Our Route

Here is our proposed route so far and as with any long journey things are bound to changes. We have deliberately left things open in certain areas to allow us to take advantage of things discovered along the way as well as to deal withsome of the unforseen setbacks that are bound to occur while traveling. There are however some certainties (we hope). We will be flying from Albany, New York to Los Angeles on March 22nd from where we will rent a car and spend the next 3 weeks climbing and exploring around the South West. We will then Fly to Asia with a stop over in Hawaii for 4 days. Follow by a flight from Honolulu to Hanoi in Vietnamthat  will take approximately 32 hours with a stop in Tokyo, Japan and a night in Taipei Taiwan. We then plan on spending several days in Hanoi to help acclimatize to the heat, deal with the culture shock and get over the 12 hour time difference (is it lunch time or midnight???). We do not have a set plan for Southeast Asia but we are hoping to spend about a week in Vietnam followed by a few days at the amazing temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. From there will likely take a short flight to Singapore then head north stopping in Malaysia. From there we plan to enter Thailand where we hope to spend some time visiting some of their world class beaches, where you can rock climb beautiful limestone formations and then go for a swim in the amazing blue sea. After spending some time on the coast we intend on visiting Bangkok. At this point depending on time we may either visit the mountainous area of Chang Mai to the North or the country of Laos or possibly both. Whatever we decide we will likely have to make it back to Bangkok to get a flight into China. We have yet to set any plans for China, especially because we have not gotten our Visas back yet, other than visiting Beijing. Some possibilities are taking the train to Lhasa in Tibet (if the border is open), cruising on the Yangtze,  exploring Shanghai, Xi’an (home of the Terra Cotta Warriors) or the Yunnan province. The only thing we are sure of about China is that we will have to be in Beijing at the end of June to catch the Trans Siberian Express to Moscow, to be more accurate this branch is actually called the Trans Mongolian but most people still refer to it as the former. I say we are sure of this because due to beaurocrocies related to visas there is a limited window in which we can enter and “must” leave Russia. With this in mind and only one train a week heading West this has become one of the major points of planning of our trip. Once on the train we hope to get off in a couple of places the first of which is Mongolia. I have always had a sweet spot in my heart for this amazingly stark land of never ending green stepes, yurts and nomadic people and I hope it lives up to my expectations as we will spend around five days there. From Mongolia we will cross into Siberia in Russia where we plan to get off in Irkutsk and visit Lake Baykal (the deapest fresh water lake in the world containing 20% of the worlds frsh water). After a day or two in Irkutsk it will be time for the long haul. We will be spending the next four to five days living on the train until we reach Moscow. I am personally looking forward to this segment as it may be the first time during my travels that I will be forced to relax and just enjoy (for those of you that know me I tend to travel at a fairly brisk pace). I will hope to catch up on some reading, observe the world go by and meet others making the same journey. This epic train ridewill finally end in Moscow where we will spend a couple of daysvisiting the sights followed by a trip up to St Petersburg. Again at this point things are very up in the air. We have a couple of options. We could flydirectly to Poland, take train to Poland via Latvia and Lithuania or make a quick detour to Helsinki, Finland before continuing onto to Poland. You may have noticed that all three options end in Poland and that is because we plan on spending some time in Justynas home town of Dzikowiec. This will be a nice break after nearly three months on the move. From Poland things are again a bit vague but with a 15 days euro rail pass (good in 21 countries) we can really just bounce around from country to country exploring. With Europe being the most expensive region of trip we have deliberately left it for the end of our trip and we will let our remaining budget determine our plans. Some of the places we would like to see would be Prague (I was ther in 2006 and cannot wait to show Justyna this amazing city), Istanbul, Munich, Vienna, Seville, Lisbon and possibly Marrakech in Morocco. As our journey begins to come to an end and  we start to close the circle we will likely make one last stop in Iceland at the very least to visit the Blue Lagoon to soak and wash away the grit from four months on the road after which we will complete the last leg journey back  home on a plane to Boston followed by a train ride to Albany therefore coming 360 degrees or  “Full Circle”

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3 responses

23 03 2010
aunt gail

So excited that you are sharing this adventure with us. Have a great time!!!!
Look forward to your updates.

22 03 2010
alpineandy

Thank you,
So nice to hear from you.

22 03 2010
Jodi

What an amazing itinerary for you 360 degree tour! Enjoy!

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