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International Railroad Discussion > Trans Siberian Express Trip Part 7

Date: 06/09/20 03:00
Trans Siberian Express Trip Part 7
Author: andersonb109

The tour twice diverted off the main line. The first such occasion was to Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia. There we had a city tour and an excursion into the countryside to visit an encampment of nomads. Unlike some of the "staged" experiences in Russia, this appeared to be an actual camp where we enjoyed seeing how these people live, moving from place to place with their tent homes. Horse back riding was also available. The Mongolian scenery was much more interesting and beautiful than Russia with very few trees in contrast to the Trans Siberian line which is largely treed in mlle after mile.  There were lengthy customs procedures four times, twice at each countries border.  As I was dying for decent non Russian style meal, I again avoided the museum tour and set off to forge for food. Our friendly Mongolian guide informed that we wouldn't need any Mongolian money. Rubles were accepted for "anything" we wanted to purchase. I found a great food court just across from our first stop and they had roasted chicken. A welcome change from what t he train had been serving. But wait. Rubles weren't accepted. Horrors. I went back across the street to find our guide. She had told us we wouldn't need any Mongolian monies!  But of course she didn't think anyone would want to spend anything other than in tourist trap shops where Rubles were accepted. A quick loan produced one of the few decent meals on the trip. It's notable how structured the entire experience was. Any diversion from the norm was met with at best surprise and at worst you must be an American spy.

First photo is the station at Ulaan Baatar (not included in my station series due to obvious signage). Next is the Mongolian Parlament Building followed by some nomad's horses. Unfortunately we were whisked from the train to the tour buses so quicky there was no time for photography in and around the station. We arrived back in Ulaan Uda, Russia the next morning. 

Date: 06/09/20 03:04
Re: Trans Siberian Express Trip Part 7
Author: andersonb109

At Ulan Uda, I again abandoned the tour and spent a nice afternoon in the city looking at the sights including beautiful Russian women (sorry, no photos). Scenes are at the station, a local tram,  and the world's largest Lenin statue.

Date: 06/09/20 03:08
Re: Trans Siberian Express Trip Part 7
Author: andersonb109

A few more. This was the only Russian station where I had a problem with photography. A stern looking Russian woman banned the use of my video camera on the platform. Still photos were fine. Of course in today's smart phone world she would have never know the difference. I simply moved to the other end of the platform and filmed away avoiding a night in some Russian gulag.   But overall, I probably received less hassle taking photos than in my own country where paranoia around any transportation seems to be rampant. 

Date: 06/09/20 10:07
Re: Trans Siberian Express Trip Part 7
Author: 55002

Another fine set, Bruce. Thanks. chris uk

Date: 06/09/20 22:28
Re: Trans Siberian Express Trip Part 7
Author: jcaestecker

Did you get a photo of the Russian beauty who forbade your videos?  Bet she looked like an East German olympic shotputter. :-)


Date: 06/10/20 12:24
Re: Trans Siberian Express Trip Part 7
Author: ironmtn

More wonderful images, Bruce. Thanks much. It's good that you were able to break away from the organized tour activities and ride the trams and walk in neighborhoods away from the tourist sites to see the city in more depth. I am of the same mindset when I travel. I particularly enjoy that aspect of your images.

I would be remiss to not mention the beauty of the third photo, of the Mongolian boy with the horses. The scene, the composition and lighting are almost painterly, and reminiscent of some paintings of the American West. Beautifully done.


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