Archive for Travel

Overnight: The Trans-Siberian Railway

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

TransSiberianRailwayMapw355h222 I would *love* to take the Trans-Siberian Railway sometime! The map above is from wikitravel.org. From their page - preparing for the trip:

  • Packing the following items is recommended for any lengthy journey on the Trans-Siberian railway
  • Pocket knife For slicing up bread and vegetables you can buy from the sellers at major stops
  • Cutlery Instant noodles, or its Russian version - instant potatoes, become essential snacks for most travellers, since each carriage is equipped with boiling water from the Samovar, unfortunately they often come without the usual plastic fork or spoon.
  • Perfumed wet tissues/baby wipes/wet wipes These little things can do wonders for your personal hygiene.
  • Head lamp On these long journeys (through 8 time zones), it often turns out that Einstein indeed was right - time does become relative. So bring a headlamp for reading when others want to slumber.
  • Flip-flops or other slip on footwear, for your days on the train
  • Deck of cards or other easily explained games are great for socializing with your fellow travelers, and making the long hours spent on the train immensely more enjoyable. Bring a deck of 5 Crowns for this is a favourite in Russia. If you are a chess player, by all means bring a little chess set - the game is really very popular in Russia.
  • Pictures of your home, country and family and a phrasebook with a conversation section (Lonely Planet's phrasebook is a good one) can work surprisingly well, since you'll have nothing but time to overcome the language gap. Many Russians tend to be curious about foreigners once the initial suspicion dies down, since they don't normally meet many - even these days. Recommended: make a list of vocabulary and study it in the train!

Paul Theroux has a great description of his Trans-Siberian trip in The Great Railway Bazaar

This video is a documentary about the building of the railway:

This video is of a private train which makes the long, long trip.

From YouTube:

The epic Private Train Journey on the world's most famous Railway
Further Information: http://www.transsiberian-travel.com
Over 25 years of experience - More than 30,000 satisfied guests.

Director Michael Altenhenne has captured the journey on the Transsiberian by Private Train with his camera in a virtuoso manner. His impressions of Russia, Mongolia and China are perfect to lose oneself in the yearning for or maybe even one's own memories of the last genuine adventure trip on earth. The unique atmosphere onboard the comfortable private train, the sublime mood of the travellers and the natural and cultural wonders en route unfold their irresistible charm in this excellent documentary.

Filmmaker: Michael Altenhenne (http://www.visionloft.de)

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Overnight: Rick Steves: San Marino

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

San Marino

I love Italy and have been there often but I have never stopped by to see the Republic of San Marino. Rick Steves has been there and this is his short film about the mini-country.

Here's the wiki if you'd like to know more: San Marino.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Overnight: The Trans-Siberian Railway

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Overnight Trans Siberian Railway

I've read about the Trans-Siberian Railway a number of times, most notably in The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux. Before this documentary, I had never seen aerial footage of the route nor understood what a monumental undertaking it was.

From the 'About' information on YouTube:

For those who travel for the pleasure of the journey, those who believe that getting there is as much fun as being there, Russia's Trans-Siberian Railway has long been an almost mythic experience. It is the longest continuous rail line on earth, each run clattering along in an epic journey of almost six thousand miles (or about ten thousand kilometers) over one third of the globe. For most of its history, the Trans-Siberian journey has been an experience of almost continuous movement, seven days or more of unabated train travel through the vast expanse of Russia. A great part of the pleasure of such a trip is simply sitting back and watching the land go by. However, most travelers on the Trans-Siberian find that interaction with other passengers, both Russians and tourists, is what makes the trip an unforgettable experience. Today, with far fewer travel restrictions, it is possible to use the rail journey as the core of a more varied tour. Travelers can enjoy stopovers in many of the Russian cities and towns along the route, from the historic Volga port of Yaroslavl to Irkutsk and the scenic Lake Baikal region.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

The Book Booth: Mothers Day Edition

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

book

The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. SeattleDan, along with his wife, SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore, as well a brick and mortar in small town Washington State. Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

A Happy Mothers Day to all our fine readers. Either you are a mother or you have a mother, (or both) and fine reasons for celebration. And, remember, books make great gifts for moms everywhere.

We are still observing the 450th birthday of the Bard of Avon and recently The Millions asked five Shakespeare experts what they thought was his greatest play. The scholars came up with some interesting answers and make compelling arguments for their choices. They are all wrong, of course. Not one picked The Tempest, Shakespeare's most mature and poetic play. You can find the expert choices here.

It is May and while the Derby has already been run, the Preakness and Belmont are coming up. Mothers Day is Sunday. Memorial Day isn't too far ahead. So you might want to start making your Summer vacation travel plans. With the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Grapes of Wrath, you may want to consider Steinbeck country. Monterey is a beautiful locale and there is much to see there. (HT to Lucian for finding this one).

If travel sparks the imagination, perhaps you may want to read about some adventurous travelers. Mary Miller at Publishers Weekly listed her favorite road novels and, oddly, Kerouac doesn't make the list. L. Frank Baum does.

Visiting foreign lands has its intrigue as well and perhaps there is no more intriguing city in Europe than Berlin. Rory MacLean recently offered his top ten Berliners in literature over at the Guardian.

Of course London can be quite lovely this time of year and Buzzfeed has twelve literary locales book lovers will enjoy.

If armchair travels into the past is your cup of tea, you wont need Wells' time machine to do so. Here are some suggestions from the Telegraph and its top 15 great works of Classical literature.

If you've been thinking of venturing into the realm of graphic novels, Brie Hiramine at Flavorwire believes these 25 titles to be essential. I haven't read all these myself, but I do highly recommend Persepolis, V for Vendetta and Maus, all richly imagined and well worth your time.

Ah, the aroma of old books! Here are some great quotes about being surrounded by musty volumes of lore and wisdom.

The New York Times Book Review recently took on the question of whether literary critics could make good novelists as well. It is an interesting question and I have no firm opinion myself. Susan Sontag's name comes up in both responses and while I admire her fiction, I do tend to remember her criticism with more admiration.

Sadly the news came this week of the passing of the splendid Canadian author Farley Mowat at age 92. His Never Cry Wolf had a profound influence on my attitudes about nature (and nature writing). The CBC has this remembrance.

A Happy Mothers Day to everyone. I will remember my mother who was a voracious reader and nurtured my love of books and reading this weekend. Please let us know what books you've got piled up and are enjoying!

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Mid-Day Links

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare
links

Image:BBC

Living in: The world’s top coffee cities

Three Americans killed in Kabul hospital attack

Is music really all about sex?

Earworms: Why catchy tunes get trapped in our heads

Michigan GOP Candidate Terry Lynn Land: 'Obamacare' Is The Real War On Women

The islands where foxes fly

The Founding Fathers Risked Their Lives so Pastors Could Meddle in Politics?

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Overnight: Canada - Montreal

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Canada

I have been to other parts of Canada, east and west, several times but for some reason, never to Montreal, so I thought I'd familiarize myself with the city via this documentary:

From the 'About' section on YouTube:

Documentary about life in the city of Montréal and stuff to do as a visitor.
The broadcast version will be longer, to fill a one-hour slot, and will be voiced by a professional voice-over announcer./
Documentaire sur la vie dans la ville de Montréal et d'autres choses à faire en tant que visiteur.
La version diffusée sera plus, pour remplir une slot d'une heure, et sera exprimée par un animateur professionnel
D-I-T-O Productions of Toronto/Productions Numérique de Montréal

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Overnight: Drivelapse Route 66 - 9,000 Mile Road Trip Across America

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Route 66

Get your kicks on Route 66.

I would love to drive across the US again (I have several times but it's been a while). Defrees Productions has done it for me - twice.

From the 'About' information on YouTube:

USA Cross-Country Route 66 Roadtrip Map, Data, Summary, Photos, Equipment Used:
http://www.defreesproductions.com/roa...

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare