Time now, for a useful information interlude.
Every now and then, there’s some useful information amongst all the pseudo poetic musings.
Now, if you don’t want to know the ending. Or at least, the late-middling, of the trip then stop reading NOW.
If you have kept reading then *SPOILER ALERT* they make it to China. And below is the step by step guide of how. Because, yes this is a story about their experience living and looking at and for the good new days. But that doesn’t mean it can’t also help you start living in better days.
Travelling in a majestic low carbon way takes some sweet tips, here’s the ones used in this journey:
Rome 2 Rio
How to get from anywhere to anywhere, and a really good idea of all the hows!
Loco2 / Trainline EU
Both excellent for finding and booking directly (generally) trains around Europe. Apps, e-tickets often, the lot!
Man in seat sixty one
Unsurpassed railways nerdery for getting from anywhere (especially the UK) to anywhere over land.
The excellent official website for Russian trains, in english. Even have an app with e-tickets and everything! So.much.cheaper.than.Travel.agents
The place for booking trains in china. A decent service charge mind!
Because of lax planning an interrail pass – no, not only for fresh faced over horny 18 year olds – was ideal for flexibility, and worth it just for the train from Edinburgh to London. (Non British people think that’s a joke but… FMTS)
To book your seat on Eurostar you need to pay an additional fee and reserve it here.
A New Story
In not long at all, the trip heads back. But does not end, instead it will transform into an epic cycling, wild-camping trip across Europe and Asia to find and share the stories of those creating the ‘New Story’ of compassion, generosity and cooperation that the world so needs right now. Follow that story, and help tell it:
The how of Chengdu to Austria, where the New Story Ride begins will follow, but for now wonder at:
Edinburgh to Chengdu. Calling at Berlin, St. Petersburg, Beijing, North Haverbrook…
|Home||Edinburgh Waverley||Bus||25 minutes||£1.80|
|Edinburgh Waverley||London King’s Cross||Train||4hr 30mins||£0 with interrail||Interrail allows exit and entry journey from home country|
|London St Pancras||Paris Gare du Nord||Train||2hr 30mins||£30 with interrail.||St Pancras is just next to King’s cross. Might be a queue|
|Paris Gare de L’est||Strasbourg*||Train||10 euro|
|There’s a direct train to Berlin, if you’re at all organised.|
|Strasbourg||Offenburg||Tram (?)||£0 with interrail||Strasbourg is lovely!|
|Offenburg||Mannheim||£0 with interrail||Spicy spicy late night kebab shop in Mannheim!|
|Mannheim||Berlin||Train||£0 with interrail||Berlin has lakes?!|
|Berlin||Poznan**||Train||£0 with interrail||The train is direct to Warsaw, stopped to make most of Interrail!|
|Poznan||Warsaw||Train||£0 with interrail||Love Warsaw.|
|Warsaw||Białystok||Train||£0 with interrail||Not a lot going on in białystok, but nice enough.|
|Białystok||Vilnius||Coach||23 euro||Weirdly the same price as from Warsaw.|
|Vilnius||Tallinn||Coach||26 euro||Stay at least a few days in Vilnius…and ideally Tallinn!|
|Tallinn||St Petersburg||Train||24 euro (Seat in 3rd class)||Bring some tea and a cup – all train’s from here on have a Samovar!|
|St Petersburg||Novosibirsk***||Train||56 hours||142 euro (Bed in very comfortable open plan 3rd class on the ‘luxury train’)||Spend ages in St. Petersburg. Didn’t get the best out of Novosibirsk, evenings look lively!|
|Novosibirsk||Slyudianka||Train||35 hours||52 euro (third class, in a normal train)||Lake Baikal!!! Hills!!!|
The train goes straight to Beijing from here!
|Slyudianka||Zabaikalsk||Train||26 hours||75 euro||Zabaikalsk is very much not a destination, but they change the gauge of the carriages – so everyone off!|
|Zabaikalsk||Manzhouli (China!)||Train||About 20 minutes, plus 4 hours waiting||5 euro||Incredibly contrast of the two sides of the border.|
|Manzhouli||Harbin||Train||12 hours||14 euro (Hard seat. Not advised for overnights)||Heard Harbin is nice, missed that.|
|Harbin||Dalian****||Train||12 hours||50 euro (hard sleeper)||Very much off route, but beautiful and green and SEA!|
|Dalian||Beijing!!!||Train||4 hours||40 euro (high-speed, 2nd class)||Bullet train galore!|
|Beijing||Xi’an*****||Train||12 hours||59 euro (soft sleeper)||There’s a direct train to Chengdu too!|
|Xi’an||Chengdu||Train||6 hours||£107 (Ridiculous business class. Ri-di-cu-lous. Ridiculous)||The Amsterdam of China|
Photo: BeijINg, credit very friendly and helpful university student I met coming off the train.