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Beijing
Jun 23, 2010

We pulled into Beijingzhan with much relief — after nearly a week on a train, it was great to be able to walk and stretch and feel solid, steady ground beneath our sandalled feet.

Moscow and the Trans-Mongolian
Jun 15, 2010

Yesterday we boarded a night-train in Warsaw, bound for Moscow. It was a small cabin, but we had it to ourselves — the carriage attendant took one look at our backpacks (and generally shabby appearance) and pointed out this was “first class” — the benefit of buying our tickets far in advance (i.

Were in Moscow!
Jun 14, 2010

Just a quick note to let everyone know we made it to Moscow — a 23 hour train ride from Warsaw, but I think about 22 of those hours were taken up by passport checks, with another hour to change the wheels to the Russian gauge.

Arriving in Warsawa
Jun 13, 2010

Did a lot of writing on the train from Krakow to Warsawa, so as soon as we get Internet there’ll be a mass update. We sat in our first class cabin and relaxed with free coffee, juice, water and little ginger biscuits.

Krakow and Oswiecim (Auschwitz)
Jun 13, 2010

With only one day in Krakow, we decided it would be best to (temporarily) eschew our “independent travel” principles and join a guided tour of the Auschwitz complex — the Nazi concentration camp where over a million people were murdered in the name of “racial purity” between 1940 and 1944.

On our way to Moscow
Jun 13, 2010

No time for a real update — we’re sitting having breakfast in Krakow, just about to jump on a train to Warsaw then a night train to Moscow. It’ll be the first time we get to use our very expensive visas!

Vienna: Relaxing in a hostel environment
Jun 8, 2010

A relaxing stay in Vienna (Wien), with little to do and even less inclination to do it. We stayed at Wombat’s “Base” Hostel — very clean, nice, friendly and better serviced than some of the hotels we’ve stayed at.

Salzburg: its mostly about the drinking
Jun 6, 2010

We arrived in Salzburg in style: our 1er classe tickets gave us a small six-seater cabin, and les quatre etrangers we were to share with from Munchen never showed, so we had the place to ourselves.

Strasbourg: Meet the meat (and more photos)
Jun 5, 2010

Our last day in Strasbourg we walked around (a lot!) and found a local place for lunch — and I do mean local. The menus were en francais, mit Deutsche if we really wanted it, but no anglais.