Blogs from Vladivostok, Far East, Russia, Europe


Europe » Russia » Far East » Vladivostok July 3rd 2020

Russia has eleven time zones, and I crossed EIGHT of them on the Trans-Siberian Railway. The time difference between Vladivostok, where I boarded the TSR, and Moscow is SEVEN hours. It is a mere 6152 miles from Vladivostok to Moscow, and I rode every single one of those miles or kilometers. It is normally a six- or seven-day trip, depending on the schedule. So, the problem is quite simple. The train runs on Moscow time, but we tend to eat and sleep, based on local time. My solution was to carry or wear two watches. But I still had problems, as I will share below. Speaking of times zones, why do we have them? Time zones are a relatively modern invention. J. Griggs from Travel Trivia: Just like the more recent advent of the internet, time ... read more
How many time zones??
Starting the TSR in Vladivostok

Europe » Russia » Far East » Vladivostok June 3rd 2020

Many of you ask how I travel, mostly solo these days. Sheri and Mike seem to mastered the couch potato movement in all of its pandemic glory. But for me, I would rather go, like Eddie Aikau, only I translate it to "Gerry would go." Many of you ask about how I go about making these trips. Some are set in stone before I go, some are done "on the fly" when visiting new and unknown places. And some are combinations, with only a round trip flight sandwiching the lack of a set itinerary. As I have gotten older, hopefully, aged somewhat gracefully, the great unknown has become more challenging. I don't seem to have the stamina for more than three weeks on the road. And I do not pack as much into each day as ... read more
Alone at St. Basil's
With Mr. Willie at Ngorongoro

Europe » Russia » Far East » Vladivostok May 4th 2020

What do we really know about US time zones? When you run a railroad, you need to maintain a schedule, and that works a whole lot better when everyone agrees on what time it is — including stations in far-flung locations and, crucially, other railroad companies that are making schedules for trains on the same tracks you're using. That's why railroads led the charge when Britain got its towns and cities on the same clock by the 1840s, and it's why the same thing happened in the United States about 40 years later. U.S. railroads got together in the 1880s and came up with a plan to divide the country into time zones and synchronize official clocks according to those divisions. The plan created the Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific time zones that we still ... read more
Eleven Time zones
How many clocks?

Europe » Russia » Far East » Vladivostok September 7th 2019

8-21-2019 At sea Hom nay tau di tren Sea of Japan de den Vladivostok, Russia. 8-22-2019 Vladivostok, Russia 60F Day la thanh pho cua Nga va duoc thanh lap nam 1860 co 604,000 nguoi song tai day, cach Moscow 9,000km. La The Easternmost Russian City. La thu do cua Primorsky rai, Russia. Cach bien gioi cua North Korea va China khong xa khoang 515 km va cach Japan khoang 775km. Thanh pho nay co sea Port lon nhat Russia Pacific coast. Truoc kia vung dat nay la cua China duoi thoi Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming, Qing…truoc khi thuoc ve Nhat do hiep uoc Beijing Treaty nam 1860 duoi thoi Qing China. Khi tau thua tran chien Bach Phien Opium war voi Anh roi thi Tau khong the giu Vladivostok ma luc do ten la Haishenwai va ... read more

Europe » Russia » Far East » Vladivostok September 7th 2019

8-24-2019 Korsakov, Sakhalin Island, Russia 61F Korsakov la thu do cua Korsakovsky District. Nam phia Nam cuoi cung cua dao Sakhalin. Co 33,000 dan song o day. Sakhalin la dao lon nhat nuoc Nga co 500,000 dan mat do la 8 nguoi/km2. Sakhalin la noi tranh chap lau dai giua Nga va Nhat vi o day co nhieu dau lua. Co nhieu bo lac song tren dao nay. Vao the ky 17th ca Nga va Nhat muon chiem dao nay de roi dao nay duoc chia lam 2, phia Bac thuoc Nga phia Nam thuoc Nhat, Truoc do, Tu nam 1790 vung nay thuoc Nga chiem dong. Den chien tranh Russo-Japanese War nam 1904, 1905 trong tran chien Korsakov nam 1904 va 1905 Nhat chiem toan dao Sakhalin trong do ca vung Korsakov nam phia Nam ... read more

Europe » Russia » Far East » Vladivostok January 9th 2018

As of today, January 2, 2018, forty of our fifty states are under a severe weather warning. Here are a few cold places I have visited: Vladivostok is in url=’s Far East, near the country’s border with China. Average January temperatures reach url= read more
Poor puppies!
Ice bath?
Cold bike ride, or just crazy?

Europe » Russia » Far East » Vladivostok March 12th 2017

Дoбpый дeнь (Dobri dyen) Good day. Education is light. The lack of it is darkness. Russian Proverb. The Provodnitsa (attendant) is the boss. She’ll ensure that all will be well and that all will comply. Resistance is futile. She must be obeyed… Our favourite Provodnitsa was during our first-class train trip from Khabarovsk to Vladivostok. She was our travel mom, our carriage attendant, she checked on us, gave us food and towels. She even told Theresa to get her shoes off the bed, keeping with the standards of first class travel and first class riders. Behave or be disciplined. And never stare her in the eyes! Riding first class is the way to go. We had our own comfortable cabin for our train rides as we trundled across Siberia. Many an hour was spent looking out ... read more
Big guns
Decemberists Museum
Crumbling sidewalks

Europe » Russia » Far East » Vladivostok September 2nd 2016

So, I decided to add up the miles I have traveled by rail, including three trips across the U.S., and a trip across the Russia (one third of the earth's surface). The fascination with riding the rails began quite by accident. Somewhere, somebody gave me the idea that riding the passenger rails would be a great experience. They were right! My first trip cross country on Amtrak was the California Zephyr, from Chicago to Martinez, CA. Total time was close to 51 hours. The mileage was 2379 miles. It was relaxing and enjoyable, and I met many interesting people. Just for contrast, the Tour de France cycling race usually covers 2,276 miles. My second cross country trip was the Sunset Limited, from Los Angeles to New Orleans for Super Bowl 47. The total time was 48 ... read more
This is a first class berth
And a first class hallway

Europe » Russia » Far East » Vladivostok August 4th 2014

I met Grigori in a hostel in Vladivostok(far east of Russia). Actually i was planning to start my hitchhike trip from Vladivostok to the west but i had not so much hitchhike experience in far east of Siberia till i met Grigori. Grigori had lot of hitchhike experience. So special about him was that he always hitchhiked and traveled without money (He maked distance of 10.000km hitchhiking without money)! So after i asked him to hitchhike together to Khabarovsk 870km far from Vladivovstok. After that time our adventure was started. By the way Grigori didn't know any word of English in Vladivostok. (some guys on the hostel helped us with translate). After a week he started to speek with some basic english words and sencences:) We started our hitchhike trip in Vladivostok to Khabarovsk 870km. It ... read more
Having a break

Europe » Russia » Far East » Vladivostok July 7th 2014

Aeroflot's reputation is far from glowing but I found there food to be excellent at least. As usually I had one of those people who insist on reclining their seats within minutes of the aircraft taking off so the 8hr flight was far from comfortable. When we arrived at the airport all factors conspired to ensure we missed the 9am train ro the city, the baggage took an eternity to come out, then it took ages to get past baggage control and then the persistently bored looking and unhelpful stsff ensured we would miss the train my just moments. In Russia air travellers appear to ho to extremes in wrapping their luggage in plastic, it was only later when I found one of my locks damaged that I understood why, they also have that annoying habit ... read more
The eternal flame
The train station

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