Our Trans-Siberian trip: Traveling from Beijing to Paris, by train #Travel#alternative transportation#Germany#travel#vacations August 13 2014 | Offbeat Editors offbeatbride At the station on day one, with thousands of kilometres in front of us. Travelers: Jo and Myles Type: International train travel Budget: ALL-OUT! ($10,000+) Where did you go? I have wanted to do the Trans-Siberian trip for ten years, so it was well and truly time! We started in Beijing, China and did the Trans-Siberian Railway. So we travelled by train through Mongolia and Russia, then went to Finland, Denmark, Germany, and France, flying back to Australia from Paris. We were happy to start in China and go through Mongolia, but the main part of the trip for us was always Russia. We even took Russian classes before we left, which were invaluable. Just being able to recognize the Cyrillic characters was a huge help. Lake Baikal After we left St. Petersburg we had two and half weeks left, in which we visited with quite a few good friends in Copenhagen, Germany, and France. Some we had seen in the last year or two, but I hadn't seen my extended German family for more than six years so that was amazing — plus I even realized I could still speak enough German to get by! The Great Wall What did you do? We hiked at Lake Baikal (the world's deepest freshwater lake!). Climbed the Great Wall. Rode horses in Mongolia. St. Basil's and the Red Square. And lots more of the usual tourist stuff in Russia, like visiting St. Basil's cathedral in Moscow, and walking around St. Petersburg at midnight enjoying the white nights. We had the tour organized before we left. We usually travel pretty independently so this was new for us, but we had a lot of free time, and weren't with a group. It was great to be collected from each train station and taken to our hotel instead of making our own way to our accommodation. Hanging out in our compartment. We also spent a lot of hours on many trains. Most were awesome but there was one 48-hour train trip with no air conditioning! We relaxed on board, read a few books, chatted with our carriage mates and enjoyed sitting still for a bit after wedding planning! We also packed a lot of tea and they always have hot water on board so we were never too far from a cup of tea. Copenhagen beach – Lunch in the Alps – The Alps – Versailles – Paris at night – Macaroons What would you have done differently? We worked hard on our Russian, but a little French wouldn't have gone astray in France as well — if we had had time I would have liked to at least listen to a language tape! Suomenlinna Island, Finland What's your best travel advice for other offbeat honeymooners? Don't get sick if you have less than 24 hours in a country — you won't enjoy an amazing country! But, if you are going to be sick on this particular trip, and your Russian isn't very good, it's not too bad to be sick in Helsinki, as the Finns speak fabulous English! I usually don't mind muddling through with language, but in a pharmacy, you just want to know things are understood! Also, download some language learning apps! Enough talk! Show me all the awesome vacation photos. Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS I never thought an abusive relationship would happen to me NEXT The Cherry Cordial Revolution: Do I help Grandma, or do I follow the rules? Show/Hide comments [ 17 ] What a wonderful trip! The Trans-Mongolian railway is definitely high on my priority list for lifetime experiences. I just did the France-to-Russia-and-back bit a couple of months ago, and it was already an incredible experience. Who knew there's actually a direct train from Nice to Moscow, through Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland and Belarus? The Russia/Mongolia/China bit must be truly amazing, though as a solo female traveller, it still seems a bit daunting. Reply So awesome!!! Thanks for submitting this holiday post, Jo & Myles. This is one of my dream trips too, and your photos make it look really fun and beautiful. 🙂 Reply Fantastic! What an incredible adventure. How long did the entire trip take? Reply We took six and a half weeks for the whole thing but the train from Beijing to Moscow would take about a week non stop if you didn't get off along the way. So there are lots of options! Reply I feel sick with envy! What an awesome and gorgeous trip! Reply Don't get sick if you have less than 24 hours in a country– I've always avoided this sort of trip because of that reason. It would make me so sad to miss something because my body needed to catch up! Glad to hear it still worked out for you! Do you have to show your passport as you cross countries, or do they just check you when you board and send you along? I've always wondered how that works! Reply It wasn't so bad… Just one day of being really sick in the six and a half weeks, so all good! And the passport thing… Most countries you show the passport each time you cross a border but in Europe they have some agreements in place. So from Germany to France there's no passport control, for example! Reply Which tour company/service did you use to plan your trip? It looks absolutely amazing! Reply We used flower travel, based in Australia. They have affiliates all over! Reply Oh this looks so amazing! And yay for learning languages. 😀 Reply This looks amazing – gorgeous photos! Reply What a wonderful trip! Do you mind if I pick your brain on luggage? We're thinking of taking a similar train trip soon… How did you feel about your bags? Did you bring enough stuff, too much or too little? Were you able to wash clothes along the way, and was there anything you packed that ended up being a lifesaver? Also, I love your recommendation on learning a little bit of the languages of the places you're visiting. I recently visited Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic and a few phrases in Czech/Slovak (they're very similar) or Hungarian would have been very helpful. Even just so I could be polite and say "hello" and "please" and "thank you". Oh, and also the words used on street signs…those first few days of navigating were rough. Reply We were really glad to have taken packs instead of suitcases. We packed fairly light and did laundry whenever we got the opportunity. Mostly I found sandals and a dress were the most versatile but to be honest no matter how often I travel I never seem to excel at getting it just right- my bag is always heavier than I want it to be. I hope you get to do your trip and that you have a blast!!! Reply Thanks so much! 🙂 Reply Dude I have been looking at doing this trip for ages! Thanks so much! Flower Travel huh. I shall look into it. Reply We'd love to do a long train trip but my Husband is 6'6" (2m) tall and we'd be worried he wouldn't fit in the sleeper bunks. How much room did you have in the cabins? Reply Hmmm, maybe he'd be a little squashed but I think it would be okay. I'm not sure of the exact dimensions but they felt spacious. We always had our own cabin so it wasn't like we were tripping over anyone else in the day time, either. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Subscribe me to your mailing list No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. 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