Moscow – Ulan Bator (Trans-Siberian Railway)

Taking the Transsiberian Railway from Moscow to Ulan Bator was a memorable experience. You could do that journey in as little as five days, but I got off the train several times, twice (in Novosibirsk and in Orkhon, Mongolia) for almost two weeks each, so it took me around one […]

Trip to Lake Baikal: Olkhon Island

Irkutsk, 31 hours by train east of Novosibirsk, is a good starting point for tours to lake Baikal. Numerous people had told me to go to Olkhon Island, the biggest island in the world’s deepest lake. Unfortunately I only had two days for the excursion, since I had to get […]

Babí Léta in Novosibirsk

Babí Léta means Indian Summer in Russian and describes well my first week in Novosibirsk. We had mild and sunny autumn weather with temperature peaking at around 20°C while it was icy and snowing in Moscow. So Siberia isn’t always cold! Through HelpX I had found a really nice and […]

Teaching German in Russia

The day I arrived in Novosibirsk my host Larisa introduced me to her friend Olga, the German teacher at School 29. We chatted for a while (it was funny to speak German again) and she had me agree to join her for her lessons the next day. I was supposed […]

Alone in Perm36: Visiting a Gulag Museum

My first stop along the Transsiberian Railroad: Perm. Just above one million people live here, more than 1000km east of Moscow. I arrived at noon, quickly found the tourist information (as opposed to Moscow, this city is one of the few Russian cities that actually have one!), and went to all the […]