On the 14th day of our travel, we were looking out of our train window and enjoying the view of the semi frozen lake Baikal. We were on a day long journey on a slow Russian passenger train. Everything moved backwards towards the west, slowly. Pine trees, snow on the ground. The towering snow clad peaks behind them.
We had come about 8300 km since we started. A little over half the distance we were covering. This is not my usual route to go home. This is not the usual route people travel from Europe to India. But this is one of the most feasible overland route to complete this journey. Although very few actually travel this way. Our inn keeper in the town of Listvyanka by the shores of lake Baikal told us - "The last Indian tourist I saw here was about five years ago"
Ever since I moved to London, I have been toying with the idea to travel overland to India, by means of public transport - i.e. trains and road transport. After years of waiting, I finally got myself to travel.
In April-May, me and my wife Beena, traveled from London to Siliguri (India), mainly by trains.
Although we had crossed over from Europe to Asia long way back near the town of Yekaterinburg, the real Asia doesn't start until you cross the deepest lake of the world.
Let me now tell you about the trip we concluded.
Our trip in numbers - 10 countries, 32 days, 17500 km, highest altitude 5400m, lowest altitude 100m below MSL.
Outline of the trip:
Day 1 - 4 : London-Brussels-Koln-Warsaw-Minsk-Moscow
Day 4-10: Moscow-Yekaterinburg-Novosibirisk-Irkutsk-Listvyanka
Day 11-14: Lake Baikal-Ulan Ude
Day 15-19: Mongolia / Ulan Bator
Day 20-23: Beijing
Day 24-30: Beijing-Lhasa-Shigatse-Quomolangma (Mt Everest) Base Camp
Day 31-32: Lhasa-Kathmandu-Siliguri