can quite happily stare out […]

Vladivostok 2008 II

<!– @page { size: 21cm 29.7cm; margin: 2cm } P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm } –> I have been told that this city is nicknamed the “San Francisco of the East” – It appears that eastern nations have a fascination with comparing their cities and areas with those of their western counterparts. For example, I often […]

Japanese Onsen July 2008

One of the most interesting and relaxing experiences I had in Japan was spent in Japanese baths and traditional Onsen (hot springs) and one regret was that I didn’t have enough time to visit some of which are apparently the best Onsen in Japan – which are just outside of Tokyo. Baths and Onsen – […]

Mt. Fuji July 14-15/Vladivostok – Fushiki Ferry July 18-20th

Consider a 42 BC ferry voyage and you may develop an appreciation for the Fushiki-Vladivostok passage. Actually, it is not that bad, but both beasts move at approximately the same speed. But BC Ferries doesn’t offer beer, live music, free food, hair-dressing services, a duty-free shop and blaring Russian sitcoms. Maybe they should… While I […]

Vladivostok 2008

I’m keeping my posts short because I’d like to keep my internet bar time to a minimum because in addition to hourly rates, users are also charge a bandwith premium.  Traveling the eastern seaboard of Russia (namely Vladivostok) is no walk in the traveling park.  It’s not impossible, or even difficult for that matter…just frustrating.  […]

Japan 2008 II

Travel karma levels appear to be maintaining as I enter phase two of my ’08 travels. The Fushikiki/Vladivostok ferry berth purchase went through today and I’ll be able to pick up my ticket tomorrow morning before departure at around 6pm. However many question marks still remain regarding the Trans-Siberian ticket situation, the validity of my […]

Japan 2008

“To lead a life surrounded solely by one’s favorite things, to make it more comfortable it such is your wishes, this is an article that best suites the purpose”. Water kettle scripture – Kyoko Ryokan, Kyoto, Japan I was going to lead into this entry with a post regarding the things I’ll remember most about […]

Travel Plans – Summer 2008

I reserved (although not yet purchased) a flight to Osaka from Shanghai Pudong for the 7th of July. So, barring a reservation issue I have ten days left in China with today my final day of work in the education field (for the foreseeable future, at least). I have developed a vague idea of what […]

How to get a Russian visa in Shanghai

If you have been wasting time on the is site you are probably aware that I’ve been whining about the perils of obtaining visas from the Russian consulate in Shanghai. I’ve decided to fuse my story with some information so anyone who happens to stumble to this post via some clever search words will have […]

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