With the end of summer here, it’s already that time of the year when we’re planning what to do at Christmas: what to do with oneself, where to be and what sorts of presents to get for loved ones. Especially if you’re tired of doing the same old thing of turkey dinner and lots of re-runs of old films on telly. For the more adventurous soul, there’s always an alternative – like our Trans-Siberian Experience.
If you’ve been considering that grand tour of Russia or China and Mongolia for a while, now is an opportune time to take advantage of three amazing trips we are offering. For anyone who has been captivated by the grandeur of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, or the vast landscapes of Dr Zhivago, or the ancient and mysterious aspects of China or Mongolia, this is an opportunity to personally experience these places – the landscapes, peoples, cultures, food, colours, music, sports and various aspects of day to day life.
The first of the three trips on offer is a nine-day trip from Ekaterinburg to Moscow, via St. Petersburg. This trip is described as the one for those who want to take in the heart of Russia. Ekaterinburg is the third-largest city in Russia and it’s actually located on the Asian side of the country. On arriving in Ekaterinburg, you’ll be met by a driver of the Russian Experience and taken to the Hotel Chekhov, which is centrally located. After breakfast and a chance to relax, there is a city tour with a local expert guide. With over 1,668 kilometres of travelling distance between Ekaterinburg and Moscow, you have a feast of landscapes and forests to view. There are again personalised walking tours of St. Petersburg and then Moscow when you get to those destinations.
The second trip is a 14-day Beijing to Moscow tour: this is a popular trip which we have customised a little so you can enjoy Christmas and New Year while travelling on this epic adventure. Starting in the capital of the vast and mysterious China, you’ll have the opportunity to explore “the legendary Imperial city, where the rich traditions of Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism meet with the opulence of the Chinese Emperors and the vibrant realism of contemporary China”. You can visit both the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, which are within walking distance of your hotel, the Red Wall Hotel, and adjacent to each other. Most convenient!
Then begins the Trans-Mongolian / Trans-Siberian adventure, travelling on the famous railway to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, then to Irkutsk City in Siberia, and eventually to Moscow. The journey from Ulaanbaatar to Moscow is over 5,655 kilometers. Crossing vast landscapes and changing time zones couldn’t be made more fascinating. On arrival in Moscow, you can visit the Kremlin, the Bolshoi theatre, the Treasure Of The Tsars, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Red Square and Lenin’s Mausoleum, St Basil’s Cathedral … need we say more?
The third trip from Beijing to St. Petersburg is slightly longer, ending up in Russia’s second largest city. All the delightful terrain covered in the second trip listed above will be yours to enjoy, including spending Christmas morning in Irkutsk and seeing Lake Baikal, the largest inland sea in the world. Plus enjoying the cultural treasures of St. Petersburg on your final destination of the tour: the Winter Palace, the Russian Museum, the Peter and Paul Fortress, Nevsky Prospekt, Churches and Monasteries including the Alexander Nevsky Monastery, and the museums for Pushkin and Dostoevsky, and other famous museums on unusual subjects!
For all these trips, we make use of locally-owned hotels and also work with individuals and families who welcome our clients into their homes – ensuring a personal touch. But when it comes down to it, this is your grand adventure: so you are encouraged to research the places you will be visiting, the customs and traditions, and the religious and cultural influences. At the end of the trip, your experience is uniquely yours – whether you keep a journal or take lots of photos, you’ll end up with memories and memorabilia you could be savouring and sharing with friends and family for a long time.