We jumped off the train in St Petersburg and headed straight to our hotel. St Petersburg is very spread out, but somehow we’d managed to pick a hotel that was in walking distance of the Moscow line train station. We caught the four hour Sapsan train.
Ulaanbaatar. Ulan Bator. UB. The capital of Mongolia is somewhere I never thought I would visit, and it’s still a place I’m not completely sure that I would return to. But I would consider it an essential stop for anyone contemplating the Trans Mongolian Railway, because it’s not like anywhere else you will ever visit. (more…)
I think I had culture shock when I arrived at Playa del Carmen. As one of Mexico’s biggest tourist resorts, it was way cleaner and more American looking than anywhere I’d been in the past few weeks. I had total mixed emotions – it was kind of exciting to be somewhere touristy, but also sad to leave Belize and Guatemala behind!
Belize is famous for its beaches, coral reefs, watersports and being a favourite destination for rich American tourists. I was looking forward to Belize because of one selfish reason: they spoke English. My Spanish is not very good, and that made communication in Guatemala difficult. But as a former British colony I expected no problems speaking to the Belizean locals.
Flores and Tikal are two of Guatemala’s most popular tourist destinations. And they were the next stop on my Central American journey.
From Antigua we caught a private minibus, making a few stops at petrol stations and roadside restaurants along the way. Guatemala is not an easy place to get around. The roads aren’t always sealed, the local chicken buses are kind of a terrifying prospect and there are big distances between cities and towns. The journey took about 10 hours, and I spent it listening to audiobooks because that’s the type of person I am.