There was some fear that most of my time would be spent with little to do but watch endless pine forests go by.  In reality, there were very few days spent entirely on the train, and those day that were were filled with lectures, fantastic meals and conversation.  There was just enough free time to enjoy the blazing larch forests without their becoming tiresome.



there was an amusing juxtaposition in of Soviet and post-soviet Russia in the Khabarovsk square -- a standard government-issue Lenin statue with a giant advertising video screen on top of the building behind him.  Across the screen cavorted a bizarre animated gopher while Lenin turns his back in disgust.

Khabarovsk window Collage Old and New