Jetting off on an adventure is the perfect way to broaden your horizons, learn more about the world, and uncover parts of yourself that you never knew existed. While travel might seem to be all about the destination, there is a lot to be said about the process of actually getting there. Looking to alternative methods of travel is one of the best ways of upping the adventure, and when it comes to methods of transportation, there are few means quite as good as train travel. Incorporating this enjoyable travel time into your trip can help you get even more enjoyment out of your stay and learn a whole lot more.
For years, the Trans-Siberian railway has been held up as a stalwart example of train travel, helping the most adventurous get up close and personal with some of the wildest parts of the world. Spanning 6,000 miles and taking in countless stretches of landscape, the trip is unlike any other experience in commuting.
The cabin is your home away from home, so making it your own is a must in order to stay comfortable. Acting as both resting place and viewing point, your train cabin will bring you closer to some of the most incredible spots on the trip, so make sure you have your camera at hand. Over the course of the trip, the train will stop at any number of smaller destinations, allowing for a taste of local life in any given region. Disembarking to explore will only enrich your trip, so don’t be afraid of exploring the smaller towns on the way, no matter how unknown they are.
Of course, there are a number of sights that you simply have to make a part of your itinerary if you want to make the most out of the journey. If you’re in it for the long haul, you have a number of opportunities to really get to know Russia. While the city of Kazan does veer away from the Trans-Siberian route somewhat, it is well worth a visit if you can get there. The one thousand year old city is packed to the rafters with cultural gems. The local kremlin is well worth a visit, having been named as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Get off the train, stretch your legs, and spend a few hours traversing the sights.
Next on the journey is the city of Yekaterinburg, better known as the place in which Nicholas II and his family were murdered by revolters. If Russian history is your thing, the place is well worth a visit, containing a number of holy chapels to mark the brutal events that once took place there. Don’t expect your usual textbook tribute, either; the chapels go into personal detail, making the experience all the more moving.
If nature is what you’re really interested in, the Trans-Siberian railway will serve you particularly well. Making a stop at the magnificent Lake Baikal, the largest lake in the world, is a must, especially after you’ve been on the train for a few days. Irkutsk is a great starting point for natural sights, letting you get up close and personal with a breathtaking landscape. If you have a bit of time on your hands, try planning a three-day trip in the area, which will allow enough time to take in the lake’s system of islands on the way.
As you approach the border with Mongolia, it’s worth stopping off at Ulan-Ude, the home of Russia’s largest indigenous population. Museums in the area are well worth a look, but you simply must stick around for the sunset. Take your walking boots and hike up to one of the city’s high points. The view is spectacular, quite unlike anything you might have seen before.
While you might feel a little lost when you first board the train, you will soon begin to feel at ease. Building yourself a daily routine is a great way to make the adventure a little easier, helping you to adapt to the way of life. Having destination points in mind before you go can allow you to approach the experience with a better sense of confidence, and ultimately make the most of the journey.