Monday, 30 April 2012


Two months from today I should be arriving in Moscow, for a few days of exploring the city before taking the Trans-Siberian railway from the Russian capital to the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar. The only thing I have organised so far, is reserving the train ticket for this mammoth journey; I am yet to apply for any visas,  book my train tickets from the UK to Moscow or begin to really work through my list of things I need to do. I have made an appointment with the travel nurse to check if there are any vaccinations I require, but otherwise it seems I am procrastinating by setting up vanity blogs rather than proactively preparing for this trip of a lifetime. Perhaps this afternoon I shall prepare for my visa applications by getting my mugshot taken in the little booth with the curtain, the self-observing peepshow,  for the same price as the seedy Soho excursion. Once I have my passport photos, I will apply for the four visas I need; a Belarusian transit visit, and the Russian, Mongolian and Chinese tourist visas. For some of these it seems the level of bureaucracy can be somewhat frustrating, with semi-fictitious letters of invitation required from hotels and tour operators I will not be using, and although I usually prefer to do things myself and on my own terms, in this instance I think I will use an online visa service, to cut out the time and the headaches for a fee. I'm setting myself the deadline of Wednesday this week to have sent my applications.

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