Thursday, 20 February 2014

The end of the line.. Beijing, China.

The end of the line .. Beijing 
our journey on the Transmongolian train ends in Beijing.
29th December 2013 

Once again we found our selfs on the move as we prepared for an early 6.35 am start, the last leg of our Transmongolian journey.
So far we have travelled from London to Russia.  St Petersburg, Moscow then four days by train to Irkutsk, then Ulan Uda, Siberia then to Ulan Batar, Mongolia and now we are off to Beijing.

This time we only had a day and a half on the train. It felt far to short just as we relaxed we had to get of.   While the main train was Russian and had come all the way from Moscow we were now connected at first to a
mongolian dinner car then in the evening to a Chinese dinner car as we made our way into china.

Chinese dinner car

The Chinese attendants were  enamoured with our kids and took lots of photos,  (after they had asked the kids). We were given free breakfast and  diner tickets for the Chinese car by them :-). So along with  picnic nibbles we settled down comfortably with our  Ghenggis vodka and enjoyed the landscape.

The surrounding scenery changed quite considerably on this last leg, it  went from Mongolian rolling steppe to villages with mix of houses and ger tents dotted thought out the landscape  and large busy towns before we hit the flat Gobi Desert. 

Around 11 pm we had the fun of 3 hour formalities of the border crossing and bogie changing ( we decided to stay on the train, the change over was very smooth) The toilets closed at this point for up to 4 hours or more. ( toilets close half hour before and after arriving in stations, due to all waste being flushed on to the tracks)
and then we were into China ....
Between the Mongolian and China border we arrived and moved into a large covered building where the bogies were then changed. Along with border control and passport inspection it took about 3/4 hours in total.

We awoke to views of heavily eroded hills with gullies cutting the hillside, and not much vegetation. I guess it looked more barren in winter as there were some empty fields and unoccupied green houses. wind turbines could be seen  in Mongolia and quite a few across in the north of China. ( Andy now very happy )

We shared our carriage with a wide range of nationalities,  many of whom had been on the train for the last 7 days from Moscow. At each stop they would throw on their coats complain about the cold and leap out of the train for a quick leg stretch and photo moment. I felt a little sorry for them missing out on all the wonderful sites and experiences one could have away from the train tracks.

 I would recommend to anyone if you can, wait till you have 3 weeks to a month free before travelling on the Transiberian/Mongolian trains because you miss so much by doing it in 7 days!  ..Yet it is still a journey of a life time,  either way. luckily on this particular train they had showers. :-) 

The first of Beijing high rises.
we have arrived 

At last our journey has come to an end on the Transmongolian trains. We arrived in Chine feeling both exhilarated and a little sad.  .....This is the legendary, the pride of Russian Federation, and the longest railway in the world covering 2 continents and 8 time zones......A total distance of 7900 kilometres by rail from St Petersburg, Russia to Beijing. and we did!

As one adventure finishes another starts. 

with love from the Transmongolian trains xx 

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