To Ulan-Ude

Ulan Ude (Russia), 02.10.2013

Driving a thousand km a day today finally showed some effect, since weather and landscape kept changing several times, creating a very welcome variety throughout the day. I left the trucker motel in the middle of nowhere as the sun rose behind the forest on the hill to the east. Temperature was below zero and the road covered with frost. The first two hours it dropped to -6, the road was a white line across a brown and grey winter landscape. Continue reading “To Ulan-Ude”

Endless Forests, Vast Skies

53 16′ 42″N 118 34′ 26″E (Russia), 01.10.2013

Today it is 5,5 months since the beginning of this journey, and it feels like seasons are wreaking havoc. Two weeks ago it was summer in Polynesia, a few days ago I left Vladivostok in autumn, and today winter started in the middle of nowhere in Siberia. I left Blagoveshchensk at 08:40 with 6 degrees, the highest temperature of the day. Before hitting the road I checked the riverside right in front of the hotel. On the other shore began China, but apart from some high rises there wasn’t much to see. Far more interesting were the tsarist buildings on the Russian side, incl. a statue of what I guessed was a military commander and explorer of this remote area. Seeing this man in his elegant uniform and moustache, I wondered how it must have been to discover this remote wilderness, thousands of km away from the civilisation of Moscow or St. Petersburg, with its adverse climate and vast spaces and without all the modern amenities and technology we have today.

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Along the Amur

Blagoveshchensk (Russia), 29.09.2013

The first day on the road through Russia’s Far East went so easy that it was likely to be a tough second day. I overslept in the morning, but made it on the road by 10:00 starting off with a quick daylight tour through the center of Khabarovsk. The town must have been a small charming outpost in the middle of nowhere a long time ago, in tsarist times. Through the morning traffic I made it to the main highway pretty quickly, and after turning west that stayed my direction for the rest of the day. I crossed the Amur river, that just some weeks ago had flooded vast areas around here, but now flowed peaceful under a long iron bridge reflecting the morning’s sunshine and the deep blue sky.

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