SO REMEMBER TO READ CHAPTER ONE FIRST. SIBERIAN TRAIN. DAY TWO: AUGUST 29, 2015  4:50 Am. Feel wonderful. Alert. Happy. Well. Slept from about 9pm—soundly. Moving with the sway, swaying with the moves, train whistle white noise since this car is far from the front. Riding the train is an apt expression; my body is learning to move with the train, like horseback riding. This Siberian train has its own gait. It’s… Read More

The next four posts will be coming to you from a hotel in Ulan Bator; they will be posted in order but wind up on face book in a block. IF YOU are going to take the Siberian train from Moscow to Ulan Bator in the near future I suggest you read them—in order. Of course what you’ll be reading are my barely edited notes but they will offer you a front… Read More

This will be a very short post. Another great day with a guide who has become a real friend in a great city…yes, I like Moscow very much, seems rather American-like actually but with prettier churches, more borscht and way more drama in its past than any U.S. city can claim. A day with a lot of great art as well…at the big museum of 20th Century Russian/Soviet art. Weather has turned cloudy… Read More

COMING IN TO MOSCOW THIS AM. It is almost time isn’t it? For years I’ve dreamed of taking the Trans-Siberian train. Years. Tomorrow night I climb aboard. Will I ever repeat that saying ‘be careful what you ask for…’ in regard to Siberia. Before I overdramatize this whole thing it’s important to remind myself it is only five day for heaven’s sake—and there’s a long break after four of those days. How… Read More

St. Petersburg was happy photo hunting. Cameras are allowed everywhere in the Hermitage so I took advantage of that happy fact and here are the results. Enjoy the tiniest bit of the AMAZING ECLECTIC ONE-OF-ITS-KIND HERMITAGE. FROM ELSEWHERE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

Lobby coffee/bar at Hotel Budapest in Moscow. 9:30am. So what do I want, conference hotel with super service or funky gray-toned with surly service? I can do this I can I can…. Had a compartment mate again last night. Pretty young blonde woman with very curly hair who talked long into the night to her boyfriend but Russian is a nice background sound, soft and even melodic, odd isn’t? Bigger train car,… Read More

Norway and the trans-Siberian Express were the anchors of this journey. Everything else was and is an add-on; exciting add-ons it’s true but still not the anchor babies of this adventure. Norway now seems long past and Siberia still a couple of days away and I’ve seen all of the gold I can handle—although more palaces and squares are in my Moscow future. So why am I writing this morning? Maybe I’m… Read More

And Soon it Was the Morning of the Second Day of the Fourth Week. As I drifted happily to sleep last night in a king-size bed with a large duvet and two fat pillows dreaming of golden palaces… Well actually I may have been dreaming of my own bed on 13th Street and thinking it wouldn’t be so bad getting up tomorrow morning for a dawn walk along my own river, then… Read More

I’ve long thought that South Africa, Russia and the U.S. are probably the most intriguing countries in the world. It is true. For reasons of size and complexity and history and promise and some disappointments along the way as well. It is 7:30pm in St. Petersburg and the hours since midnight have been interesting to say the least. Starting at about 12:30am when I was roused out of a sound sleep, after… Read More

Since I wrote this I’ve had a thoroughly interesting introduction to Russia. And as usually turns out with everyplace I visit…I love it here… After a day at the historic version of the Koochiching County Fair—which I’ve always loved so that is not intended as a snide aside—it’s off to St. Petersburg. End of Week 3. Only 17 minutes until this train will leave the station so I’m hoping for another overnight… Read More