Russia in Review

Here it is, my last podcast about Russia! I talk about our final week in the country, then Katie joins me to discuss the good, bad and simply interesting facets of our journey.

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Lake Baikal Dreams

Katie and I (especially Katie) have been dreaming of coming to Lake Baikal for quite some time. Now we are here! How did we arrive? Listen to this week's episode to find out.

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Trans-Siberian Travels

In this episode, I'll fill you in on what we've been up to in the last week. Katie and I have been traveling across Russia on the Trans-Siberian Train. We started the week in Suzdal, a little village near Moscow. We ended it in Krasnoyarsk, around 4000 KM to the east.

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Photos from Finland (and Estonia)

After leaving Iceland, Katie and I went to Finland for about a week. We spent most of our time visiting our friends Fei and Tapani, as well their daughter and Fei's parents. We managed to pack in many small adventures in Helsinki, including taking a ferry to an island that was once a fortress, sampling some of the country's best micro-brews, and making several trips to the sauna. We also spent three days bicycling around Turku (Finland's old capital), and we even squeezed in a day trip to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.

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Trans-Siberian Tips

Katie and I met Jari and Nadezhda during our stay in Helsinki,. All of us used to live in Beijing, so we had a lot in common. We swapped many China stories, and I found out that they had taken the Trans-Siberian train from Vladivostok to Helsinki.

Katie and I are at the beginning of our own Trans-Siberian experience. Currently we are in St. Petersburg and plan to head east to Lake Baikal, then south to Mongolia. On this podcast, Jari and Nadezhda gave me some great tips on riding this famous train across Russia.

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Iceland on a Budget

Iceland was nearly a bust. Katie and I had a miserable first day, losing our shirts to the ridiculously pricey public transportation and spending the afternoon shivering and soaking wet from pouring rain. But then the sky cleared and we had an amazing two-day hike, from Skógar to Þórsmörk, between the fantastically-named Tindfjallajökull and Eyjafjallajökull volcanoes. The scenery was beautiful, the company friendly, the weather perfect. On our last day in the country, we returned to the airport, elated to have visited.

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Building the New with Morgan McKinnon

Morgan McKinnon is on a journey. Last time we talked on this podcast, she was preparing for a skin removal surgery. You can check out that episode here. Since then, she has gotten her surgery done and accepted a new job in Morocco. This episode is full of inspiration. I hope you enjoy it!

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Iron Wall, Silver Mountain

On this week's show, I talked with Paddy Robertson about our two-day bicycle trip from Beijing to the Iron Wall Silver Mountain, AKA the Silver Mountain Pagoda Forest. This is officially recognized by the national government as a AAAA scenic spot, and it was one of the 28 designated tourist destinations during the 2008 Olympics. It's a sacred site of Buddhism, originally built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The current incarnation was built during the Liao Dynasty (907-1125).

Officially, the Silver Pagodas have been closed since 2014, but, as you'll hear during the show, Paddy and I found it easy to get into the park anyway.

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