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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Trans-Mongolian Railway

My train left Irkurtsk at 06.04am. To catch it I had to get up at 4.30am without getting much sleep, I was way too excited. I shared my compartment with 3 people from the Netherlands, they were on there way to Bejing, with a short stopover in Ulaanbaatar. The trip was great. After 2 hours we came to the shore of Lake Baikal, which we followed for almost 3 hours before turning towards Ulan Ude. The landscape was great. First a lot of trees, then the lake and towards Mongolia steppe. The most "annoying" part was the border crossing. We spent 6 hours at the Russian border (instead of 3.5 hours). At 1am we finally arrived at the Mongolian border. The first thing we received was the customs declaration form, which was in Mongolian script!!!, with the help of the conductor we figured out what to fill in. After a rigorous passport control we could finally get some sleep. Both the Russians and the Mongolians were very thorough in searching the train, they looked in every nook and cranny so that no one could pass the border undetected. After a surprisingly relaxed night I saw the first ger at 8.50am. Half an hour later we arrived in Ulaanbaatar, two hours behind schedule.

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  • Hey David!
    I hope you won't get lost on jour trip, so that we can enjoy at least one of Christian's readings in october together. You know that he needs his swiss fan-circle ;o) He said that he'll be in Switzerland from october 5 to october 15.
    I'm eagerly looking forward to read many interesting stories from the other end of the world.
    Have fun!

    By Anonymous Gwen, at 3:45 PM  

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