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Showing posts from July, 2009


The first journey I undertook across Europe was by train from Russia to England. After four months in cold and bleak Moscow I was to spend the winter break from college with my father in London and I had secured the exit visa, an improbable feat then as students were not normally allowed to travel outside Russia during the first year in college. Not having been in Western Europe before the journey, the prospect of traversing Europe through three time zones and countless languages was exciting.

I and my travel companion Janardan Kumar Shrestha, JK to friends, was my senior at our school in Nepal and had already been in Russia for a couple of years. His command of Russian and resilience to the effects of vodka would stand me in good stead during this journey. Our train started from Kievski Station in Moscow bound for Brest-Litovsk, the historical town on the Polish frontier best known for a treaty the Russians signed with Nazi Germany before World War II.

I remember some remarkable oddi…