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June 6th 2009
Published: June 12th 2009
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Final stop: OetrangeFinal stop: OetrangeFinal stop: Oetrange

As close to home as I can get by rail
And so, two months after getting onto a train in Beijing, I got off one in Luxembourg. As easy as that really.

That brings me to the end of my Silk Road journey. The Silk Road of course never was one road, but a network of trade routes, that criss-crossed their way across Asia between Europe and China and branched off to Persia and India. Most people at the time would also never have travelled all the way, but rather just a portion of the route before passing on their goods to the next trader. Neither was my own route necessarily the most commonly travelled Silk Road - for one I don't suppose that Luxembourg was a popular terminus. But, in aiming to stay roughly on the 40 latitude, it has certainly been an outstanding trip!

It also brings me to the end of this blog - thanks for reading, and thank you for all your messages and comments, they brought a big smile to my face in the depths of central Asia and beyond. Now that I no longer have to rely on dodgy computers in internet cafes I will be able to start sending you normal emails again.

Finally, here is the trip in numbers, in the style of the once-upon-a-time Observer Magazine Index:

11 - number of countries visited

5 - number of visas needed

2 - number of seas crossed

18.8 - weight, in kg, of my backpack

61 - number of days on the road

15,000 - approximate number of kilometers travelled

277.5 - total number of hours spent on trains, busses, cars, boats, trucks and mashrutkas

11.5 - equivalent in days spent on means of transport

15 - number of hours it would have taken me by plane

20 - number of minutes spent together with five other passengers plus the driver in a small Kia taxi squashed up against the window pane driving from the Georgian-Turkish border post to the nearest town

20 - number of minutes I could have done without that experience

890.91 - total cost, in Euros, of transport from Beijing to Luxembourg

882.38 - cost, in Euros, of the cheapest single flight from Beijing to Luxembourg in economy class on 9 June 2009 (according to

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..and mother!..and mother!
..and mother!

I'm not really trying to high-five my mum, it just looks like that in the picture.

12th June 2009

Well done Julian! Thanks for including the wonderful city of Lausanne in your packed travel agenda! Take care and enjoy being spoilt by your Mam! xx
13th June 2009

Welcome home! I have enjoyed following you on your journey. I know how difficult it is to keep a blog up under such primitive conditions, but hope your first thoughts were on the experience and not on recording them for us.
13th July 2009

Bravo Julian ! Il ne te reste plus qu'à écrire toutes tes aventures en détails car ça m'intrigue vraiment. Si ta route devait une fois croiser celle de Lausanne sache qu'un lit ainsi que la pension complète te sera offerte avec grand plaisir en échange du récit de ton voyage. ;-) bon vent ! Carole
17th October 2010

Silk Road
Julian, you could have saved almost eight euros by flying!

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