The Winter Tours have now been allocated and I’ve got lucky. I’m getting to put another tick on my bucket list… The Trans-Siberian express! The Tour starts in London, then rail to Berlin, onwards again to Warsaw and then into Moscow where we pick up the express to Vladivostok, a total of about 8,000 miles.
It’s not just any old Trans-Siberian either, but a private train, the ‘Golden Eagle’ which is a rather fancy little number. Best of all, it’s in winter, so everything will be covered in snow and the temperatures will be around -25ºC for much of the journey.
Oddly, there’s no video of the journey in Winter, but this Summer video should give you the idea.
I haven’t visited Russia before, except for occasional flights made years ago when I was crew. There can be few better ways to see the country than this, or to try to get to grips the immensity and emptiness of the territory.
In the meantime, I’m heads down applying for visas. Belarusian Transit, Mongolian single-entry and the daddy of them all… Russia (who require the passport information for my kids, my wife, bank details, social media details and fingerprints, amongst other stuff). So far, this has taken three hours but I guess it’s worth it. I thought I should try and get ahead of the Christmas paralysis of just about everything by getting the applications in nice and early – also I hate being without my passport while the via is processed; being without means I can’t work if something comes up at short notice.