Sylvester McCoy #TrainTraveller
Part 2: Mongolia and Beyond...
Part 1 of his journey: London to Siberia, can be found here
(the site is mobile-friendly but we recommend you view on iPad or laptop if you can)
Day 26: Radio Silence for the last few days has been while Sylvester was in Mongolia! He's now gone from there, through a lengthy customs process into Beijing (more on that another time when he's rested!). Meanwhile, here's a video he was able to take quickly on arrival
“Mongolia... Looks pretty modern, not how I imagined it! It is an urban sprawl. The new, the unfinished, the Soviet, the Greco-Roman buildings, and the odd Mongolian yurt. It looks successful; people well-dressed, public transport in a much better condition than the ones in the cities of Russia.”
Day 28: Sylvester is now in China and fully enjoying the wonderful experience there (more news of that later). Meanwhile here's his look back to time in Mongolia.
"Ulaanbaatar. Thought it would be a Frontier Town with yaks, Yurts, and camels 🐫. Instead it had smooth limos, elegant apartments, and Mercedes 4+4s,!! The former were in the suburbs, and the wild country!
"Ulaanbaatar. I was expecting a kind of an outback town - on the edge of a 21st century. But no it’s a very, vibrant , sophisticated, city.
" Russian built!"
It’s a cry — 'Istreblyat! Istreblyat!'
Day 29: Beijing!
27th September 2018
"I’m the only European on this leg of the journey, and the only Peely Wally person in the vast station!"
I don’t know if you’ve heard of the “Call Of the East”?
When I first came out to the Far East in 1974 you could hear it everywhere... (those with a gentle disposition may wish to skip this bit!).
Their throats were cleared of mucus, loudly, and spat out on to the ground, even the most elegant and sophisticated women joined in. Not a pretty sound.
There was, at that time, a big movement to stop this ugly noise and unhealthy habit !
Cut to me, now 2018, on a Chinese train hurtling along from Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) 😛 to Beijing (China )🤪, having ordered breakfast in the dining car. (There was a choice of fried bread and a fried egg.. or a fried egg and fried bread) when I heard the “Call Of the East “ coming from the kitchen. Then my Fried, Runny Egg ,was served to me 🤪
Day 30: where is he now? Press Play and find out!
Day 30: Did you know?
come with him through this doorway to experience the magnificence of this!
Days 24- 30: BEIJING
Beijing was a surprise ! A very modern, clean, well appointed city. She was on her best behaviour, flirting with me by letting me enjoy perfect weather. Clear skies, gentle cooling wind, not a bad breath of pollution. Water tankers sprayed her, keeping her clean and dust free.
Beijing centre is defined by ringroad one. There are 6, and a 7th is being constructed to allow for even more expansion. In the inner ring there are no Skyscrapers. It gives her the same elegance as Paris, and Washington DC. It seems most petrol driven motorbikes have been replaced with electric. Result ... people floating about the broad boulevards in pleasant silence. An engaging dance. There is no feeling of oppression to this superficial traveller. People are enjoying the holiday weekend; there is laughter and happy faces. Having fun with each other.
"There were two of these masks in my room in Beijing! To protect me from poison gas, smoke inhalation etc!
This one though is a bit more old fashioned.
I look like a Bank Robber!
Funny thing🤔is, in the old days people used to rob banks. Nowadays it’s the other way around!!
"This is a police surveillance vehicle. Its Toy Town look disguises its Visio cameras etc. There are posters of police notices with pleasant squat dinky toy police 👮♀ like this. But then I saw a very heavy police presence in big blacked out windows parked menacingly by the road another time."
"I was watching the BBC Word News. It was showing the inauguration on a High Speed train route from Hong Kong to mainland China. So far so proud. Then nothing but snow on the screen 📺...... The bit about how some HongKongers were unhappy that the new station in the city was to be fully Chinese and not run by HongKong!
There were other black outs on other channels from out side the country on other topics, North Korea being one."
Beijing Train station!
On my way to Hanoi.
I’m the only non Asian on
this route. It’s packed, and I'm flying by my pants. ( I know flying and
training🚂don’t go but you get the gist). By pure chance I manage to
get on the correct train despite not being able to read the indicator board! The whole journey was like that. It’s a fluke I’ve got this far!