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Beijing to Irkutsk!

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Got on 72 hour train from Beijing, which although the longest train we have ever been on, it wasn't too bad! We managed to read, eat and sleep to pass the time. The change over at the border took 10 hours, starting at 2.30am, which we were not best please at. We had to get the train searched, get through immigration and get our temperatures taken as well! As well as all that we had to get the wheels on the train changed from Chinese to Russian guage, for which we had to get off the train and sit on the platform for a few more hours! We finally got going and made it to Irkutsk about 2 hours late the following evening, after spending about 5hrs skirting the southern shore of Lake Baikal. P1070919.jpgP1070920.jpg We spent the first couple of hours sorting out train tickets out of there, as Chris had spent his time on the train learning the Russian alphabet and simple phrases we managed to pull it off and get a ticket to Yekaterinburg (Katherinburg) for Thursday evening! This was made even more complicated by the fact that all the train tickets are sold in Moscow time, and we are currently 5 hours ahead of Moscow, so there is lots of calculating to do!

We got a tram into town and got to the hostel late in the evening (it doesn't go dark until about 10.30pm here), and had a well deserved shower (our first in nearly 4 days) and went straight to bed. The following day we had to move from that hostel as they only had a room for one night, so they relocated us to another hostel, which is all fine and dandy. After we moved our stuff we took a walk around Irkutsk, which feels so european despite the fact that we are still as far east as Bangkok at the moment! We went to see the statue of Lenin in the town square (very russian) P1070955.jpg and the various churches scattered around the town. P1070936.jpgP1070947.jpg After that we just spent a relaxing day walking around and managing not to sweat for the first time in months as its about 30 degrees here, but there is no humidity and a nice breeze! We sat in a park for a while and then walked back down the river to the hostel. P1070951.jpg Its great to not be stared at either, as although Russians are the ugliest most unfashionable people we have seen so far, we technically look the same! Although they are rather stern, Russians are ok really! We leave Irkutsk tonight on a 2 day train to Yekaterinburg, where we are staying for a couple of days!

Hope everyone is well,
Missing you lots,
Lots of Love,
Chris and Alex xxx

Posted by chrisalex 21:29 Archived in Russia Tagged backpacking

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Hey you guys, been a while since your last blog, I was getting a little concerned that Alex had thrown Chris off the train, or.... Chris had traded Alex for chocolate and snacks!!!
Pleased to hear from you xxxx

by bintychod

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