Trans-Siberian Railway - An Adventure Journey Through Russia
The Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railway in the world. It runs through Eastern Russia and Siberia, connecting Moscow with Vladivostok on the Pacific coast. It is over 9,000 km long with smaller lines that lead south to Mongolia and China.
It takes you eight days to travel the Trans-Siberian non-stop. However, many travellers take their time and go on a ten to fourteen-day journey. The Trans-Siberian Railway crosses seven different time zones in two continents. Popular stops include Yekaterinburg, where the last tsar and his family were killed, and the city of Tomsk with its famous wooden architecture. The natural beauty of Siberia reaches a climax at Lake Baikal, one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.
Lake Baikal is the oldest and deepest freshwater lake in the world. It is on UNESCO’s world heritage list. In winter it gets so cold in this part of Siberia that the lake can freeze to a depth of about 80 meters. In winter an ice road runs across it. Some travellers end their journey here and take a southbound route to Beijing, either through Mongolia or Manchuria.
When travelling on the Trans-Siberian Railway tourists must plan their stops beforehand. Foreign travellers must tell the authorities how long they are going to stay and where they are planning to get on and off the train. It takes time to get visas, especially if you are travelling through Mongolia and China.
Travelling on the Trans-Siberian Railway is by no means a luxurious journey. Compartments have either two or four berths and are simply furnished. During the train ride you have a lot of opportunities to get to know the locals and talk with them. They turn out to be friendly people who like to chat and offer tourists the food and the vodka they bring with them. At stops you will experience traders who might want to sell you something. And don’t forget to take a phrase book along on your journey.
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- architecture = the style and design of the buildings
- authorities = the people who are in a high position in a country
- beauty = loveliness, something very pretty
- beforehand = in advance; before you get there
- berth = place to sleep
- by no means = not at all
- climax = peak, highlight
- coast = where land meets the ocean
- compartment = room on a train
- connect = link
- depth = how deep something is
- either = one of two possibilities
- especially = above all
- experience = here: meet
- foreign = from another country
- freshwater = water that has no salt in it
- furnish = with furniture, like tables or chairs
- however = but
- journey = trip
- line = here: railroad
- local = a person who lives in the area
- luxurious = comfortable
- non-stop = without stopping
- opportunity = chance
- popular = liked by many people
- southbound = leading towards the south
- trader = a person who buys and sells things
- tsar = the male ruler of Russia before 1917
- visa = a mark on your passport that allows you to visit a country for a certain time