Now please don’t be disappointed: You’re only invited to join us on our trip with the Trans-Siberian train online. You’d be too late to get all visas now anyway.Before you set out with us – that’s my brother Lucas and guess what, me – on our first holiday together, some boarding information.
Moscow to Hong Kong by train
First, our schedule and route: Lucas and I are going to travel for three weeks, starting on August 19. We’re going to take the Trans-Sib from Moscow to Lake Baikal, which means spending more than three full days on a train. That’s already pretty cool but by far not all. After that, we’re boarding the train to the Chinese coast crossing through Mongolia, obviously with a stop in Ulan Bator. In China, we’re going to visit Beijing, Shanghai and eventually Hong Kong. We plan to travel by train between these cities as well. From Hong Kong, we’re flying back to Berlin – with a just long enough layover in Bangkok…
That’s at least our plan. To safe money and make everything a bit more exciting, I haven’t booked most of our train tickets yet. While still in Germany, that would’ve been only possible through websites that add a horrendous surcharge to the actual ticket price. In any case, we should make it to the Lake Baikal. From then on, we’ll see if our attempt to travel as cheaply as possible will pay off.
Why this route?
Actually, the Trans-Siberian Railway has been on our to-do lists for many years now. Like most good ideas, it began as a joke. Lucas chose Russian as his second foreign language at school – and not French. I thought his decision very peculiar and struggled to see any sense in it. But finally, I succeeded: “Alright, so we’re going to take the Trans-Sib through Russia and you’ll translate everything.” Lucas agreed and thus, received my permission not to learn French. However, he’s certainly still regretting his choice. (Lucas says: “No.”)
That conversation took place more than seven years ago. And now, we both have the surreal combination of almost enough money and almost enough time to make the Trans-Sib adventure happen. But whenever I’m asked to organise a holiday, one crazy idea leads to another – and shortly after, Mongolia and China had sneaked into the plan as well. It seemed natural.
Liberté, inégalité, fraternité
If you’ve found your way to this blog, it’s likely that you know me. My “little” (well, younger) brother probably not. As a general rule: If one assumes that everyone has a certain amount of things in common with every other person and one would average all these amounts, Lucas and I would have an intersection of similarities that’s substandard. Sounds a bit too much like social science meets maths? The table will hopefully illustrate my point.
|Surname||Juuu, same one!|
|Languages||English, Russian, sarcasm|
Basics in German
|English, French, Portuguese
Basics in Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Māori
|Bathroom morning routine||Takes at least 30 minutes||Takes at most 15 minutes|
|Visits to Russia||1||0|
|Social Media skills||Snapchatting digital native (see photo)||Learning on the job…|
|Food||"I like asparagus rolled in bacon garnished with a steak."||"I like sautéed green asparagus with strawberries."
|Sports||Plays basketball since forever, soon-to-be sports economist, works in a gym, trains in a gym, probably lives in a gym.||"I stopped running by the forest in the morning. I don't want hunters to mistake me for deer due to my elegance."
Nah, jokes aside:
Marathon finisher with eccentric running style and highly engaged world cup watcher (football and rugby)
|Alcohol||Sobriety, for fitness reasons||I work in media|
|Music taste||Hip Hop, House and that Gangsta rap||Indie, Alternative Rock and that Mozart|
|Fashion style||"Tommy [Hilfiger, Ed. note] is a cool boy!"||Berlin flea markets|