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paulus travels
Apenstaartje

Travel 'round,


Decadence and pleasure towns
Tragedies, luxuries

Evacuees and refugees
Statues, parks and galleries

I travel 'round
 

2010 was a year of many downs, loosing my Mom and leaving the woman I love. So 2011 will be better, Paulus will be traveling again.

The new trip I am going to make will bring me to Russia, Mongolia, China, Japan, China, Nepal, India, Thailand, Malesia, Indonesia

and Australia. The plan is to leave the 21st of march 2011.

Flying to Moscow from Amsterdam takes five hours. Than staying in Moscow till the 26th of march, the train will bring me in three days and some hours to Irkutsk.  The train ride will be on the Trans. Mongolia Express. In Irkutsk I will meet my friend Frans, and together we will travel by train To Orkhon (Mongolia) To do some horse riding.

So I try to tell you what is happening as soon as I can access the net.

Planning and shopping for this trip was good foreplay, nice and long. Buying tickets and healthcare was easy, to get the visaís was a joy. But arranging things with the administration of the Netherlands is a pain in the ass. You call them, visit them, and try to move them to work for their the citizens. This country is  loosing it, too much administration and administrators. They even have a person called Du-Du. In an other language that stands for elephant shit. You catch my drift. Then on the brink of leaving, a court case against my landlord. I feel he has lost. The ........   So coming back new windows, new doors, repairs on the gutter and well painted. Jep. Thanks to my brother and his lawyer. So get my house in order for the builders. Yes 5 days before leaving confirmation about my visa. Frans had them all ready for a few days. A few more administrative things to do and say, see you in a year, to my family and friends. The fourth day before leaving it all came together. All administration done, visaís picked up, supplies ready and seen my dearest friend.  So finally ready to go.

Although it has been a hard year, it brought me a lot. A lot of tears and headaches. It also brought me a lot wisdom about my self and the things I do and why. Because I am me. 

All of my lugage, The diving gear goes separate, Paulus travels
Historical Museum

Monday 21 march 2011   Moscow

First day of my trip, saying goodbye is done; although?. Strange feeling leaving my family, everybody and everything behind for a year. Feeling empty but pumped up at the same time. Whatís going to happen? It starts nice Rene is brining me, roof open and in a flitz at Schiphol. The weather in Amsterdam is fine, another reason to go back there.

So Schiphol and Amsterdam left behind, Riga is the stopover for Moscow. I just arrived in Moscow and found my way to the Napoleon Hostel. The hostel is cheap the taxi not. Having my firdt beer a Siberian Crown and writing this. The trip went smooth a little extra pay for 3 kilos to much luggage.

Tuesday 22 march 2011    Moscow

Sleeping in a hostel, in a 8 men room, might give some problems. The drinkers snore like Iwan the Terrible. At 7.30 hours I woke up had a cup of coffee and had a look in the area. Looking for the bank and Atm machine. Found them and a supermarket. Supermarket is the same as the Netherlands but more of de luxe.So I also went to The Red Square to see the buildings and the shopping center.

St Basil's Cathedral
Gum   shoppingmall
St Basil's Catherdral by night P3221071

Wednesday  23 march 2011       Moscow

So yesterday I did an evening walk to see the Kremlin in the floodlights. Great.

Today I went for a market in Izmayloviskay ( a definite no no) wanted to buy some Russian heads for me and Frans but nothing there, The trip was with the underground so opportunity to see some of the metro stations. Have a look at them chandeliers and marble. Wow, what the the metro in Amsterdam will bring us?  After lunch I walked out to The Tretyakov Gallery. Interesting stuff of the late 18th and early 19th century. I liked that one very much. Thanks brother for the advice. No pictures allowed in here Oh yeah : weather report. Yesterday started with paulussunshine and later on turned into drizzle. Today was cloudy and snow. Temperature above 0 Yes hope for better.

Meat is wat we eat. Underground Moscow stairways underground Moscow

Thursday 24 march 2011          Moscow

So this night was special at four oíclock I woke up with a Kalshnikov in my face. The police or so. They were looking for a Russian guy. Its not me I said. In the evening just took out my Hemp plant the Planet T shirt. So after not being arrested slept a few more hours. Today I wanted to go inside the grounds of the Kremlin but closed. So I went to St Basils Cathedral and an other church. In the small Orthodox church on the Red Square was some service going on. The priest reading some holy words and a threesome singing with it. Very nice and spiritual experience. Then I saw the Russian Army marching. Oh yeah weather update snow all day. Rest of the day do some shopping

Shopping done. Frans we have Rabbit fur headgear. Never cold again. Walked every day a lot of km and that makes me wonder how the knee will hold up. It needs a little training. The muscles are hurting or the arthritis? But donít worry. just a minor problem. The rest is ok and having fun even my knee is.

 

Underground Moscow
The most important piece in ST Basil's Cathedral
inside one of the towers of ST Basil's Cathedral An Icon in ST Basil's Cathedral

Friday 25 march 2011        Moscow

So to night I will leave Moscow by train. Irkutsk the place where Frans will fly in to. So we meet. The party will be on. I will not be able to write and send pictures on to the net.

So you have to do with out me. Today shopping and seeing the Kremlin grounds and then get on the underground for the train station. I will be back on the net. With a review on Moscow and train trip. I will be in Irkutsk the 29th of March. Take care.

One of the Cathedrals with in the Kremlin Huge Changing of the Guards War Memorial Kremlin
Cathedral Kremlin Pilars at the kremlin

Saturday 26 march 2011    Train no2 to Irkutsk

Yesterday I took a taxi to The Yaroslavsky train station wich was way better then going by underground. At the station the porter wanted to have 50 dollars from me just to bring my backpack for 500 meters. So I gave him 100 rubbles stil to much but I felt ok he didnít. He must have understood what I said to him. My bunk is number 14 upper bed. One woman and two beer drinking guys. So I went out to dinner with Anja and we had a real nice conversation about life and why we love traveling. To get a way from al the usual things. And then she translated the guys for me, it be came a long talk about the luxury I can afford. They all have kids and family and I donít so they are a bit Jealous but nice. We also drunk the bottle of vodka I bought. So waking up with a splitting headache. So cold water and a self made cappuccino made me feel way better. All I saw were small villages, a lot of snow and birch trees. All over Russia from Moscow to Irkutsk there is snow and even sometimes over a meter of it.

That is what I see in my bunk Jackie first signs of  hash smokers Winter wonderland

So the review on Moscow. I enjoyed being there at the Napoleon Hostel. They have a real chill place only five minutes away from the Red Square. Getting ajusted to the traveling takes some time. The body needs some more strength for all the walks you have to make also the eight stairs to get to the hostel. When entering the hostel it is 25/27 degrees in there. They say it is something in the heating system they cant get it off. So the square itself is big and surrounded with nice buildings and of cours St Basil's Cathedral. A view we all know from the 1st may military parades. Also I have been in the grounds of the Kremlin to see the Cathedrals with the golden towers. Out there is strict order. All though no cars you have to cross at the zebra crossing other wise some military person will send you back and makes you go to the zebra. It looked like the big P was not in. My trip in the underground was very nice what a nice stations they have. The are not all over town like the ones in the center. I got out at at least twelve stations, they are all different. The one has statues of bronze, the other one has beautiful chandeliers. Going to the market was a miser. The best coffee place in the center is The Gum a huge chopping center.

The Gum by night Hdr photo

Sunday 27 march 2011  train to Irkutsk

After leaving Moscow the train goes on and on. I will go to Irkutsk, the distance from Moscow is 6825 km. For this trip I pay only 4 eurocent a km. I even get a hot meal every day. I am in a four people cabin. So not a lot of place. I write this after a day and a half of train experience. Sleeping and looking out side is what you do the most. After two nights in the upper bed the back becomes a bit pain full. Just two more night to go. The landscape of Russia is at the moment a winter wonderland. what you see pass all day is birch tree and open country side. The number of villages you see is limited. The temperature in this train is also high around 25 degrees and it is very dry because of that. And of course its freezing outside. The first evening I was lucky there was Anja she was speaking English. The rest of my fellow travelers does not. So she translated for me but after she left it became a little quiet in my cabin. The Russian guys in there like drinking beer. And that is what they do the biggest part of the day and night. In between they sleep. Smoking is allowed in the coldest places of the train so not very appealing. After a while you loose all track of time. The train is on Moscow time but will cross five time zones so I can't figure it out any more. Arrival is 6.16 Moscow time in Irkutsk it will be around 11.16 I think. I already booked a hotel room in Irkutsk. That makes it really easy for Frans and me to find each other in a new town. Making a train trip this long feels like a real challenge. What to do with time and almost not thing to say to the guys. So I write a little, sorted out my pictures, listen to some music and think of all kinds of stuff. What will happen next how long can I hold out, why do I do these stupid things? Donít worry I am not coming back jet. The landscape is going on and on. This country is big. There is no other foreigner a board so it will be a bit lonely the last day.

 

Monday 28 march 2011  Train to Irkutsk

I am getting used to the life in the train. I noticed a big difference in landscape to day. First we had these plains now it is hilly country with a lot of trees and little houses on the mountains. This day I will fill looking outside and in the evening I will get my luggage ready. I have to get out of the train 6.16 Moscow time (11.16 Irkutsk time)

worth the trip More people snowed in
Novosibirsk Train station Omsk Train Station

Tuesday  29 march 2011   Arrival in Irkutsk     6.16 hours

So I just arrived in Irkutsk and worked on the emails. Now waiting for Frans. Up date later. Rest awhile. Yeah my buddy is in. So we went for dinner and beers only 25 euro. And we came back at our hostel happy drunk and stoned. Irkutsk is ok. The hostel is excellent a double room in a real homy situation. A family run hostel we have a ket and further on nobody for only 26 euro for two. We like the Trans Sib Hostel.  Getting the right ticket to Orkhon seems to be a bit of a problem. I will fix that tomorrow morning. When we are more settled. Tomorrow also some more info about ticket and the town Irkutsk. First impression a bit dirty from the winter drab. But relaxed and very sunny today. Believe it or not we have seen 20 degrees on the Celsius scale. So we will send all our newly bought gear back and use that for a real Antarctic journey. Hopefully.

Wednsday 30 march 2011      Irkutsk

After a cup of coffee we went to get the tickets. Suddenly all problems solved. Take train to Suche Bator, but get off at Orkhon. Be allert because train will only stop 2 minutes. Comin back to the hostel Trans-Sib Hostel we made a breakfast. Frans is making up time difference. I am spending this time to work on the daily web update and some other stupid administrative things. Keeps you close to home aswell. Thanks for writing the guestbook on the left. It feels nice to have so many followers. The weather of today is so different then yesterday   -2 c and cloudy. So pictures?? We have to walk the birch tree park in front of the hostel regularly smoking Prohibited. 

To all fisher man in Amsterdam and surrounding area. At lake Baikal there are fishing expeditions cheap and well run. They can make trips to your needs so have a look at :      www.baikal-adventure.com.

Having a good time in the Trans-Sib hostel House from before the concrete in Irkutsk

Thursday 31 march 2011    Irkutsk

Around 11.00 we took a minivan up to Listvyanka 1.5 hours later at the lake Baikal. And these are the thing we are going these places. The deepest freshwater lake of the world. And all frozen up. So we crawled, slipped and skated over the ice. At a nice place far a way from people we did it again. Nice Pfffff. And also a good time for making photos and films ( we try to put them here for you, but upload is slooooow). So in between the camera addiction we had some local bbq meat. Elegal fattening but tasty. Around 20.00 home again a couple of beers. We will miss them out there in Mongolia. Yeah tomorrow we will be going south to Orkhon. Ok saddle the horses Bassie en Adriaan are coming

Two trackers on the Baikal Lake

 

 

Greetings from Lake Baikal.

Ice and snow Baikal Lake

 

Fur at the market
What a place to be. That all there is on his mind right now

Friday 1 april 2011     Train to Orkhon ( Mongolia)

Dear Followers. After a day of relaxing and looking at Russian legs tonight we will go on train 362 all the way over to Mongolia to get out at Orkhon. About internet connection out there, it will not be there. So the next four to six days no updates on Paulustavelsphotos.com. We are fine and healthy and happy. So to all of you see you here soon. Be careful and be nice to one and each other. Kisses to the girls and a see you to the guys.  Paulus and Frans

 

warm leatherrette
Sober but still sexy Is this the Pc Hoofd in Amsterdam?
Damn. Harry Russian woman are .... you see

Saturday 2 April 2011Train to Orkhon ( Mongolia)

Getting on the train was easy just walking (with to much luggage) to the station. Having a drink and a bite before we left. 21.50 hours the train leaves perfectly in time. When we arrived in the train the whole cabin was just for the two of us. Relaxed that the way we like it. The landscape was to beautiful to even tell you. This train ride is a very special one. Its long and will test you how long you can absorb the landscape. Even in my sleep it was still unrolling it self. After the enjoyment the fun really starts at the border crossing between Russia and Mongolia. At the Russian border they made us wait for five hours and I have to pay a fine. No not for that! than I would have been arrested. In some strange way my visa had expired for two days. So sitting still while being cut, in a real custom office in Russia. But even they thought  it was funny to put your autograph six times on the same piece of paper. This is Russia. My reply was the Netherlands thats where you should be for administrators. Than we where able to go and on to the Mongolian border. Took another one and a half hour two pass that one. Ok no bombs under the train. And all nice people aboard. When we traveled on we managed to buy tickets for the last stretch of rails. And arriving in Orkhon was very special, the adventure has started. Martin the owner of the ranch picked us up at the train station. Arrived in our own ger. We fell a sleep. More stories tomorrow.  

Cows waiting for things to come Ough telling that all is ok Buddhist place in tghe mountains

Sunday 03-04-2011  Horses and cityslickers in Orkhon

A wake at 7.30 hours and damn what cold. Oh shit the little stove in our ger stopped burning. luckily one of the people working on the farm lit it in a wink of an eye. Coffee and breakfast followed shortly after. When inspecting the farm Martin came up to us and showed us all the stables and work places he has build in the last couple of years. Then just after passing 09.00 hours we had new coffee and our first welcome vodka. Yes 9.30 or so. Dont bullshit this is Mongolia drink. And one more. Thanks Martin easy please we want to sit on the horses not hang on them. This farm is having the first tractor in this area and a huge container as a fridge. And a very well set up woood working place. Shall I stay here? After a very nice soup with bread time to ride the horses. Ough went out in to the valley to get the horses. Normally they roam free out in the valley. We had a marvelous trip of two and a half hour in to the mountains. It is only the first day so we should go easy otherwise ol the fun goes over in to ass pain. Crossing rivers and valley the mountains. The look over the village is special with the mountains in the background.  Around sunset it is dinner time. It tasted fine. Not for vegetarians, Evening with a beer and the live of Keith Richards. Life is rock and roll

The Mongolian man we met on the mountain a photographer at work

Click here for page two of the story.

paulus travels
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