(Before I begin, let me remind the forgetful among you that CeCe’s birthday was September 10. Email her at ccsieffert[at]gmail.com)
I’m going to keep this short because we have a six hour bus ride ahead of us to Lake Baikal, one of Russia’s natural wonders. We’re in Irkutsk, Russia right now after three days on a train and one restful night in an empty hostel. Our arrival here was a bit of a milestone as we’re now 12 time zones away from the east coast of the United States. Halfway around the world. Pretty cool, eh?
The train ride wasn’t so bad. I’ve always enjoyed watching freight trains, and it’s always fun to see what folks are growing in their gardens, so the journey provided ample opportunity for that. We also slept a good bit, read some (CeCe’s reading Dostoevsky’s “Brothers Karamazov” – go Cecers!), and we met some reasonable friendly Russians and Kazakhs. Besides that, we spent a long time just staring out the window. There weren’t many grand vistas, but after the dreary landscapes of Kazakhstan, all Siberia’s birch and evergreen trees were a welcome diversion.