Jump to content




Photo

The Accidental Round the World Trip


  • Please log in to reply
70 replies to this topic

#1 v v

v v

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 484 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK / France

Posted 02 February 2017 - 04:17 PM

Collective journeys by train and plane (or the accidental round the world trip)

For a few years we’d had an idea to make a round the world (RTW) journey without flying, but that takes a great deal of time to plan. So for 2017 we chose another dream to make a shorter Moscow to Vladivostok rail journey without stopping while continuing planning for our RTW epic. 
After Brexit and then the Trump election it was obvious the whole world was due to change in ways that no one can fully predict, so by adding trains and planes to the Trans Siberian journey and loosely based on our existing rough idea for the RTW, we brought this mish mash of ideas together and brought it forward a year.
Here is the hastily planned itinerary for our ‘Accidental Round the World Trip’ as at 1 February 2017, all tickets are bought and paid for.



26 February 2017  -  at about 23:30 we leave for the railway station for an appointment with a bus into London Liverpool Street. Our Eurostar train from St Pancras International doesn’t leave until 06:50 the following morning but engineering works on the East Anglia line for that weekend have effectively closed the line until possibly after our departure from St Pancras. So spending 3 or 4 hours in the St Pancras Station 24 hour Starbucks looks like our best option. Not an auspicious start to a rail journey but at least we will be warm and comfortable.

27 February   06:50  -  train from London St Pancras to Bruxelles Midi by Eurostar through the Channel Tunnel. Now re-scheduled to 06:47

27 February   10:25  -  train from Bruxelles Midi to Koln Hbf (Cologne) by German ICE train.

 

This is a really tight connection of 17 minutes (if both trains are on time) to change station levels, platforms and board the ICE train, but it is the recommended connection by Deutsche Bahn for this journey. Time zone from GMT + 1 hour.

27 February   12:48  -  train from Koln Hbf to Berlin Hbf by German ICE train, arrive Berlin at 17:06

Tickets for London to Berlin bought from Deutsche Bahn (DB)

Overnight at Hotel Meininger about 100m from the station main entrance. Hope to enjoy an evening walk to the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag, then continue on to eat near to the famous Friedrichstrasse Rail Station.



28 February   09:37  -  train from Berlin Hbf to Warszawa Centralna by Polish (not sure of this) Warsaw Express

28 February   15:00  -   arrive in Warszawa. Have a 1h 50m lay-over before the next train out. Barcuir very kindly pointed out a supermarket on the top level of Warszawa Station. This is important as the next train an overnight sleeper has no food and drink facilities, we are on-board for 15 ½ hours.

Tickets for Berlin to Warszawa bought from DB

28 February   16:50  -  train from Warszawa Centralna to Kyiv Pas, Ukraine. Overnight sleeper in 2 berth compartment



1 March   09:22  -  arrive Kyiv Pas. Time zone from GMT + 2 hours

Tickets for Warszawa to Kyiv bought through Polrail

1 March   19:33  -  train from Kyiv Pas to Moskva Kievskaia.

Tickets bought from UZ (Ukrainian State Railways) 

Overnight sleeper train in shared 4 berth Kupe (2nd Class) compartment. Our friends Rob and Martine are travelling with us from London to Moscow so a pair of friendly faces to share a compartment with. On ordering the tickets have also ticked the box for 2 teas each, although not quite sure what we will get I guess the suspense will mount as we get close to boarding.
Tickets were bought online and a ticket 'voucher' is issued. We can collect our tickets at Kyiv Pas main station by using the voucher details through an automat (maybe) or at the ticket office window No.12 in Hall 4. It's a 10 hour lay-over so plenty of time to get our tickets, have breakfast and visit a couple of places too.



2 March   09:48  -  arrive Moskva Kievskaia (Kievsky) Station

Time zone from GMT + 3 hours

We expect to be met by Ruth from Taiwan who has flown in to Moscow so we can travel the Trans Siberian Express (TranSib) together.
All 5 of us are booked into the Ibis hotel about 200m from the station main entrance, it’s a good location with a lot of facilities immediately to hand including one of the famed Moscow Underground stations.

We are in Moscow for 4 days and 3 nights, our must sees are Lenin, the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics and of course a few of the Underground stations.



5 March   23:45  -  train from Moskva Jaroslavskaia to Vladivostok, the Trans Siberian Express.

Tickets bought through Trans Siberian Express
 
We are booked on Train 002 Rossiya and have again booked a Kupe class (2nd) 4 berth compartment for the 3 of us, Rob and Martine have already moved on to St Petersburg, we’ll see them again when we return to the UK. It’s possible that we will travel all the time / some of the time / or none of the time with a 4th passenger, male or female as our compartment is classed as mixed.
We are taking the longest single train journey in the world – 6 nights and 7 days - and want to experience it in all it’s glory. There will be no breaks from the train at all from end to end. We will take the opportunity to buy food from the Babushkas on the platforms and walk a little too during suitable stops, but that’s all. It feels a little daunting as we could go stir crazy, but we’ll have to wait and see.



6 March   00:00~23:39  -  on the train



7 March   00:00~23:59  -  on the train



8 March   00:00~23:59  -  on the train



9 March   00:00~23:59  -  on the train



10 March   00:00~23:59  -  still on the train



11 March   23:55 (train / Moskva time)  -  arrive at Vladivostok (Vladivostok date and time is 12 March 06:55, +12 hours ahead of GMT). We will need to find our ‘land legs’ after 7 days of train movement.

We are booked at a local hotel 500m from the station, we’ll probably walk that as exercise will be needed. We have booked the hotel rooms from the evening before arrival as there are no shower facilities on the train, plus we get breakfast and have somewhere to leave our bags. Hope to see the Russian pacific fleet while we are there and walk a little around the city.



13 March   13:30  -  fly Vladivostok to Kaohsiung City, Taiwan via Hong Kong, looking forward to seeing Hong Kong at night on take off.

13 March   20:25  -  arrive at Kaohsiung City, visit Taiwan with Ruth as our guide.



18 March am    -  train from Kaohsiung City to Taipei by high speed train



20 March   13:15  -  fly Taipei to Los Angeles (LAX) via Beijing, have to say a sad goodbye to Ruth



20 March   18:00  -  arrive in LAX to visit our friend Milton. We appear to have an arrival time 3 hours before we take off from Beijing, the wonders of technology.

We will make a visit to the LA science museum to see the Shuttle Endeavour, we’ll be escorted by Milton whose entire career was in rocket engines, so this could be a very memorable visit.



24 March   22:00  -  train from Los Angeles Union Station to New Orleans (NOL) on the Amtrak train the Sunset Limited, 2 days of pure bliss. Now re-scheduled to 20:00

Tickets for LA to NOL bought from Amtrak


Travelling in full service sleeper, 2 berth compartment including all meals. 

Milton is travelling north leaving on the same train but it splits and diverts north at San Antonio, Tx (SAS) heading for Chicago, this section of the train is the Texas Eagle, but we travel together for the first 24 hours.



26 March   21:40  -  arrive in NOL and make our way to the first hostel we have ever used, looking forward to that.



29 March   07:00  -  train from New Orleans to New York City (NYP – New York Penn Station) on the Amtrak train the Crescent.

Tickets for NOL to NYP bought from Amtrak


We really enjoy Greyhound buses but can’t use one for this journey, so we are travelling in Amtrak coach (standard but large individual seats) as the closest we can get with Amtrak.



30 March   13:46  -  arrive New York City at NYP. 

We may or may not meet up with more friends (Juanita and Bradley) here but are only in the city for about 10 hours so may not.

A visit to the Chrysler Building is our aim, we enjoyed NYC last year and will be pleased to walk around for a few hours again.

30 March   23:25  -  fly NYC to London via Lisbon



31 March   17:45  -  arrive London Heathrow.

Tube across London to Liverpool Street, commuter train back to Essex, we should have travelled all the way around the world?  


Edited by v v, 20 February 2017 - 06:54 PM.


#2 oregon pioneer

oregon pioneer

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,637 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:near Seneca, Oregon
  • Interests:Cross-country skiing, forestry, botany, solar power, gardening and food!

Posted 02 February 2017 - 05:11 PM

Oh my, it sounds absolutely wonderful! Looking forward to the trip report. I predict you will not go stir-crazy, but will really need some exercise. I'd love to know if a walk through the entire trans-Siberian train (all classes) is possible while moving, and hope for some photos.


Jennifer

 

I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.


#3 Barciur

Barciur

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 547 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lancaster, PA

Posted 03 February 2017 - 01:32 AM

This is a jaw-dropping, wonderful itienary. You've no clue how jealous I am. Fantastic, have an amazing time, maybe let us know how things are going on a little bit of downtime at hotels. :) And above all, have a very memorable journey!



#4 v v

v v

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 484 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK / France

Posted 03 February 2017 - 05:38 PM

Jennifer, walking through the whole train while moving sounds like a great idea, and it will be moving quite a lot of the time so will give it a go. If there any forbidden areas I'll never know as don't read Russian so there's hope, and will report back to you with the result.

 

A trip report will be written and there will be photos, but don't expect high standards please, it will be pretty basic.

 

Thanks Barciur, the closer it gets the more amazing it looks to us too. In reality it feels as though it's a dream and as though someone else is going and not us. We willingly give up an amount of stuff that most other people value to be able to travel, maybe many others do too, it's just our value judgement of what our life priorities are that we put most of our efforts into travel and meeting people.



#5 Carolyn Jane

Carolyn Jane

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 260 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Coastal GA

Posted 03 February 2017 - 11:04 PM

My sister feels for you.  She traveled from Moscow to Saratov via train in a four person compartment, with her daughter, son in law (who is Russian) and 19 m/o twins, one of whom is autistic (but he hadn't been diagnosed at that time).  Tea came in a glass with a fancy silver holder.  It resides on our kitchen windowsill.

 

For more of an adventure, you could have dropped down to the southern routs and backtracked to Ulan Ude and transferred to the Trans Mongolian Railroad to Beijing.  Since china uses a different guage, you would have a several hour pause at the Chinese border to have all of the bogies changed... CJ


Edited by Carolyn Jane, 03 February 2017 - 11:16 PM.


#6 v v

v v

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 484 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK / France

Posted 04 February 2017 - 07:26 AM

Feel for your sister Carolyn Jane, she must be adventurous

 

ps: the lure since children has always been going to Vladivostok as it always looked the most difficult place to get to.


Edited by v v, 04 February 2017 - 01:31 PM.


#7 caravanman

caravanman

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,766 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nottingham, England.
  • Interests:Open minded travel, in which the journey is often as interesting as the destination...

Posted 04 February 2017 - 08:26 PM

Excellent news that you have managed all the ticket purchasing... A shame that your first leg is by bus, but the longest journey starts with a small step.

 

You have pretty much defined that longest journey!

 

Bon Voyage,

 

Ed.



#8 Barciur

Barciur

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 547 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lancaster, PA

Posted 05 February 2017 - 02:09 PM

Considering you will be spending significant time in Russia, I would highly recommend learning some basic Russian phrases and the Russian alphabet along with some important words. From my experience, the conductors on the Ukrainian train from Poland to Kiev speak no English, and the same will be said for conductors on Ukraianian train to Russia. As for Rossiya train, this could also be the case, but who knows. ;) Not talking about learning the language, of course, but just some basic things to get by better. :)



#9 v v

v v

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 484 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK / France

Posted 05 February 2017 - 09:06 PM

We are trying Barciur but it's pretty difficult as you start with a new alphabet too it's quite testing. We do have a smaller phrase book covering many common phrases too so here's hoping.

 

We have visited Poland twice for short periods and was very surprised to find very few spoke German which often gets us by in central and some eastern European countries. Between us we'll have English, Chinese, French and German but we'll still be stumped most of the time. Rosie and Ruth have sweet smiles so maybe we'll rely on that a lot.

 

Have you looked up the google translation of the English 'hat' into Russian, it's quite rude.


Edited by v v, 17 February 2017 - 05:08 PM.


#10 SarahZ

SarahZ

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,812 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Michigan
  • Interests:Reading, writing, baking, local history, urban exploration, music, dancing, and looking for new adventures

Posted 05 February 2017 - 09:49 PM

That sounds incredible! I can't wait to see pictures.


Amtrak Miles: 39,318

 

Amtrak Routes: Blue Water, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Carl Sandburg, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Illinois Zephyr, Lincoln Service, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Wolverine

 

Metropolitan Rail: Chicago Metra, Chicago L, Dallas TRE, Detroit People Mover, New Orleans RTA, San Francisco MUNI, Seattle Monorail, South Shore Line (NICTD), Toronto Subway & RT, Washington DC Metro


#11 Gemuser

Gemuser

    Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 81 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney, Australia
  • Interests:Planes, trains & computers.

Posted 17 February 2017 - 06:22 AM

Hope to see the Russian pacific fleet while we are there and walk a little around the city.

 

We were told when we were there in 2012 that the Pacific Fleet was now based "up the coast" and only the training fleet was still in Vladivostok, that was part of why the city was now open to foreigners and Russian without special permits.

 

The training fleet was about 10 -12 ships roughly the size of the old RAN Daring class destroyers. [not saying they were anything like them, just that they were about that size].

 

About walking, it is a very hilly city, be careful not to over exert yourselfs after all that time on the train.

 

Allen


Edited by Gemuser, 17 February 2017 - 06:24 AM.


#12 Long Train Runnin'

Long Train Runnin'

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,239 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Jersey

Posted 17 February 2017 - 10:17 AM

Considering you will be spending significant time in Russia, I would highly recommend learning some basic Russian phrases and the Russian alphabet along with some important words. From my experience, the conductors on the Ukrainian train from Poland to Kiev speak no English, and the same will be said for conductors on Ukraianian train to Russia. As for Rossiya train, this could also be the case, but who knows. ;) Not talking about learning the language, of course, but just some basic things to get by better. :)

 

Yeah I would agree. I was pretty surprised that I couldn't find anyone in the Kiev rail station that spoke English working at the counters. Luckily I knew to buy Metro tokens you could simply hold up 2 fingers and they would sell you two tokens. 

 

This trip sounds absolutely incredible looking forward to hearing more about it as it progresses. If you are interested in such obscure things in Kiev on line 1 there is now a metro station deeper then those found in Pyongyang, so if that is the kind of obscure bucket list items that appeals to you be sure to not miss it. A ride on the subway costs less then $0.02. 


41,175 Miles on Amtrak in 43 states. 
Routes Traveled: Acela Express, Adirondack, Amtrak Cascades, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, Carolinian, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Downeaster, Empire Builder, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Hiawatha, Keystone Corridor, Lake Shore Limited, Northeast Regional, Maple Leaf, Missouri River Runner, Pacific Surfliner, Pennsylvanian, Silver Meteor, Southwest Chief, Springfield Shuttles, Texas Eagle, Vermonter.

#13 v v

v v

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 484 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK / France

Posted 17 February 2017 - 03:34 PM

Hopefully here is a Word attachment of the Trans Siberian complete schedule for the 5 March 2017, it is compiled from two timetables. The main data is from RZD Russian State Railways, the kilometres distance from Moscow was from a separate timetable which didn't include the departure time but did include the distance.

Attached Files


Edited by v v, 17 February 2017 - 03:35 PM.


#14 v v

v v

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 484 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK / France

Posted 17 February 2017 - 05:25 PM

Allen, how did you get on with photography in public places in Russia? I've heard that Russia is pretty relaxed about that now? Getting to Vladivostok is the goal, by train so much better or put another way, we wouldn't go if we couldn't arrive by train. If we see some good things when we are there then that's a big bonus and even a training fleet will make me very happy, thanks for the all the tips.

 

LTR, we're trying to pick up some Russian language but for all three of us it's proving difficult. We'll pay special attention to metro ticket purchase before we go, also have to collect our Kyiv to Moskva sleeper tickets from the station too so that may be an adventure. Do you know which particular metro station on line 1 is the deepest, that's exactly the sort of thing that's great to hear about.

 

May I ask what you thought about Kiev in general and what was your highlight ? and thanks too.



#15 Gemuser

Gemuser

    Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 81 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney, Australia
  • Interests:Planes, trains & computers.

Posted 17 February 2017 - 05:43 PM

No problems what so ever with photography anywhere, except inside the Hermitage in St Petersburg where we did buy a photo permit but some items were still off limits and I didn't notice the small sign. Otherwise it was fine, we were advised not to photograph police, military or security guards and the like, so we didn't.

 

One other tip, in case nobody has mentioned it. The platforms in Vladivostok are about 2 floors below the station, in the open, and you have to carry your luggage up a very long flight of stairs to get to the station building so pack appropriately. 

 

Allen



#16 v v

v v

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 484 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK / France

Posted 17 February 2017 - 06:12 PM

That must catch some people out Allen, as you say after 7 days of sitting it will feel like a slog to anyone.

 

We have intended to travel very light and food and drink for the Trans Sib will all be gone. We're sticking to 2 small (aircraft cabin size) pieces of luggage each and leaving our larger case behind. The biggest problem is going from a cool UK to a colder continental Europe to a cold Moscow and a much colder Siberia, then to a warm southern Taiwan and southern California and New Orleans. Then maybe ending up in a cold? New York City at the end of March. But of course we'll manage.


Edited by v v, 17 February 2017 - 06:14 PM.


#17 v v

v v

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 484 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK / France

Posted 26 February 2017 - 11:13 PM

Attached File  IMG-20170226-00207.jpg   112.35KB   16 downloads

 

So our journey starts outside a wet and chilly Shenfield Station just about to board a very nice bus to Liverpool Street Station in central London, 23:46 on the 26 February, and of course the unexpected is around the corner.

We are on a late night commuter replacement bus as no trains running this weekend and we are the only people with baggage. The driver asks where we are off to, Rosie replies to Vladivostok by train starting with your bus. From there we'll carry on going until we get back to this very spot.

He then asks, did you buy a Rail Pass so you can travel all over, no they are individual tickets as it's a bit complicated. Driver - my sister bought a Rail Pass once, think it was for 2 or 3 months but she was away for a long time. Me - how long was she away for? Oh 16 years...

 

Get to a deserted Liverpool Street station, find our next bus a N205 London night bus to St Pancras International.

 

Photo of the start, outside Shenfield station   


Edited by v v, 26 February 2017 - 11:29 PM.


#18 Tony in Ann Arbor

Tony in Ann Arbor

    Train Attendant

  • Newbie
  • Pip
  • 14 posts

Posted 27 February 2017 - 12:50 AM

Best wishes as you begin a fantastic trip.

 

Tony



#19 Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15,306 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Austin Texas
  • Interests:Passenger Trains/Travel/Sports(except Soccer)/Government-Politics/Reading/Old Buildings
    Movies/Music/Unicorns and Ancient Aliens!

Posted 27 February 2017 - 09:13 AM

Bon voyage! Looking forward to sharing your adventures from my armchair!😎
 
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#20 oregon pioneer

oregon pioneer

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,637 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:near Seneca, Oregon
  • Interests:Cross-country skiing, forestry, botany, solar power, gardening and food!

Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:53 PM

Bon voyage! Looking forward to sharing your adventures from my armchair!

 

Me too, I am so jealous, following you on AU is the next best thing to going!


Jennifer

 

I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users