Mongolia - Beijing

The very last train ride from Mongolia to China went like a charm. This time we crossed the border at night, so there weren't any major problems with heat and stuff like that. This last ride with be the most beautiful one. The scenery as we drove through small tunnels and moved along the rivers was awesome. We bought delicious chicken feet which we did everything with except eating them. They were too slippery to catch boogers with though.

At the hotel in Beijing we had a short briefing before heading to one of the main attractions of this city, tian anmen square. It turned out, however, that the group itself would become a tourist attraction. All the tiny chinese came running up to us and wanted to have a picture with the giants from the west. It was kind of funny and made me feel like a superstar. Some might say this isn't healthy to my ego, and they might be right. We had a great chinese dinner in the evening and then went for a massage. It was my very first proffesional massage and I liked it. It was chinese style, so we had pyjamas and there was no oil or other liquids involved. Lucky Marni got a pyjamas someone had perioded in haha. After litterarely being rubbed the crap out of, we went back to the hotel. Most of the group were going to the great wall the next day and needed to get up early.

Most of the group went off to the wall. Ms Illeterate and I went to the silk market. A stressy place were the sellers are angry, pushy, aggressive and annoying. However, they have alot of cool stuff and it's worth to check it out. Walking with a girl there is really unpractical since they assume you wanna give your "girlfriend" something. I recommend splitting up there or go with people of the same gender. We met up and had a nice evening at a tea house. I got some ginseng tea, maybe that did the trick, because after spraypainting the rails through Mongolia, my stomach is back to normal. Who would've thought that chinese food is what makes a Norwegian tummy quiet? In the evening we had a last massive dinner and party. We had to say good bye to Ilya that evening, because he had to fly home earlier than the rest of us. Slowly but surely we kept on losing people the next couple of days and now there are only a few of us left. The wonderful trip with these guys is over and I'm left with memories and knowledge. The most important thing I've learnt is sneaky-balling. This involves trying to sneak a testicle or two into a photo. It's good fun and later on, if you look carefully, you might see one;)

I can't really separate the days anymore, but I've been to the summer palace, lama temple, forbidden city and more. The summer palace is gigantic. I thought peterhof was good, but this is awesome! It's so gigantic, beautiful and full of buildings. In such a park even I would be able to charm a princess with a boatride under the bridges in the moonlight.

In china green light is just there to tell you it's safer to cross the street. The food is excellent, but I don't wanna know what I'm eating. The chinese are many, nice and many. They're also tourists in their own country, so most of the tourists are chinese. Beijing is so western and is the most modern city I've seen in many aspects. So strange since this is supposed to communism, whereas Russia was still like the Soviet Union. The hostel I'm staying at is great and the host is a cool guy who practices kung fu and has good movie taste. If you ever go to Beijing, sleep at "fly by knight hostel". I had a local showing me around the olympic stadium which was awesome and I've also lost my camera which was not so awesome. I'm writing like a baby now, cause I just have to get some of this stuff written down while I still remember it. It's hard finding time for blogging. 

I'll try to make a nicer post next time. Cheers!



Excited we all left Russia for Mongolia. This is however, easier said than done. In the train we took south, the windows wouldn't open, so we had to rely on aircondition which wasn't working properly. The border stop at the Russian side takes five hours and during three of these it's not allowed to leave the train. Since the train is standing still within a sanitary zone, they've also closed off the toilets. Having a nice coctail brewing in the belly in a slightly too warm train carriage puts both mind and body to the test. An identical two hour stop on the Mongolian side doesn't exactly fix the problem, so when I finally got to the bathroom at the hotel, I had one of the best experiences of my life I think. 

Mongolia! I had no expectations. All I knew about this place, I had from Chinggis Kahn books. But this place was awesome. The people were nice and friendly. They live in gers, tents, in the middle of the city and they drive like crazy. Half of the cars have the steering wheel on the right side which i found interesting.
After freshening up at the hotel, we went to a temple to cleanse our souls. The munks were chanting as we entered the monestary. Apparently these liberal munks can go out and get married later on, so they only sacrifice 20 years or so of their life. we had a small lunch and then went off to see a show which contained the most important things from Mongolian traditional music and dance. It was awesome to sit there listening to throat singing and watching the happiest dancer in the world spin around in his pyjamas.Seeing a little gymnast scratch her ass with her nose was also pretty impressive. For dinner after the show we had massive portions of horse, beef and other great food. We ate till we almost exploded and helped the digestive system out with a bit of Chinggis Kahn vodka. Those who were still in party mood went out for karaoke.

I know I'm a shitty singer, but my friends Laz and Shafie can't be much better. At least I felt like crying sometimes when I was trapped in the tiny karaoke room with them, Masheena, Clare and Tomtom for two hours. Singing ABBA, Michael Jackson, Nena and Queen accompanied by Chinggis redbull, the evening was already a success. Laz then brought us to this random Mongolian nightclub where we danced and watched some guys whale hunt until 3 o' clock. Mandatory after-party at Shafie's followed and bed time at 4.
At 8.30 we got up, full of energy, to have a nice 2.5 hours busride out to a ger camp. The trip must be something of the funniest I've done so far. I laughed till  my stomach ached and my eyes were wet. Tomtom was feeling really bad, and Harris was simulating vomating and burping etc in front of him. In addition the road was so bumpy the poor lad was thrown up and down. The others, Jesus and me in particular, had a whale of a time watching this haha. At the stop by a massive 40 meter high statue/building of Chinggis Kahn, Tomtom had his tactical puking and we all went to the top of the horse's head to take some nice photos. We also got to dress up as Mongolians.

Arriving at the ger camp, we had some lunch and then saddled up the horses. That was so cool. The horses did as they want all the time, but sitting on them while they were galloping was awesome. There were alot of sore asses and lower backs after this ride. As true Mongolians we shot a bit with bow and arrow and then had dinner and went to bed. The ger was really similar to team tent/lagstelt in the Norwegian army, with the oven in the middle and everything.

Back in U B (Ulaan Baator) the history museum waited and then another massive dinner. We had to spend the rest of our monopoly money, cause only Mongolians use togruks, the Mongolian currency. Another after party followed directly and 5.30 the next morning we went to the train station. Mongolia was amazing and I recommend everyone to go there.

Next up: Train ride to China with chicken feet in the bras.

Blogging from China is difficult, so there won't be any pictures in a while.  I think this link will work.

Link to tracks:



Trans Siberian Railway

"Homo! Get into the picture!", Laz screams. We're making a jumping picture outside the train and unfortunately it's me he's trying to give some instructions. A tall british blonde, which we will call miss Illiterate from now on, wasn't able to get my simple name right at the introduction meeting. She wrote down "Hoko" which she read as "homo" and now even the tour guide uses this nick. Horrible. Punishment would come to her as a hangover from hell the second day of the tour, but enough of that for now.

In the train the group has four rooms. In the first, we have miss Illeterate, faceless, Vanessa and Masheena. Faceless is a canadian girl which claims she's a quarter black although she's a real paleskin, Vanessa is a kiwi which unfortunately has been lying sick the last days and Masheena. In number two we have Jesus christ from Newcastle and his beloved Kate, which spent the whole third day in bed because she tried to drink at the same pace as Harris, Tomtom and Claire. Next was me, the guide, the jew and a spare bed. The spare bed was occupied by a couple of different Russians during the journey. Last, but not least, we have faceplanter Charlie, which is soon to be bruiseless, Shafie, Harris and Marni, his Australian boy-trapped-in-a-girl's-body girlfriend. She is really awesome and dags him all the time. This is a new verb to my vocabulary which means to pull down someones trousers. Since this guy normally doesn't wear any underwear, he has been standing in churches and other inappropriate places showing off his junk as he says. I'm looking forward to meet them in Australia!

I've started tagging stuff with the Norwegian flag, expanding our empire. First off on this ride was our window. We then chatted a bit and got our stuff in place before the first bottles of vodka were opened. We were drinking and having fun until the train stopped. Apparently, the platforms are one third of the time filled with Babushkas, old ladies. They run around with their bags and trolleys, selling everything from beer and coke to fried fish and caramel sticks. Jesus and I stacked up with beers and the other with whatever they needed. First night was a blast and we fell asleep without major difficulties.

For those of us who woke up the next day, a different fauna awaited us. New trees and weather were now to be seen. During the whole journey we were to cross 6 time zones. We played card games, chatted, ate noodles and enjoyed eachothers company until the evening. At night there were once again open vodka bottles on the table andwarm beer to be had. Making sure the train attend would stop by to threaten us with police on the next station, we kept on keeping the wagon awake. The third day went on like the second one and at night it was party time. I brought out aquavitae which was fairly popular. A great icebreaker. We mixed vodka with juice that had "100 % cok" and enjoyed the second last night in the train. The fourth day would be the coolest of them all. Next: Siberia, Irkutsk and lake Baikal.

Link to photos:

2011-09-14 Moscow-Siberia


St Petersburg-Moscow

At the train station in St. Petersburg we found our train taking us to Moscow. We where having a good time, in fact so good that a fat, ugly Russian woman started yelling at us in Russian. We were of course smiling back, realizing laughter isn't something she's experienced alot in her life. The bed was big enough for 75 % of me, but flexible as I am, it all went smoothly and I woke up happy the next morning in Moscow.

The next day started with an elegant jump down from my bed, making sure my cellphone fell down and hit the make-up powder of the taste-of-penis girl Clare. The nice dust cloud covered our room and Ilja and Tomtom got an unwelcome blow in their faces. Tomtom is a jolly brit whose name is Tom. Smashed in St. Petersburg, he lost his nice gore-tex jacket he got as a going away present. Poor Tomtom. We were picked up in a mini van at the train station in Moscow and we went to the Hotel, which was the olympic residenses from the olympics in Moscow. After a small rest we went out to check out the capital. It was raining alot this day so I decided to use my nice raincoat. Apparently there is something about this piece of clothing that makes everybody comment it. They laugh, but I think they're jealous. It's a pretty coat and it makes me look big and strong.

In the center we checked out Lenin's maosoleum first. If stopped to look at him, the guards would scream at you and chase you down the corridor. In other words: keep moving. Looking back at my last post, compared to Lenin, I have a tan. Next up was Kremlin and the armoury. That is truly something magnificent. Inside of Kremlin there are several different churches in different styles. The most impressing thing was, however, the armoury. The armoury contains all kinds of book covers, glasses, mugs etc of gold and silver with diamonds and emeralds. Among all the beautiful stuff are also some of the Faberge eggs. After a nice audio guided tour, we set off for the red square. Standing there, I couldn't stop thinking about tetris and whistle the tune. The square itself is big, but there isn't that much to it. The metro stations in Moscow are simply breath taking and we sighsteeing with the tube. We just got off at some designated stations and shot some photos and got back into the metro again. The communists knew how to build metro stations!
Dinner time! Meeting infront of the statue of Zhukov, where he's stamping on the nazi eagle with his horse, we set off to have some food. I was sitting between Steve Harris and Jesus, which I both love and worship. At least one of them. They are to Englishmen which both have brought their women with them on the tour. As usual I ate my food, then the left overs from mr Harris, and then of Masheena, the small scottish girl that is able to consume her own weight in vodka in one night and still cart wheel in morning. We went for a small beer and then to the hotel for an after party. In Shafie's room, Tomtom, t-o-p claire, faceplanter Charlie, Ilja the Jew and I had some drinks and beer and played "never ever have I ever". The next morning we knew alot more about eachother.

9 am. Meeting outside the hotel. Shopping time. The guide Laziz takes us to the nearby supermarked. We're stockpiling, noodles, toast, vodka, vodka, vodka, sausage, crisps, fruit, water and mixers to bring to the train station. Looking like fifteen happy gypsies with backpacks and bags we climbed into the train heading for Irkutsk in Siberia. In good apartheid style the Uzbek, Norwegian and Isrealite shared on compartment, whereas all the ones from the common wealth divided the other between them. Since this is two days ago I know we're going to have shitloads of fun on this trip:). Next up: the epic journey with the Trans Siberian railway!

Pictures and tracks will be updated!


St Petersburg

I went to the hostel in the morning and left my bag there. I then took the metro and bus to Peterhof. That is one amazing place! Beautiful fountains, statues and more. A boat ride brought me back to the city and it was a really nice way of arriving. I went to the hostel again and met up with the group. I was really lucky and got to share a room with a Russian born Israelite called Ilja. We hit it off and the rest of the group was also cool. Everybody met up at time except for a poor girl that faceplanted out of the airport and had to go to the hospital. She showed up later and was in good shape. After some brief instructions we went out for dinner and some beers. And then some vodkas. And then some more beers. We had a lot of fun and stumbled home in the morning.

The next day most of the group went to the hermitage. Ilja and I had already been there so we went to the Siege of Leningrad museum. It was a nice little museum with, among other things, pictures of all the generals that defended Leningrad, culminating in Zhukov on his horse at the very end. We walked over to the old steam cruiser Aurora. The ship made infamous by shooting a blank starting the Bolshevik revolution.  On deck we got surprised by rain so we decided to go for a guided tour in the engine room. Ilja, passing as a Russian, and me, passing as a student, got the discounts we needed and had a lot of fun. The guide was Russian, but since I had my personal translator, everything went smoothly.  We then met up with the others.

“What does penis taste like?” asked a young English girl in our group. Being an experienced traveler and all-knowing guide, the Uzbek Laziz wasn’t able to answer.  This is a bit out of context though, because we were dining and talking about different dishes in China, and dogs, crocodiles and dicks were brought up. It took ages before we got the food on table and when it finally arrived, they had of course forgotten the hungriest guy’s dish. After sharing our food with the always smiling, UK-based Malaysian Shafie, we set off to the hotel.
After a short briefing we went to take the train to Moscow. St. Petersburg was a fantastic city and I didn’t find it scary at all. There was so much nice architecture to see. Beautiful front facades, long columns, right-sized balconies, pretty backyards, and the buildings were nice as well. However, a friend told me that if you’re brown in the skin, that would be enough to get you beaten up in the streets. Luckily I’m so pale, to the border of transparent, that they left me for a Russian. I hope Russia continues to be like this. Checking out Moscow next!

Sorry, but I'm using picasa as backup as well, so you have to skip through alot of crappy photos. I'm kinda short on time. I'll fix it all later:)

Link to photos:

2011-09-10 St Petersburg


St Petersburg

We had a nice evening in Oslo talking about hiv, hepatitis a-z, Russian blood transfusion and diarrhea to boost my morale. Martin gave me chili tacos and Jakub gave me 55% rum, which together prepared my stomach for China, and the porcelain at Gardermoen for world war 3.

On Monday I managed in three hours what the Germans seventy years ago didn’t manage in 2,5 years: I entered Leningrad. After having some beers in the hot sun at Nevskiy Prospekt with a German I met on the bus, I found my hostel easily. I then went for an evening stroll in the city and enjoyed all the big squares and nice bridges. I stumbled over a couple of English brothers from the hostel and their local guides, and we all went for some beers. We had a blast and my vocabulary was increased with words like ”clungefest” and ”fitties”. Finding out that they were ”out on a rape” was hilarious.

The next day I went to check out the Catherine Palace. Clever as I am, I picked the bus with the most stops so I arrived after 45 minutes of sunbading in a leather seat. Of course I went the one day the doors were closed, but the park around was huge and beautiful so I had plenty to do. In the evening I went out with the English and an American that studied at Tennessees Institute of technology. John lost at Jenga.
Third day I checked out the artillery museum. Outside they were playing nice, Russian military music and firing off a salute now and then just to make sure that the ones with pacemakers won’t return. The etymologic museum was also pretty cool. The Russians have cleverly left out the people they don’t want to have in it. lIn the evening it was aquavitea and vodka rounds at the hostel while we were cracking jokes and having fun. I had to leave because I was meeting my couch surfing contact, Katya. I ended up at bar with 5 girls, so I think I made the right choice. However, the most romantic thing that happened was that the waiter tucked me in with a blanket.

After sleeping on my first Russian couch ever with talking cats and dogs, I went to the Hermitage. A big art museum in the Winter Palace. It was cool. I then went to the ”Siege of Leningrad” museum, which was closed because it was on this day, September 8, 70 years ago that the siege started. There were cars from the war outside, and men and women in old uniforms there. Survivors were walking around and soon a big concert started. It was a cool happening, and I was pretty lucky that I got to see it. In the evening we were sitting at home and I gave them some aquavitae and chocolate. We also had alot of fun with google translate. She was a great host!

Link to photos:


Trip so far

Here's a link to the tracks that will hopefully end up across the world one day.

Tracks on map

Using the google earth option is pretty sweet.

Last night in Oslo

It's Sunday night and I'm super excited! Very nice feeling that I haven't had in a very long time. I’m packing my bag for the last time now and making sure everything is in order. Tooth paste, camera, gps tracker, the essential stuff basically. At work, some smart girls suggested bringing stickers as gifts/tags since they are light weight and they leave a nice, Norwegian impression. Of course, when I got home to Skien, my mom had already stickers lying there and gave them to me without me even bringing the idea up. Proving once again that all women seem to be one step ahead of me.
Now I’m finishing the day by having dinner with some friends.
Next update: St. Petersburg!